Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Fire of Love

Once again, as if it ever stops, something's going on deep inside of me (that's a song quotation, by the way). I've written about this before, but here I go again.

One of the most bizarre ways that God called to me many years ago was to tell me very clearly one day "I have called you to be an outspoken person." This was at a time when I struggled horribly to say anything to anyone. If I wanted to talk with someone about something personal, I tended to sit there and cry for an hour, first. Words just didn't flow. I didn't know what to do around people when it came to anything but superficiality, and I didn't even do very well with that. And then God spoke to me very clearly and said He called me to be an outspoken person.

God's work is never ending (praised be He) and it is very mysterious. These days I am in a completely different place than I was when I first received that call. Right now, today, I can feel my heart burning within me with a kind of a fearlessness I have never known before. This too is God's gift, and this too comes by way of a crucible. But now, I don't fear it. I want it. I want this crucible badly, and not only for me. This crucible is my place of prayer. I want the fire of God to burn all sin, all dross, beginning with mine and spreading to everyone, beginning with those closest to me. His fire is judgment, but His fire is mercy, because it is love. When we love God, the experience of His love comes to us as a blessed relief. When and in what ways we do not love God, the experience of His love is a painful, consuming fire.

I don't care if it hurts. I don't care if God's ways are hard. This is evidence of His mercy, and we should rejoice and be glad in it.

For me, being outspoken is about living with courageous faith, not about spouting off my mouth with my opinions everywhere. Being outspoken means speaking how and when and where God would have me, with no excuses, no fawning, no pretending, no pandering.

I want one thing. I want the fire to blaze. Come, Holy Spirit.

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