Another In the Fire – P1

Did you know that every person has to follow someone?  There’s no way around it.  No matter how independent we might think we are, we are always going to have to follow someone.  We are never doing this life alone.  So who is going to be your guide?  Is it the Lord, or is it yourself, being driven by your own love of self?

There’s a grace when the heart is under fire
Another way when the walls are closing in
And when I look at the space between
Where I used to be and this reckoning
I know I will never be alone

What trial are you facing right now?  Are you confident in this trial, or are you feeling like your hope has left you?  At times like these, it is often good to look back to a time before this trial, “the space between where I used to be and this reckoning”.  Recognize that the hand of God is always at work in your life.  Remember Deuteronomy 31:6, which says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”  

There was another in the fire
Standing next to me
There was another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
Of how I’ve been set free
There is a cross that bears the burden
Where another died for me
There is another in the fire

One of the continual themes of the Bible from start to finish is God’s presence with His people, especially during times of trial and of hardship they endured for following Him.  Whether it’s God sending someone to stand with 3 men in a furnace (Daniel 3) or Jesus in the boat with the disciples calming the storm (Mark 4), He is always near.  Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  But what about the greatest struggle we will ever face, the struggle with our sin?  The first part of I Peter 2:24 says, “The burden of our sins He Himself carried in His own body to the cross and bore it there”.  He has shown His presence in that struggle by going to the cross on our behalf.  Take a moment to confess specific areas of sin in your life, knowing that Christ has already born the weight of our sin.

All my debt left for dead beneath the waters
I’m no longer a slave to my sin anymore
And should I fall in the space between
What remains of me and this reckoning
Either way I won’t bow to the things of this world
And I know I will never be alone

Knowing that Christ died for the sins of this world, what should our response be?  The second half of 1 Peter 2:24 says “So that we, having died so far as our sins are concerned, may live righteous lives. By His wounds yours have been healed.”  The fruit of freedom from sin is a righteous life.  A life with God on the throne of our lives and not ourselves.  Bowing only to the One worthy of praise, and not being held captive to worship of the things of this world.  Identify some of the things you tend to worship other than God, and take a moment to surrender those things to Him.

There is another in the fire
Standing next to me
There is another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
What power set me free
There is a grave that holds no body
And now that power lives in me
There is another in the fire

What is the significance of the empty grave?  The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the power available to lift you out of your sin, your shame, your depression, your anxiety.  Romans 8:11 says, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”  The Spirit of God dwells in all who call Jesus Lord and Savior.  And it is that same Spirit that we are supposed to walk in in our daily lives.  That is who is supposed to lead us.  Galatians 5:16-18 says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”  You see, we are either led by the Spirit, or led by our own desires.

We don’t get to choose whether or not to follow.  But we do get to choose who the guide will be.

Choose today which guide you trust, and follow.