Strike Those Matches!
Years ago, a friend had a vision where she saw me dressed in red, walking down a narrow hallway carrying a container of matches. Right off the top of my head, I figured it meant one of two things. Either I was some boldly clad pyromaniac up to no good, or I represented the Church, holding the promises of God in Christ Jesus in our hearts, watering them with our tearful prayers until God sets them ablaze. [i] I went with the Church interpretation.
It excited me then. It excites me still. When I think matches, I think potential—for good and for evil. One lone match, when lit, can destroy thousands of acres. Or it can light a fireplace and warm a household. [ii] Fire produces results. The fire of God’s holiness and majesty commands respect. Judgment fire vindicates His righteousness, reveals our true character, rewards or condemns. The vehement flame of God’s love compels. Holy Spirit tongues of fire empower. The Refiner’s fire purifies. Revival fire spreads, well, like wildfire. [iii] Fire! Fire! Fire! It’s what followers of Christ are waiting for. It’s what we need. It’s what we’re asking for in this hour when darkness is increasing at such alarming rates.
While the wicked stumble in the dark, the Church needs the fire of God’s Word to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. [iv] Others may choose to walk in the light of their own fires and in the sparks they have kindled, but we need to trust in the name of the LORD and stay upon our God. [v]
While the world revels in its own fiery passions—bowing down to golden calves of their own making, sitting down to eat and drink, rising up to play—the Church must climb God’s holy mountain, and like Moses, pitch our tents in the cloud of His fiery presence. For it’s there that He teaches us His ways and gives us His holy commands [vi]
Moses’s face shone when he came down from the mount. Stephen’s face lit up “as by the radiance of a divine brightness” when he disputed with leaders in the synagogue. The Church needs that same brilliance. [vii] We need Holy Spirit baptism to set our lamps ablaze so we radiate God’s light like a city set on a hill that cannot be hid, and like a lampstand that gives light to all that are in the house. [viii]
During fiery trials, we need to share in the sufferings of Christ and not be like Peter, who out of fear, followed at a distance when Jesus was arrested, and warmed himself at the fires of his Savior’s persecutors while He was being illegally and wrongfully tried. [ix]
God is a consuming fire and His Word, the match. Is not My word like a fire? When He strikes that final match, we don’t want to be the tinder and our works be a spark in the presence of The Word of God whose eyes are as a flame of fire. [x] We want to be blazing lamps that light up the place.
Lord, strike those matches!
[i] Romans 4:19–21 [ii] Boy Playing with Matches Started Huge California Fire – The Guardian, October 31, 2007 [iii] Exodus 3:2–6; Exodus 24:17; 1 Timothy 6:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 3:13; What Is the Stated Purpose for God’s Judgment upon the Human Race? - Don Stewart, blueletterbible.org.; Song 8:6; 2 Corinthians 5:14–15; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1–4; Malachi 3:2–5; 1 Peter 4:12–13 [iv] Proverbs 4:19; John 11:10; Psalm 119:105 [v] Isaiah 50:10–11; Job 5:7 [vi] Exodus 32:1–6; Romans 1; Exodus 24:16–18; Exodus 33:7–34:8 [vii] Exodus 34:29–35; Acts 6:15 - Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers [viii] Matthew 3:11; Matthew 5:14–16 [ix] Mark 14:54 [x] Jeremiah 23:29; Zephaniah 1:14–15; Revelation 19:11–16