Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Fire of His Love

We have come through the High Holy Days--Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur and now we are in the midst of the Feast of Tabernacles, the "Season of our Joy". I'm convinced that it was during this Feast of Succot that Yeshua took up His "temporary tent", His earthly tabernacle and was born into this world that He might tabernacle with us. The angels announced to the shepherds "Tidings of Great Joy" during a Feast where the Jews were commanded to rejoice! There are many other reasons why the Scriptures point to this Feast as the time of Yeshua's birth, but what I want to focus on today is what it means to us that He came to "tabernacle" with us. (By the way, I'm getting that from  John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth." {Young's Literal Translation}).

Before I knew Yeshua I was so empty. I was like an abandoned dwelling, a broken down shack, with the windows boarded up and no light streaming in. When He came into my heart after I invited Him in, it was like someone had come in and swept my dwelling clean, shone light into it and opened all the windows to a fresh, fragrant breeze.

What I discovered was that Yeshua wanted to take over my tabernacle, my house, my temporary tent, my body, and fill it with the essence of who He is--His Spirit--that I might become a Tabernacle of His Presence. He wants it to be that everywhere I go, people will see His light and feel the refreshing wind of His Spirit blow into their lives.

But how does this happen? Certainly by faith in the finished work of Messiah. But it's also a process. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 10:14 "because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy."  So we are already seen as perfect forever, even as we are being made holy!. It is during the time of Teshuvah, the 40 days between the first of Elul and Yom Kippur, and especially between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, the Ten Days of Awe as they are called, that the Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Spirit, shines His light and brings His fire to bear on the things in our lives that are obstacles to our being one, at peace and in unity with God.  He is always at work in us, but it's during this time of year that this process seems to be intensified. I have seen believers who have no idea what time of year it is, during these days, exclaim, "I have been under so much conviction lately!" You see, God deals with His Body according to His appointed times, even when His body is oblivious to those times.
Well, this last season was especially "hot" for me, as I sought to draw near to God. So, being the loving and merciful God He is, He gave me a prophetic poem to encourage me to stay close in spite of the heat. He knew I needed that kind of encouragement because I was feeling the fire, and it was hot! The fire I experienced from His gaze, His jealous passion and determination to see those things that stood between Him and me consumed by the fiery love in His heart was enough to make me want to run and hide! It felt to my soul the way it feels to my skin when I stand too close to a big bonfire! But what follows is what He told me in the poem...and I want to share it with you to encourage you to draw close to His heart, even when it's very apparent our God is a Consuming Fire; because that Consuming Fire is His Love.

There is a fire that burns within My heart

That few will draw close to, for when they start

To let their hearts draw closer to My own,

They find that what is hidden becomes known,

Not only to Me, but now to their soul;

Those hidden things that show they are not whole.

And so they hide in shame and run from Me,

Not knowing staying close would make them free

Of those things that in My fire are exposed;

For only in my Fire are they deposed.

For if a person stays close and decides

That they will remain where My Fire abides,

Allowing it to refine what is dross,

And being willing to count all as loss

Compared to the profit of knowing Me,

They’ll find that what they’d always hoped would be

Becomes what’s real, and they walk in the Light,

Now unafraid that what’s in them’s not right.

For they’ll have given up that which was broken,

And traded it for what My Mouth has spoken:

That apart from Me they can do no good;

That only with Me they’ll do what they should.

For they have traded their own hearts for Mine,

And so partake in the Nature Divine,

Til it’s no longer them living, but Me.

It is THIS Fire that sets the captive free.

Not trying to take a scalpel to the cancer.

Cutting away a part is not the answer;

But killing the old man til there’s no trace

Of anything that’s not empowered by grace.

For grace is that by which the new one stands,

And only by that grace heeds My commands.

It is My grace poured out from heaven’s stores

That frees a man from guilt, regret, remorse,

And lets him see he’s nothing on his own,

And that by grace He stands, and grace alone.

It is my fire that does this work in man.

Nothing else will perfect him; nothing can.
So may we all be given the courage to draw close to the fire.
Til next time,