Putting Out Fires

Surely wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briers and thorns, it sets the forest thickets ablaze, so that it rolls upward in a column of smoke.” Isaiah 9:18

The sky is smoky today. The sun cannot seemingly push through the grayness. (The windows look dirty, too.) It feels oppressive. While there are no fires close by, the smoke from far away has become pervasive even here!

At the heart of the fires, homes are being destroyed and lives lost. Where I am, the loss is not so dire, but it is still discouraging to look outside and know that others are suffering from its effect.

Wickedness is like fire, according to this passage in Isaiah.

Like fire, it does not stay in one place, but burns out of control, affecting so many people. Wickedness blurs our vision and perspective, whether we realize it or not.

In the same way, our culture affects how we think and act on a daily basis. The difference is that while fire, smoke and their destruction are visible, wickedness is not always as obvious. Homes and families are the most affected by wickedness, too, with destructive results.

What can the righteous do?

Our fire-fighting tools are prayer and evangelism. Our fire-fighting power comes from walking in the strength of God’s Spirit on a daily basis. And only God’s love, grace, and forgiveness can put fires out! Let’s all do what we can to combat wickedness in our culture!

Surrender anger, hate and other negative emotions that would take over your thoughts and actions. Choose kindness, forgiveness, and patience instead! Watch out for potential fire starters.

Father God, please help me to do my part in extinguishing the fires of wickedness, first of all in my own life, but also in the lives of others around me. Don’t let my perspective be clouded by all of the smoke around me. Amen.

Become a firefighter. Think about what you say or do today in terms of whether it lights a match or extinguishes a flame. Make it your aim to manifest the Spirit’s fruit in word and in deed.

By Karen Woodard
Used by Permission

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