Luke 12:49-53 (MSG)
49-53 “I’ve come to start a fire on this earth—how I wish it were blazing right now! I’ve come to change everything, turn everything rightside up—how I long for it to be finished! Do you think I came to smooth things over and make everything nice? Not so. I’ve come to disrupt and confront! From now on, when you find five in a house, it will be—
Three against two, and two against three; Father against son, and son against father; Mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against bride, and bride against mother-in-law.”
Isaiah 55:6-13 (NIV)
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.John 12:26 (NIV)
26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
Set fire to the earth, to create division. So much for love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, eh?
No, not at all. Think of the fire God used to light the bush, but not burn it up, that turned Moses into a leader of a nation. God uses fire to lead the way too.
That fire is a fire of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; it’s being on fire for Christ, being on fire for the life He calls us to live. No wonder He wants the world on fire now. Wouldn’t that be a trip – if we were all on fire and living in the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? That’s the fire He’s talking about, that’s what’s right side up.
The reality is when you have someone in the house that’s on fire for Christ, there will be division. There will be “differences of opinion” that we jump on. There is hypocrisy because even when we follow Christ with a fiery passion, we’re still broken, sinful, and of this world. None can be perfect like Christ because we are who we are – sinners. We aren’t perfect, so we’ll be hypocrites. There’s no way around it.
It’s a battle for the minds and souls of the world. Peace through fire and division? It’s possible when the whole world is in Christ, yearning for, and running to, the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Joshua 1:5-6 (NIV)
5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.