I Don’t Want You to Read This Blog Post (a lesson in backfire)

fire-8837_640The world is ablaze with righteous indignation. Arrows fly and I’ve grown weary of dodging them. Haven’t you?

Weary of headlines. Weary of blog posts, Facebook updates, tweets, and op eds. Weary of debates in the lunchroom and at the dinner table, over coffee after church. We volley the blame ball from one hand to another like artful dodgers who occasionally get in a good spike on the other side.

The enemy knows if we blame blaze one another, he can continue waging war in the shadows. And we play his game, don’t we? Blame the whites, the blacks, the cops, the gunmen, the system, the politicos, the church, the world. Volley and return as if it’s a game but it’s not, is it? We’re at grave risk of losing heart.

We pound on one another’s chests demanding salvation as if we believed that one of us could produce it from his or her back pocket. Come on, Mr. President, Mr. Billionaire, Ms. Lawyer, Doctor, Pastor, Teacher, King, Little Child, Ms. Journalist, Mr. Activist, Psychiatrist, Mother, Father, Actress, Queen, Scientist extraordinaire – show us the way, free us, stop withholding our salvation.

You and I, loved ones, know the folly of this effort because the kingdom of God has already come and salvation is with us. We don’t need to join the shouting, the archers on the wall, the demanding mob, because we serve the God of the still, small voice. We take our instructions from the One who slipped into this world unafraid as a helpless babe and never needed to take a poll to reassure Himself of His own power. He doesn’t derive existence from our belief like Tinkerbell. He loves us of His own choosing. We don’t need an army on our side if we are on His.

Our hearts pay the price of living in the path of flying arrows. As we lose heart, it appeals more and more to join the archers on the wall but God is our man-1153576_640shield and defender and so it is to Him we look for direction, for marching orders. Not to our verbose neighbors on Facebook, not to the bloggers, not to the candidates, not to the spinners on talk radio, not to the angry gun-waving crowd.

And what is His counsel, as true in these days as in the days of David and Saul? “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.” Psalm 37:8-9

The word for fret is charah, meaning to be hot, furious, burn, become angry, be kindled – to burn, kindle (anger), to be angry with, be incensed, to burn, kindle, to heat oneself in vexation. And us, we act like tinder, do we not? And this is what fuels the flying fire. 

These aren’t some isolated commands without repetition in His Word. We find them, again, in the book of wisdom for they are wise: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him. Fret not yourself because of evildoers, and be not envious of the wicked, for the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out. My son, fear the Lord and the king, and do not join with those who do otherwise, for disaster will arise suddenly from them, and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?” Proverbs 24:17-22

firefighters-115800_640 (1)So, when your soul cries out that there is trouble in the world, what do I say, what should I do? be wise where you turn for that answer. Don’t bury your head or cover your eyes and ears but be wary of those who would kindle you or cause you to heat yourself in vexation. Instead, fight fire with backfire. Turn to our God who is a consuming fire and let Him burn off everything in you that would provide fuel for the enemy’s flame. Instead, let God guard your heart in these times when Satan would declare it a loss. 

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

For we are not of those who shoot flaming arrows or let ourselves become tinder for Satan’s soul-destroying blaze.you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,  and tofire-1492098_640 the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” Hebrews 12:22-24

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29

I don’t want you to read this blog. I want you to hit the floor and press into God. The world is on fire, loved ones, and it’s too easy to be caught in the blaze. It’s time we set a backfire. Seek God for your assignment on the line, then, get there and strike the match.

Planning a retreat for the fall? Let me help with plans for an Equipped to Slay Giants one-day or weekend retreat. 

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    The Conversation

  1. Sandra Lovelace says:

    Thank you for the direction. I’m on the floor as I type.

    Gonna stay here with I’m safe in my Savior’s arms.

  2. Melanie Gibson says:

    Thanks, Lori. I have been getting weary exactly as you describe.

  3. melody wilson says:

    Amen and amen Lori. I quit watching – paying attention to media. I know it is the equivalent of eating vomit. Over and over and over. All day every day. I so love how you write and pray many will hear the wisdom in this message.

  4. Roxanne says:

    Another great post, Lori. Thanks for the nudge toward righteousness.

  5. I love the idea of “fight the fire with backfire!” God can fire back at the fear and worry and quench Satan’s whispers tempting us place blame and go on the attack. Great post, as usual!