Monday, April 14, 2008

Calling Down Fire...or Not So Much?

A lot of Christians seem to be ready to "call down fire" when it comes to the morality of their neighbors, friends, relatives...and even this country. However, from what perspective are they coming from...their own or God's?

Something, that has resonated with me now for a few years is a message I heard from Pastor Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life, at a men's conference.

"It's time for Christians to be known for what they are for, not for what they are against," Warren said.

This is my prayer today...rather than rail against something out of our own will, let's support someone or something truly in need. Let someone say, "Those Christians are about love!"

This from Henry Blackaby's Day by Day:

And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did? - Luke 9:54

James and John were called the “Sons of Thunder.” When they discovered a Samaritan village that would not receive Jesus, they were fully prepared to call down fire to consume the entire community! Perhaps they felt that through such a show of power, their gospel message might be enhanced. The two brothers were willing to sacrifice the lives of the villagers in order to further the cause of the gospel. Jesus rebuked them.

Later, the apostles heard that Samaria had responded to the gospel (Acts 8:14). Who was commissioned to go and help them receive the Holy Spirit but Peter and John! God’s purpose had not been to destroy those people but to save them. God chose not to rain down fire on the village, but to shower it with His Holy Spirit. What must have gone through John’s mind as he saw those same people, whom he had been ready to destroy, now rejoicing in their salvation? How grateful he must have been that Jesus had prevented him from carrying out his plans!

What an enormous contrast between man’s thinking and God’s! Man’s thinking would have resulted in the destruction of an entire village. God’s plan brought salvation to it. People will benefit far more from what God wants to give them than from your best plans. Have you been shortchanging the people around you by merely giving them your plans instead of God’s?


Gold Medallion Award winner "Experiencing God Day-By-Day" is based on Henry Blackaby’s multi-million selling Experiencing God book and Bible study. Find insight and grace in this 365-day devotional focused on the divine presence in each life. This book will help you see what God has instore for you while sustaining the essential habit of turning to God on a daily basis.

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