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A Consuming Fire

It’s been really dry this year. Burn ban’s are in effect. But the ban still allows farmers to burn crop residue off of harvested fields. Like I discussed in the last email, there just hasn’t been any measurable rain during the last three months of harvest. Here in Arkansas County, it seems like there has been fires in every direction, every day for the last month.

It has always amazed me at the speed a field can catch fire and move across the ground. A 50 acre corn field will burn slick in only a few minutes with just a slight breeze pushing it along. I watched last week as a couple of the fields around us were being lit by my neighbors. There was about a 10mph wind, so once the torch found the stubble, it didn’t take long for the blaze to take off with what seemed like a fury. I just sat and watched, kind of in a daze at how the fire consumed everything in its path.

It reminded me of a verse of scripture I heard the very first time I attended church after Jesus saved me. Hebrews 12:29, “for our God is a consuming fire.” That verse stuck with me that day, but I really didn’t grasp the Truth in it until just recently.

When a farmer sets a field to burn, he usually starts on the downwind end of the field. He starts by “back burning” a barrier around the field to give the rushing fire a buffer when it reaches the edge. This “back burning” fire is burning just as hot, but it just can’t seem to gain any ground. The fuel is there, but wind keeps it at bay. I see this in a lot of guys I meet. I even see it in myself from time to time. All we need to burn with the fire of God is right there, but we’re held back. Kept at bay by something we may not even be able to see, just like the wind that holds the “back burn” in check.

I can tell you with certainty. Our God is definitely a consuming fire. When you truly surrender to what His purposes are in your life, He will consume you. He will consume every thought, every relationship, every action, and every reaction. We just have to decide which end of the field we want to be on and how much fuel we’re willing to give Him.

29) He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!

Hebrews 12:29 (Message)

Heath Whitmore