The Brightness We Carry

We are in a heat wave. It’s in the 90’s and will stay there for a few more days. When you add in good old Iowa humidity, it turns the county into a sauna. I heard the heat index could go up to 113°! (Yeah, I’m not going anywhere today.)

I had my houseplants clustered in front of my big window. The last heat wave sunburned some of the leaves. I moved them back to the corner. I turn them each day to let the light reach all sides.

Early in the morning, I open the sheer curtains. I want the plants to get unfiltered light. (My plants survive even in a dark corner.) Then I wait for the sun.

When the bright, sunlight reaches the windowsill, I close the sheer curtains, blinds, and drapes. I want to reflect the heat back outside. After lunch, the tree blocks the sun’s rays and I open them again.

I remember when my granddaughter was small she loved playing peek-a-boo behind the sheer curtains. She did not like it when I closed the drapes. Once, I agreed to open them – on a hot morning. Fifteen minutes later, it was 80° in my front room! The air conditioner could not keep up. Then she understood.

My window is almost floor to ceiling and covers over half of the wall. It lets in a lot of light – bright light – and heat! It’s the heat I want to avoid.

Light can play tricks on your eyes. I was in the bathroom and noticed a skeleton-key-shaped keyhole in the tree. By the time I got a picture of it only part of it remained. Pulling the sheers aside, I could clearly see it was just sunlight on the bark.

God is light, (John 1:5). Viewing Him through our filter, or curtain, we see things that may not be there. We need to push aside our preconceived notions and church clichés to really see. The only filter we need is the Bible.

God is also a consuming fire, (Hebrews 12:29; Deuteronomy 4:24). That’s why we describe new Christians as “on fire.” I want to stay “on fire.”

God doesn’t just dump fire on us. We have to seek it – look for it. Just like I keep checking the windowsill to see if the sun has touched it yet.


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On the last night of Faith Conference 2018, Marion Dalton spoke about being “on fire.” He told of heating a sword in the coals until it glows. Then the sword takes on the properties of the fire. If you drop a paper on it, the paper will catch fire.

“The fire of the Holy spirit burns away stuff we don’t need. …Wildfire is better than no fire. …Wildfire is moved by the wind – out of control. …When God’s anointing is transferred – it transforms. …Matthew 3:11, ‘…He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’ …Being around the fire is different from being in the fire. …Is our church growing [in the fire] or collecting [around the fire]?” Marion Dalton, Faith Conference 2018, June 13

The fire is burning in me. I don’t know if you can see it. Like the big window, I want to let in light and heat. Not like the sheer curtain – making you see things that aren’t there.

2 Corinthians 4:7, “If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us…” The Message

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“Faith is to be experienced in the midst of ordinary down-to-earth living.” Elisabeth Elliot

I read my Bible and pray every day. I don’t always feel God’s fire. There is another avenue – praise and worship. God inhabits the praises of His people, (Psalms 22:3). Listen to a “Passion,” Hillsong, Bethel, or Worship Central video on Sing along and open your heart to God. This song always gets my fire burning!

Remember – God’s fire is for His children. Are you right with God? If you are unsure – click on the “Save me, Jesus, Prayer.”

2 Corinthians 5:20, 21, “…Become friends with God; He’s already a friend with you. (21) How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on Him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” The Message

If you are saved and just not feeling it, you don’t have to start over. Ask God to forgive you for anything that sidetracked you.

Christianity is a river. We step in the first time by believing in Jesus Christ. If we find ourselves beached, we brush ourselves off and dive back in.

Sometimes, we are beached by good things. It’s a good idea – a great idea! But it takes you off the path God set for you. You find yourself stuck, bogged down, burned out. You are on the wrong path. Get back in the river!

“And not every good idea is a God idea.”  “When Following God Doesn’t Make sense” Stephanie Shott of posted

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