Have you ever passed by farmland that’s on fire?
Not an accidental blazing inferno but an intentional “controlled burn?” Growing up in the south we see these often especially in the spring.
These intentional fires can teach us a lot.
A controlled burn serves a valuable purpose.
As each season ends, dead matter is left above ground that is slow to decompose. A controlled fire will break this dead matter down to release whatever nutrients it contains and put them back into the soil to revitalize it.
This fire also helps the growth process of a seed, breaking its shell so it can begin growing. These fires control weeds, ticks and parasitic worms that might infect grazing cattle.
Can you see the spiritual parallels?
An unintentional scorching fire can leave scars of anger, unhealed wounds of bitterness and an ash heap of fears and insecurties.
But when the blaze is intentionally set, it cleanses, purifies, revitalizes and preps the heart for life’s next season.
For something to be birthed, something has to die. The old must be burned off to supply nourishment and knowledge for the new.
David wrote “For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.”
Silver is “tried” or purified by fire to remove the useless iron leaving a pure element useful to the silversmith. It is trial by fire.
Intentional fires are not permanent fires.
Once the embers flicker out, we see new growth peeking through the ashes and eventually a bumper crop of peace, healing and abundance.
Preparation must precede prosperity.
The ground is burned, tilled and prepped before the seed is sown. The seed must go in for the crop to bloom.
If we plant nothing we get nothing. And, the seed we put into the ground is the fruit coming out. We reap what we sow.
Our first response to difficult times is to run from them, ignore them, fear them or fight them.
We seldom if ever consider walking through them with the understanding that they are temporary and serve a valuable purpose.
What if we didn’t fight the fire or fear the fire?
What if we just let it burn knowing from the ashes the phoenix arises?
Somethings in our lives need to be burned and allowing them to disintegrate in the fire is how our hearts are replenished with strength and hope for life’s next season.
Painful circumstances we believe are accidental are sometimes (but not every time) intentional opportunities to purify and grow us in our faith.
Parasitic friends, failed relationships, job losses and past mistakes you thought meant the end was actually the beginning, creating space for better, healthier and happier.
There are some things that need to be thrown into the intentional fires.
Labels and names slapped on you as a kid, childhood resentments and wounds you’ve carried into adulthood, the past, old beliefs and lies the enemy has convinced you were truth, toss them and watch them burn.
Burn procrastination and excuses, time stealers and energy drainers.
A fire is burning. It is intentional. It is on purpose and it is serving a purpose.
Seeds of faith are breaking free from their shell and you are breaking out of yours.
A new season, a new crop, a new level of faith, healing, growth and abundance – all from an intentional fire.