Day 24: The Fire of God’s Jealous Love

I don’t often color pages, but this one beckoned me to slow and savor long ago and today, as I prepared this day’s offering, I realized how it is the fire of God’s jealous love through the Holy Spirit in us that empowers us to follow Jesus into His holiness and peace beyond all human fathoming.

It reminds me of what my dear friend Bettie once shared in her blog post about the intentional prairie burns in Wisconsin that are designed to make the soil more fertile. You can read her beautiful and encouraging post here: Holy Ground, Holy Fear. When it seems like God’s fire has left nothing standing: look closer and see Jesus – the pure Word of God and His holy peace – arising there. That’s where God’s giving – of His Son’s living sacrifice for us all – has only just begun.

Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated.

Daniel 3:19 ESV

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalm 12:6 KJV

I bless us to look upon the ashes of our life and to see Jesus arising there. I bless us to look and see that it is God who has created the craftsman who blows on the charcoal fire and produces a weapon suitable for its task; and that it is God who has created the destroyer to cause havoc for our good.

I bless us to see how no weapon formed against has ever and will ever succeed against us, because, just as the three men in the fire, we too will refute any accusation raised against us in Satan’s court, as the fourth man – Jesus – rises in the fire with us to vindicate us, as the fire burns away the ropes binding us. I bless us to taste and see that we are not our own, but Temples of the Holy Spirit set apart and holy unto God in Christ Jesus.

I bless us to know and experience in our whole body and soul, and proclaim with great confidence, that the purifying fire of God’s love is for us and not against us. I bless us to bless God for sending His all consuming fire and to declare that fire boldly not as His punishment, but as the glorious heritage of the Lord’s servants, proving our righteousness is from Christ alone. I bless us to rejoice in our afflictions, to know and remember that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. I bless us to know and experience that hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

FIRE

On the fire
You lay
All my dreams
Of striving
They'll see.

You gave
Your all for me
All my earthly
Held in esteem
In Your love burning

To ash consuming
The dross
Your Spirit's burning
It's finished
Declaring
Nothing but the Cross.

My heart ever leading
To stay
When I'd rather go
To go
When I'd rather not
Birthing holiness in me.

Kindling
Freedom
From fear
Moment by moment
In jealous flames

An all consuming
Love flaming in me
Jesus
Pure gold
Revealing.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

Matthew 24:34 Berean Study Bible

He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

Daniel 3:25 ESV

Day 9: New Birth

Our Mickey (meaning gift from God) who we took home a month after burying our cat, Coco (who was run over before his first birthday). Mickey (or Gembie= Dutch for Gingy as we call him sometimes)

In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. “If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,” says your God.

Isaiah 66:9 CEV

I bless us to get up in the truth, to stand upright and unashamed, abiding in our God’s covenant of peace. I bless us to pick up our mats – to lay down any offences we are now (maybe even unknowingly) resting upon and to walk by faith into the LORD’s restoration, compassion and redemption for not just our loved ones, but for us too. 

I bless us to step into the courage and strength of our God, to not be afraid or terrified of the enemy, but to deep down know our God goes with us and will never ever leave or forsake us, or our loved ones. I bless us now to call on our God in truth. I bless us to open our eyes to see according to the Word of God, to call upon His Name and authority for us in sincerity, cleansed of all unrighteousness by His blood.

I bless us to praise God that it’s no longer we who live but Christ in us. I bless us to declare and walk into the truth that God has and will continue to perfect His power in our weakness. I bless us to declare God’s grace to all, as we boast in our weakness to His glory. I bless us with new birth.

I thought the piercing  
Was my God's spurning
The sword of truth
From my lips
The Son of God's interceding
Life to death ceding.

But now, I know
The double-edged sword
Is but our double portion reaping
Christ's weeping, bearing seed
For the sowing, I AM coming home
With shouts of joy 'n sheaves of gold.

Christ's yielding to the Father's
Good and perfect will
Resurrection in death birthing
In a holy overshadowing
The veil from His Bride
The Bridegroom's lifting.

Hidden in Christ
I AM in wonder and awe
To new life awaking
The hidden manna now
A lamp unto my feet
And a light unto my path.

In the fountain of grace glowing
I AM living water ever flowing
In truth and grace
Compassion's kissing
I AM my Beloved's
And my Beloved is mine.

No longer divided
I know my heart's wholly
In Christ's blood united
I AM the broken bread
In thanksgiving to the Father
Lifted and lifting.
The night before Coco got run over God took me to the story of Ruth and Boaz. He asked me to look at the Redeemer’s delight in having Ruth lie at his feet in complete trust and surrender. And amazingly at that moment, Coco came up and stretched out his whole body at my feet. I felt my heart swell with such affection and delight in him doing that and then God said to me: “And Anna, that’s how I feel when you do that for me.” I was like “wow”! I had never looked at it the other way around. But I saw how true it was: as my heart just melted as Coco did that in such sweet surrender and trust of my love for him. Little did I know how timely this gift was, not just for me, but also for our two daughters, who would grieve deeply with us in the days to come.