Two Fires

"And when they had kindled a fire....Peter sat down among them." Luke 22:55....."As soon as they were come to land. they saw a fire of coals there." John 21:9....."Peter warmed himself at the enemy's fire, and denied his Lord. The devil always has a convenient fire for saints who are about to slip....Many saints are living in an interim between Satan's fire and the Savior's fire." Vance Havner

Not long before he found himself at the fire of the enemy, Peter had proudly proclaimed that he would die with Jesus. As he stood at the fire of all those in opposition to his Lord, he denied that he even knew Him. How could something like this happen so quickly? How could Peter end up in the place he was sure he would never come to? The answer is, in the same way that you and I so often have as well....and sadly, continue to..

We get comfortable in our walk with Him. So comfortable that what we're doing couldn't be called a walk with Him at all. Over Thanksgiving, a number of my family went for a walk in the neighborhood my niece and her husband and children lived in. The little girls went with us, both full of enthusiasm for the journey. On the way back though, the youngest declared, "I need a break," and sat down on the curb. We all laughed, and her father got her going, but as I write this, I see it as a great illustration for so many of us. We've been walking in His stride, but we're coming more and more to dislike the pace. We decide we need a break. We don't at first think to stop, just slow down a bit, lag behind Him a little. Inevitably though, we sit down on the curb. We need a break. Not a long one of course, just a breather. But the breather turns into a slumber, and it's the slumbering believer that the enemy most loves to attack. It's the one who thinks they're safe on the curb who ends up warming themselves at the enemy's fire. Their spiritual senses have been dulled. They're no longer vigilant as to the ways of the enemy. They can't discern the difference between the devil's fire and His. In the end, on some point, likely many, they, we, end up denying our Lord. When we choose to "sit on the curb," we leave the presence of His Holy fire. As we get further from His fire, we get closer to the enemy's. Before we know it, we're warming ourselves there. And a fire that should have been alien to us, is now familiar. It has a warm glow. We don't want to leave. We've gone from living between two fires to making our home at the wrong one. And it all began at the curb.

Peter didn't remain at that fire. Some days later, as he and the other disciples were fishing, they saw a fire being kindled on the beach. It drew their attention. As they gazed at it, Peter realized it was the Lord Jesus. He dove into the water and swam to Him...and His fire. It was early morning, so likely it was cold. Peter found warmth at His fire. Jesus was preparing a breakfast, so Peter found food at that fire. Peter found anew, His Lord and His life at that fire. The grip of the enemy's fire upon him was broken. He never again left that fire. Will we? Have we? It depends upon how many "curbs" we decide to sit on rather than walk, stride for stride with Him.

Two fires are always being kindled before us. The enemy's and our Lord's. One attracts, one repels. Which one attracts or repels you? If you claim to be following Him, where and at what pace is He leading you? What's tempting you to "take a break," to "sit on the curb?" Seeking your comfort and well being apart from Him is the first step toward's the enemy's fire. How many more will you take? The enemy's fire offers only counterfeit warmth and comfort. In the end, it kills. The fire Christ kindles brings life, vitality, victory. It seeks to draw us to it. We'll either move toward it, or run from it.Both fires consume. One brings death, the other life. At which do you warm yourself today?

Blessings,
Pastor O

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