Tag Archives: tested through fire

M11C What Does Jehovah Fire Do In Our Lives?

Jehovah fire brings down walls

Fort Scott Fire

On March 11, 2005, fire erupted about 2:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon at 13 S Main St., in a building home to The Other Bar. “As firefighters sprayed water onto the front, back and top of the building, the smoke continued to billow out, covering nearly the entire block”[1] Fifteen downtown lots were involved and ten owners constituting fifteen businesses displacing 200 employees.

Twenty-four additional fire departments across the region responded to help. Late in the afternoon, more help arrived with two Kansas National Guard helicopters that dropped water from area lakes. Eight other law enforcement agencies came to offer assistance. Firefighters worked through the night and into the weekend to ensure the fire would not spring back. All the walls that came down in Fort Scott were 140 years old. Tradition, history and money were lost.

Spiritually speaking, the fire of the LORD brings down walls. Hanging onto traditions of men and how things have always been done keeps us bound in the “storming stage” and going nowhere. Anything not grounded on the Word of the LORD Jehovah and His love for us will eventually come down. This is a lesson the whole body of Jesus Christ must take to heart, for until we can love one another and start working together in teamwork to win the lost, our churches are merely fragmented body parts secluded behind closed doors.

One community of believers came together to put on a dramatic evangelistic presentation— the Judgement House[2]—that brought hundreds of people to accept Jesus Christ when they were shown hands-on consequences of their choice. It began with one lady who, in 2007, caught the vision; the flame turned her church of forty people on fire; the fire grew until 160 people in a neighboring town in western Kansas caught the vision to do things differently.

But, only three churches’ leadership agreed to help. It was the body of Christ, the people, representing fifteen churches who got involved because they saw the flame of the fire. Over three nights, youth, from elementary to college age, and adults caught the fire until 700 people walked through the nine dramatic stations; some in the drama were saved.

Of the fifteen churches involved, thirteen pastors missed out—because it had never been done before or was not their idea. More counselors were needed; the lines were long for the few who answered the call.

Jehovah Fire

Jehovah fire brings down facades and reveals the hidden heart

Webster’s dictionary says that a façade is the front of a building, also any face of a building given architectural treatment, a false superficial or artificial effect. The Miller’s Used Furniture interior was exposed to the elements when the façade was blown off by the wind in the Fort Scott, Kansas, fire.

The shaking winds and the fires will come. What will they reveal? John 3:20 says that everyone who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light because his deeds will be exposed. None of us ever think we are doing evil, so to speak, but are we living a superficial life? It is sin—a façade. Are we wearing a mask trying to cover up the “real me?” Do we know the real me? Have we taken the time to know ourselves and who God is? We can ask God to reveal that to us and He will show us how to remove those masks, as a choice right now, before the winds of the Holy Spirit have to force us to make a choice—and everything we are is exposed to the whole world.

Willa Cable’s Jehovah fire

Willa’s story is priceless about what a fire exposed in her life and marriage. She survived an abortion her mother refused to have even though her father pushed her mother down the stairs to try to make it happen. At age thirteen, a Sunday school teacher led her to Jesus with John 3:16 by helping her put her name in it to make it personal—“for God so loved Willa.”

After she married Charles Cable, she found bitterness masking and binding her soul, until she went to a seminar where the words of her Sunday school teacher surfaced, “Your heavenly Father loves you.” Finally, she was able to forgive her earthly father even though he was not there, and her life changed. Throughout the mountains and valleys of their lives, she and Charles reached out to others. They were on one such mountain when one of their lowest valleys descended upon them.

Willa's Jehovah fire story

“Willa, you and Charles’ house burned down!” The phone call came when they were at their daughter’s house.

On the way home, a song came to Willa’s mind and she sang, “This world is not my home. I’m just a passing through.”

Charles told her, “I’m glad you can sing at a time like this. I have one for you. Does this mean I don’t have to wash that picture window anymore?” They laughed.

“If only one person comes to know Jesus because of this, it will be worth it all,” Willa told her family.

A young couple had been going to a Bible study Charles and Willa had been conducting. The young man had been hurt by “Christians.” Throughout this ordeal with the fire and all the people helping the Cables, he witnessed the love of Jesus. Their pastor also told him, “A true

Christian with the love of Jesus in his heart will not knowingly hurt anyone.”

Two months later, the couple accepted the LORD and they were baptized.

Before the fire, the Cables’ daughter and her husband planned to adopt a little Korean girl. Cheri, an ultrasound technician, had charts of conception and birth dates in her office. One day, she called her mother crying, “You will never guess what I just realized. Do you know what day Gentry was conceived?”

“No, when?”

“The day of the fire.”

We have to ask ourselves, “What would come out of our heart if we were to lose all our possessions as Willa and Charles did?” Doubtless, the fire of the Holy Spirit was at work.

Jehovah fire connects Lamb’s hearts

Jehovah fire connects hearts

The fire that brought down Willa’s and Charles’ house connected hearts for eternity. Less than one month after the fire in Fort Scott, on April 2, 2005, Joshua Israel Lamb and Elisha Kalen Lamb were born. These two precious little boys were joined together at the chest, sharing one heart. They lived only hours. Their parents Larry and Melanie faced a tremendous trial as they believed God for a miracle; they set Fort Scott on fire in the spirit while the actual fire was going on. They demonstrated God’s love by giving, in faith, a book Love—the Greatest Thing in the World to over 8,300 people. They stuffed each book with their story and testimony of God’s love. In the funeral bulletin, Melanie wrote:

Death has been swallowed up in victory by the Lamb of God. Our baby lambs came following in His footsteps to bring a message of Love, of Hope and of Faith. God gave them a mission to accomplish and they fulfilled His purposes with honor. For all of the hearts they brought into His arms during their lives and from now on, they are noble, little heroes. Honor them with us in carrying on their love and their lives through the Spirit of Life. Carry with us the message they came carrying, the message of God’s love.

