The Bible Its Symbols – Fire
We have seen that the Bible is a light unto our feet and a light unto our path. It gives light for where you are right now and for the path ahead. We have seen the Bible is a mirror that shows you who you really are, and it is a laver which lets you not only see but has water to clean yourself. And we have seen that the Bible is Spiritual food. God’s word along with His Spirit who teaches His Word is the means by which we grow as Christians.
God loves to illustrate the many ways that His Word affects us. We have seen 4 illustrations He uses so far. Light to see, a mirror, a laver, food, and today fire. We are not talking fire as in the destructive kind. We are not talking fire as in the kind you can see. Not the kind that destroys. One of the definitions for fire in the Webster 1828 dictionary is that which inflames or irritates the passions. Our passions can be set aflame and yes it can work on good passions or bad. It is for the good that God wants our hearts set afire.
We even sing a song about this. Set my soul a fire Lord for thy Holy word, burn it deep within me, let your voice be heard.
Give to me a passion as I seek to win; Help me not to falter, never let me fail, fill me with Thy Spirit, let Thy will prevail.
Set my soul afire lord, set my soul afire. Make my life a witness of thy saving power.
Great song. And we should want to have some passion about God’s word and His work. We should have some of that kind of good fire burning in our hearts. Jeremiah was called to preach God’s word in a very difficult time. A time when the overwhelming majority was not going to listen.
And it was hard. All the rejection. All of the glaring eyes. Jeremiah is proof of a lot of things, and one of them is God does indeed ask men to stand up for Him even when no one else around you will. And Jeremiah was faithful in that, but after a long time of that, Jeremiah did get down.
Jer_20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
Jeremiah said I will no longer speak for God. And Jeremiah tried to stop, but he could not.
God’s word was in his heart as a burning fire shut up in his bones. God’s word produced a passion. Specfically in Jeremiah’s case to preach the word. He says he was weary with forbearing. He was weary of all the rejection and lack of visible results. But God’s word was in his heart and it created a burning passion to get out.
He says I could not stay. He could not stop. The passion, the fire, moved him forward. God’s desire to have His mercy, forgiveness, and love declared along with the judgment compelled Jeremiah to keep going. God’s word has stirred a fire of passion in the hearts of men for Thousands of years. And yes the passion to preach has been given to many. But God calls people into different things.
People are individuals and God’s word can stir different people to different passions of service. I think of the Alexandre’s in Haiti. They were living and ministering in Port-au-Prince when the monster earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. They witnessed the bodies of precious children lying dead around the city and others roaming the streets without parents. It is estimated that more than 50,000 children became orphans as a result of the earthquake.
Everyone’s lives were dramatically changed that day and God placed it on the Alexandre’s hearts to begin an orphanage for the many children that were so tragically separated from their parents. A couple weeks after a huge earthquake, Jacques and Marie traveled to the Dominican Republic to care for Marie’s wounded foot. Upon their arrival back in Haiti they made the decision to give themselves to the orphanage ministry. They left their home, and established their new residence on the vacant lot. They erected tents and cardboard living quarters for themselves and the surviving children that God would send to them.
Over and over again thru the ages, God’s word has been creating wonderful passions in the hearts of men. To some He gives the fire of preaching, others the fire to help others.