In this series of nuggets we are going to discuss the fire of the Holy Spirit. The fire operates in two modes, the fire either destroys or refines. And the fire either comes because of our foolish sinful decisions, or because the Lord is molding and shaping us into His image. As a believer, in the light of eternity, it really does not matter what caused us to go through the furnace. Ultimately we become a reflection of Jesus Christ. However, it is much easier to experience the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit instead of the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit.
Every one of us is going to experience trials, tribulations, sufferings, troubles, discouragements, disappointments, heartaches, sickness, and disease. This comes with life. These afflictions either come from our willful sinning or the actions of others. No amount of money, faith, prayers, or confessions will prevents us from the hard knocks of life.* This is the result of the fall of man. In the midst of these afflictions the fire of the Holy Spirit is at work.
It is our premise that each of us will go
through one of two furnaces:
The Furnace of Consuming Fire/Fire of Judgment or The Furnace of Refining Fire. The choice is ours. We can actually chose what furnace we will go through and experience the fire of God. In the furnace of consuming fire we will 'smell like smoke' and in the furnace of refining fire we will 'not even get singed'.
Regardless of the fire, we cannot run or hide from the fire of God. As a matter of fact, if we try to avoid the fire, the heat will become greater. So we can chose to embrace the fire or foolishly try to avoid the fire of God.
In the nuggets to come we will define each furnace or fire of God, give a warning to those who willfully sin, and give hope to those who are going through the refiners fire. Our next nugget will be on the Furnace of Consuming Fire/Fire of Judgment.
*In this statement we are not stating that confession of sin, faith, and prayer are not valuable. We are not saying that we cannot experience divine health and be protected from the attacks of the devil. What we are saying is that there are times in God's omniscient wisdom and sovereignty that He allows 'bad things' to come into our life even as devoted followers of Jesus Christ. We will give more explanation in the nuggets to follow.
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NASB).
To the world, you may just be somebody...but to somebody,
you may be the world.
Bill Wilson, Metro Ministries