How do we know whether it’s the fire of God, or the fire of satan, at work in our lives? When we are in battles, it’s important for us to know the source of our troubles in order to war effectively.
We can discern when the fire is of God, or of satan, with many easily recognizable clues. The fire of God comes to lift us higher, not crush us. It purifies us by removing impurities and drawing us closer to His purity. It burns on the inside enabling us to walk in the holiness we have in the Lord. It doesn’t destroy us; it puts us together. It doesn’t hurt; it helps. It doesn’t kill; it brings life, hope, love and peace. The fire of satan is the opposite. Its fire is from outside sources that bring destruction, death, despair and desolation.
God loves us and His mighty works are to bring us closer to Him, and one another. He moves from above to lift us up, not from beneath to bring us down. He doesn’t condemn us, but convicts us so we can walk in the purity of His holiness. We receive His cleansing and walk in His glory, from glory to glory!
Luke 9:54-55 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.”
Our focus is to be on the Lord in all seasons. Problems come to the surface trying to make us focus our attention on the problems, instead of on the promises of God. As we walk by faith our ability to focus on Christ, and our determination to keep that focus, increases.
We consider the problem but keep our focus on God. Not looking at the things which are seen, but looking at the things which are not seen, doesn’t mean we ignore what should be handled. It’s being able to see a condition from an eternal perspective. The more our heart is directed to the things of God, the more our affliction is seen as trivial and temporary. What we focus on often becomes clearer than what surrounds it. When we go to a movie theater and sit too close to the screen, we do not see the whole picture correctly. We step back and then it becomes clear. In order to keep our focus on the Lord, we sometimes need to step back to regain clear insight.
As we magnify the Lord, all else is minimized. We keep our eyes on God; His person, His promises, His purposes and His principles. We exalt the Lord. We magnify His holy name and all that is not of Him is brought low, from glory to glory.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The power of God moves on everyone involved to accomplish His purpose when it’s His timing. God speaks to all who have a part to perform for the whole to be achieved. It’s important to know that whoever He leads us to speak to, or meet with, He has already prepared accordingly. Trusting that God works all things together for the good helps us walk with surety in our steps.
Considering the whole helps us handle our part, we depend upon the Lord working in every part even when we don’t know the specifics. A known expression is we can’t see the forest for the trees. We are stronger together. Counting on what only one tree can accomplish might bring fear, loneliness and doubt. Knowing we are part of the forest brings faith, unity and great expectations. One tree cannot be watered without it touching the other trees. We are planted in the Lord and cannot be transplanted into a place where He is not tending to our purpose.
Many times some things are not happening because God is working on areas that are unknown to us. What God is doing is not always obvious, but we can trust that it’s for the best in everyone’s circumstances. When we move on to something new, we can depend on what He has laid out for us. He has a way of putting things together that is amazing. Let us continue to take each step, holding His hand, from glory to glory!
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Often when we face adversity we quickly assume that God must not be in what we are doing, so we decide that He wants us to do something else. It is difficult to persevere, and easy to get comfortable putting off what we know we should be pursuing. When results do not come fast enough, we try to find other things to do. Questioning God instead of ourselves comes with ease. We presume His timing is not right rather than giving Him more time. Discouragement can lead to a diversion from our walk. The Spirit of God leads us to consider our ways so we get back by seeking the way of the Lord.
God told the exiles, through Haggai, to consider their own ways. They had returned to their homeland to rebuild the temple of the Lord 16 years earlier, but through the discouragement resulting from their enemies’ constant attacks, ceased construction. They occupied themselves with building their own house instead of the house of the Lord. The Hebrew meaning of “consider your ways” is to “get your heart on your ways” or “put your hearts on your road.” Jesus is the way and it’s in seeking Him that we remain strong in pursuing His will for our lives.
The Holy Spirit, with love and grace, helps us keep our focus on the King. He enables us to bounce back from discouragement, depression and despair. He turns our setbacks into comebacks and places us on the right tracks, from glory to glory!
Haggai 1:6 “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!”
When we draw nigh unto God, He draws nigh unto us. Our loving Father is waiting for us to willingly stretch our hand out to Him. As soon as we do, He quickly draws nigh and we come in contact with an increasing measure of His glory.
Because God is eternal, He is outside of our time. In the natural, if we were to watch a parade go by, we would only see it as it comes in front of us. The higher we would go, the more we would see of the parade. God sees the end from the beginning. He touches our past, present and future at the same time. He protects all our family members at the same time. He stretches out His hand against the wrath of our enemies. The moment He touches us, we come in contact with eternity. Heaven touches earth. Glory touches dust. Healing touches sickness. Hope touches despair.
Whenever we draw nigh unto God, we can expect Him to draw nigh unto us. We can rest assured Almighty God longs to be one with us. He loves us and desires to walk with us—hand in hand, in one accord, from glory to glory!
Psalms 138:7-8 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.