[1] Jason E. Silvers, “Picking up the pieces,” The Fort Scott Tribune, 120th year, No. 63, (March 16, 2005), p. 1.

[2] For more information see www.judgementhouse.org. One script is of victims from a house that burned down. The script used in this Kansas town was of an automobile accident and the choices and resulting consequences of the people involved. Satan and Jesus are not played by local people, but are sent out by Judgement House.

M7A Tested Through the Refiner’s Fire of Jehovah Jireh

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”—Genesis 22:13-14

Tested by Jehovah Jireh

Calling God El Shaddai recognizes that He provides our daily, basic needs and does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, while the name Jehovah-Jireh emphasizes His strength, answers and provision for specific challenges and trials when we are tested. The process of testing is the refiner’s fire that dries the riverbed so we can cross over the Jordan River into our land of promise—His personalized plan for me.

When we follow the Lord, we can be assured we will be tested, just as Abraham was tested.

In the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, we experience God as Jehovah Jireh—our Teacher with His answers. This story gives every principle we need to know in how to get through our trial of faith and pass His test.

DISCIPLES OF JESUS WILL BE TESTED

Before the events in Genesis, Chapter 22, Abraham learned to make right choices as a stranger in the land of the Philistines in Canaan. Through the problems with Hagar and Ishmael, he learned to look to the Lord rather than his wife (see Gen. 16:2). He risked his own life to save his own flesh and blood (see Isa. 58:7) when his nephew, Lot, chose to align himself with the godless people of Sodom.

Abraham first rescued Lot from four kings who took him and all his possessions in a battle. Next, when God tired of the evil, unrepentant people in Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham learned God would heed his intercession for others—Lot and his family. Through all this, he learned the second greatest commandment, to love his neighbors as himself (see Mark 12:31). Still, there came a time for the big test, the final—in the area of his most priced possession—Isaac, for whom he had waited twenty-five years.

After all these things, “God tested Abraham” (Gen. 22:1). He was about to relearn the most important of all commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

The Hebrew word for test is “to prove; this verb carries with it the idea of testing the quality of someone or something through a demonstration of stress. God was testing (refining) the character of Abraham in this instance.”[1]

WE ARE TESTED THROUGH THE REFINER’S FIRE

Tested through refiner's fire

A good teacher will always give tests; the best teachers give them when least expected. He will lay the test before the student, then leave them alone with it,[2] as God did with Abraham: “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about” (Gen. 2:1-2). He was then silent.

The burnt offering was significant, for it meant a “bull, ram, or male bird; wholly consumed; no defect. It was a voluntary act of worship; atonement for unintentional sin in general; expression of devotion, commitment and complete surrender to God (Lev. 1; 6:8-13; 8:18-21; 16:24).”[3] This root Hebrew word signifies the total surrender of a worshipper’s heart and life to God.[4] The teacher gives a test to see what is in the heart and mind. It is not just a silly time waster. It is the only way for the student to know the condition of his own heart.

The burnt offering meant the complete animal was wholly consumed by fire—the refiner’s fire. A group of women were studying Malachi 3:3, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver . . . .” They wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back with the group.[5]

She made an appointment with a silversmith to watch him work. She did not mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched, the silversmith held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat.

“In refining silver,” he explained, “One needs to hold it in the middle of the fire where the flames are the hottest in order to burn away all the impurities.”

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought about the verse, He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.

“Is it true you have to sit in front of the fire the whole time the silver is being refined?” she asked.

“Yes, I not only have to sit here holding the silver, but I have to keep my eyes on it the entire time it is in the fire. If silver is left one moment too long in the flames, it will be destroyed,” he replied.

The lady was silent for a moment, then asked, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”

The silversmith smiled, “Oh, that’s easy, when I see my image in it.”

OUR TEACHER – JEHOVAH JIREH – IS WATCHING WHEN WE ARE TESTED

Abraham was tested

Like the teacher, our Master is there, watching us, not yet revealing Himself, not until He can see His image in us—for He is a consuming fire—a jealous God (see Deut. 4:24).

The Bible discloses that the next morning Abraham got up early, took two servants, gathered wood, and with Isaac set out for Moriah. We can be assured it was not this easy for Abraham. He was up early probably because he could not sleep. He possibly went out a distance from the camp so no one could hear him, and there, he bitterly wept and wailed from within the depths of his very being. It was here Abraham put Isaac on the altar. It was here he let go, through suffering, and gave him back to God. It was here Abraham settled the matter in his heart—making total surrender of his worshipper’s heart and life to God.

He thought about the covenant promises the Almighty had continually confirmed with him: you will be the father of many nations; your offspring will be as numerous as the stars. He thought about the time God came to him nine months before Isaac was born and he laughed at the prospect of his one-hundred-year-old body producing a child with his ninety-year-old wife. He told God, “If only Ishmael might live before Thee!”

But God said,

“No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.”—Genesis 17:19-20 NASB

Abraham consoled himself with these words, considering in his heart that God was able to raise his son from death to fulfill these promises (see Heb. 11:19). He also knew that God is not a man and speaks only truth (see Num. 23:19). He roused himself early and acted promptly.


[1] Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN, 1990) p. 1750.

[2] Point made by Linda Scammell in her testimony, “Will You be Ready for the Test?” on April 13, 2002, at Women with a Passion for Jesus group, Fort Scott, KS.

[3] Henry Hampton Halley, Halley’s Bible Handbook, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000) p. 157.

[4] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1758.

[5] Story received via email, November 3, 2004.