It Must Go Through the Fire

Mar 27, 2024 | Writer's Blog | 0 comments

“O Lord, we have passed through your fire; like precious metal made pure, you’ve proved us, perfected us, and made us holy.” Psalms 66:10 TPT

I am a big fan of those wood-fired pizza places that let you build your own pie. I love getting unlimited toppings as I seek to recreate Peter’s vision in Acts 10 where he sees all the animals of the world and is commanded to eat. I’d also like a bit of raw veggies on top after it finishes cooking, but that’s not an option. Health regulations require everything to go through the fire so that no contamination remains.

That’s the way things work in the Kingdom of Heaven. Tainted desires lead to tainted outcomes, and so what God gives us in His grace is a blessing without pain. But what we seize in our flesh destroys us. We see this in the alcoholic and the compulsive gambler, but it’s just as present in the man who dreams that the next promotion will give him the significance he craves, the woman who imagines that her next date will be able to fulfill everything missing in her life, or the pizza aficionado who imagines that just a few more spicy toppings will bring culinary satisfaction instead of heartburn.

But no, those are all lies. Psychologists call it the “hedonic treadmill”. The Bible calls it idolatry and offers a solution: give it up. In doing so, we agree with the Psalmist that God has given us more than we need, that our cup of bounty overflows. This is part of why we tithe, not because God needs our money, but because we need to release it. This is why at Lenten season, I review my life and look for the places I’ve become dependent on the things of the world and then commit to forgo those for a time. Just as the oven cooks food and the refiner’s fire purifies metal, so also the act of offering up our excess turns what could be a worldy addiction into something that brings joy and blessing as it passes through the cleansing fire.

Of course, God has other options for his more stubborn children. He can withhold from us what we desire more than Him. Or He can relent and say, “Fine, your will be done,” until our desires enslave us and we call out for deliverance. Either way, only after we humble ourselves and seek first the Kingdom of God, is it then fitting for Him to add all the other things we call out for.

So, what in your life do you mistakenly believe will bring you joy, safety, meaning, or blessing? What must go through the fire, that it may be cleansed of any unhealthy dependence?

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You give me everything I need and nothing I don’t. Your kingdom come,Your will be done, in my life.

~ Cameron Miller, writer
~ Deana Harvey, painter

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