“I came to send a fire on the earth and how I wish it were already kindled” Luke 12:49
These are the words of Jesus. A fire is to be kindled. A fire that He desires to be kindled. What is this fire that He longs for? As I have thought upon this passage, I keep returning to the same conclusion – Jesus is longing for the day when His followers are aflame with desire for Him. He came to send a fire on earth. That fire is this new life that He gives those who believe in Him. It is a life on fire.
But what does this look like? What is a life on fire? My meditations on this subject kept leading me back to one man – John the Baptist. He illustrates it well.
A life on fire is a focused life
John’s life was a focused life. He wasn’t into fancy clothes and fine cuisine, but was satisfied with camels hair and locusts. He was so focused on one thing that he didn’t need a whole lot of other things. And that one thing was this – I must prepare the way. John could have been a priest, with all the prestige and perks that accompanied such a life. Instead he chose the wilderness and a life of seeking God, being prepared for the work that God had created him for. When the prophet Malachi put down his pen, then began 400 years of silence from heaven. And then….
“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberias Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in thee wilderness.” Luke 3:1-2
These verses are a veritable who’s who of that day. There were many powerful leaders both in the secular world and the religious world. These were men of influence, wealth and power; respected (or at least feared) by those they ruled. But when God was looking for someone to speak through, He spoke through John. John was nobody; some obscure man living in deserted places. But he had set himself apart to seek the face of God and be a vessel prepared for His use. So God was pleased to overlook the well-known and look upon the unknown. This man who had spent his life seeking God was now to speak for God and when he emerged on the scene, his was a life on fire.
To be continued…..