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Tending the Fire

Sin is like fire if not contained

Cathy Tolbert

Good morning!

John 2:12-17. I will let you read the others for yourself, since they are longer passages: Luke 8:22-25, Luke 8: 26-37. These are some of the Scriptures that show Jesus driving out sin where it shouldn't be, restoring order to the chaos of nature, and of demons being eliminated where they were unwanted, respectively. He brought each instance under HIS control and order, ousting what and who should not be there.

"A place for everything, and everything in its place." Have we heard that quote as children, or maybe even said it ourselves to others? If my keys are outside the brass bowl that I keep them in, there is tremendous stress, chaos, weeping, wailing and gnashing of my teeth until they return to their resting place, or I can get my car started.

What about you or the things that get out of place for you? What does that phrase really mean, and is there a spiritual connection?

When God created in the beginning, He established boundaries­ - what land edges contain the oceans, the length of daylight versus nighttime, when animals hibernate, and for how long, the size and orbits of planets, how much land a herd thinks is theirs to inhabit and defend, etc.

Structured, ordered, definitive---everything had and has those components then and now. An efficient, well-planned part of a good God's work.

I remember when I was young, thinking how I was glad that fire in my parents' house had boundaries, the fireplace that was so enjoyable to come near, and that I could be warmed by it without being burned.

My dad always cautioned me to be mindful of replacing the fire screen in front of the fireplace when I had finished tending the fire, lest a spark or an ember escape outside of its zone and do damage to the house, the rug, the basement or to my family. Truly, I learned respect for the hottest blaze as well as for the tiniest glowing coal.

At any level, fire could be a destroyer as well as a life­ giver. Fire had a place, not an "everywhere".

As an adult, teaching my kids about the carefulness of building and managing a fire, those lessons revisited me.

The epiphany at that moment also caught my attention, so much so, that I stopped suddenly to stare at what it taught me, the word pictures forming a real image in my mind. Sin is a lot like fire--if it is not contained in its "place", it will be everywhere and will destroy so much more than just the one who did wrong, who allowed bad desire to escape its containment, damage things and others around it.

But, we as Christians have a natural burning desire to sin. We know it is wrong to bring it outside of its spiritual walls. Yet, we are as mesmerized about its glow and appeal, that it overwhelms our common and spiritual sense, like a child pulling out a burning stick from the fire to touch the carpet to see what happens. Then, it's too late to reverse it.

How can we contain it?

Only with God's help, of course. Only He knows how to instruct us, and how to rescue us from an over­ sweeping, over-reaching destruction to a life where all that is under much better control and management. HIS management, HIS rules provide the limits and barriers to corral it, to return it, to undo its damage as though it never happened, and to keep us safe from our destructive selves.

Is your "fire" in Good Hands?

#Luke8 #John2 #Fire #Order #Help

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