Three Pieces about Fire: Passion

three pieces about fire passion

God is often compared to fire in the Bible. When you read about fire, it usually means one of three things: an indicator of God’s presence, a means of His purification, or a display of His passion.

This is part three of the series, how fire represents God’s passion.

I procrastinated in writing this piece.

They say that the more legalistic, vengeful and judgemental a religion is, the more it equates the fire of God’s passion with His wrath–Hellfire and brimstone, the burning fires of Hades, un-dying worms and un-quenchable flames.

And I didn’t think I was judgemental or legalistic, because I believe in a God who loves and a God who is love, and although I know He is the same God who smote down the enemies of His people and whose avenging angel traveled through the dark streets of Egypt taking the breath from its firstborn, I don’t like to think about this side of God. In the back of my head, in a corner of my heart, I was harboring an image of God that I was afraid to face.

So I faced it. I pulled it out, threw it in the light, and examined what I was afraid I’d see.

What I found was not what I’d feared. I didn’t see an angry, vengeful God. I didn’t see a different God from the one in the New Testament. I didn’t see the god that those who’ve been burned by religion turn their back on, and I didn’t see the god claimed by those who twist the Bible into a weapon and then use it for hateful purposes.

I saw a Daddy.

I saw a Daddy who loves His children so much, He protects them passionately. I see a Daddy who guards His beloved sons and daughters and will do anything to protect them…

…from captors who would keep His people in slavery (Exodus 9:23)

…from the people who were out to physically destroy them (2 Kings 1:10)

…from the places where sin had taken over so completely that truly, not even one righteous person could be found (Genesis 19:23)

I saw a Daddy who jealously guards his little ones and protects them from bullies, kidnappers, and soul-thieves. A God who knows the heart of a person beyond the shadow of a doubt and has the authority to act accordingly. And I saw God who gave even the enemies of His children more than one chance to repent and stop harming those who were under His protection.

I saw God-made-flesh rebuking his followers when (out of the weakness of their human hearts) they asked him if they should call down fire to destroy the people who refused to welcome them (Luke 9:54-55).

The passion of the Lord is just, and it is trustworthy {Tweet this}.

He is sovereign.

He is righteous.

His wrath is fearsome.

His loving protection is beyond description.

The passion of the Lord will go to all lengths to save His people. It will go all the way to the cross {Tweet this}. Passion, after all, comes from the Latin word meaning “suffering.”

And when that same passion burns in each of us, it sets wildfire ablaze in a darkened world. Becuase the passion of God inside us should lead to compassion, whose Latin roots mean to “suffer with.”

The passion of the Father toward His children should lead us to compassionate action for those suffering in poverty, obscurity, and abuse. The passion in our hearts should lead us to compassionate refusal to turn a blind eye towards the suffering of refugees, the outrage of human trafficking, the wounds of racism, the dishonoring of God’s daughters throughout the world, and the abuse of His name.

Passionate compassion is what should drive us to go out and burn down walls, strongholds, injustice, and indifference as we become His hands and feet, protecting those who need it most.

Lord, let us burn with Your passion. Erase from our hearts any false views of who You are and replace them with truth. Let your passion become compassion in Your church throughout the world, moving us to action by the example you set in protecting your precious children from harm, neglect, and misdirection. 





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