Have you ever really thought about the definition of fire? It’s energy, it’s hot, it purifies, and it consumes – yet what it consumes is changed from one form to another such as wood to ash and smoke. In the natural, fire is a destructive force for certain! Webster’s definition of fire is 1) The phenomenon of combustion (the act or instance of burning). 2) Burning passion 3) Inspiration 4) Brilliancy, Luminosity.
This sounds a lot like the definition of fire in the spiritual realm. In Matthew 3:11, Jesus is saying that He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Hebrews 12:29 says “God is a consuming fire.” The Greek word for fire is (G4442) ‘pyr’ – meaning ‘to purify’.
1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Our faith is referred to as gold being tried in the fire. The process by which gold is purified is that the gold is heated up so the dross comes to the outside. It’s then cooled and the dross is brushed off. The gold is then put back into the fire to be heated up and purified again – over and over until the gold is pure. (Even we desire pure gold over impure gold!)
What is consumed in us by the Fire of God is changed from one form to another. Although the old man was crucified and died with Christ, there remains a residue of the carnal thought patterns we were born into such as pride, immorality, idolatry, arrogance, perversion, worry, discord, doubt, anger, wrath, etc, etc. We must submit our souls to pass through a furnace of affliction to be purified and refined of all that would hinder us as a new creature in Christ. Isaiah 48:10, “Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”
When we accepted Jesus as Lord over our lives, we in essence, gave Him permission to do His work in us. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds in order to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus in every way. The old thought patterns and structures of how we thought in the past need to be consumed, burned up and purified in order for the transformation from the carnal mind of man to the Mind of Christ – His passion, His illumination, His way of thinking and His inspiration! How is this done? I say; not by our own doings! Man is not capable of delivering himself from old mindsets anymore than he can pull himself up by his own bootstraps. This is done only by the work of the Holy Spirit. We cannot change ourselves by ourselves – it is not possible because the carnal man (old self) is all about self-preservation.
Romans 8:7, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
God purifies our souls through His Wisdom – His Wisdom literally destroys our impurities! The book of Proverbs is so important for us to study and meditate on concerning Wisdom. So, what does the Fire of God and the Wisdom of God have to do with each other? Everything. Without the Wisdom of God to apply to our minds and hearts, we would literally have no lasting benefit from His Fire! The instruction of His Wisdom mixed with our faith brings about our purified minds and hearts (the soul). He doesn’t do a work in us apart from our knowledge of it. He wants us to be fully aware of the work He’s doing in us – even though we don’t fully understand how He goes about accomplishing it at the time.
That’s His Wisdom – His Fire is working in us to burn up all that would hinder our new man from surrendering and abandoning our all to Him. God knows exactly what He is doing! He knows the what, how, when, where and why. He plans out our course very strategically. He will not hurt the preciuos fruit of the vine (our souls)! No, never! However, He will prune back that which doesn’t produce fruit. Read John chapter 15.
When you are being refined in the Fire, things seem to look blackened and sooty – not so much like polished gold; either on the outside or the inside of us! I dare say this is a process that may last a very long time. Do not be discouraged. Do not give up. Know that your Heavenly Father loves you more than you can comprehend. He doesn’t leave you in the fire for long periods of time without refreshing you. He knows perfectly how to purify, purge, consume and change the very essence of who you are designed to be. This process is most important! They are not true sons of God who do not submit to His process of purification. At times, your old self will not like it – but rather think it’s dying! Isn’t that the point? However, He promises that when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned nor the flame kindle upon you – the Jesus in you; your true identity.
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Gal. 2:20
Surrender to God until you are wholly absorbed in Him. He is Love and His Love draws you upon the Potter’s wheel. In love, stay on the wheel and respond to His work in you. There is no other way. You will not be ashamed or disappointed. You will wear the victor’s crown. Remember, we are just passing through this life, this is not our final home. We have an eternal reward in Heaven (Matt. 5:12). It’s all good.