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Day 5 Dancing in the Fire: Blazing or Smoldering?

“They led Jesus away to the high priest…Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers and warming himself at the fire…And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, ‘This man was with Him too.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know Him.’…”

“…the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ And Jesus said, ‘I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.’” Mark 14:54; Luke 22:55-56;

Mark 14:61-62 (QUOTING PSALM 110:1 and DANIEL 7:13 NASB)

Peter, perhaps shivering from the cold, but also shivering from the nervousness or uncertainty of what is about to happen, stopped to sit by a small campfire while Jesus was questioned relentlessly by the religious leaders who sought to kill Him. Was the disciple lingering to find out what would happen to Jesus, or was he more concerned with what might happen to him for his association with a “criminal”?

The picture of this courtyard fire, with Jesus barely visible in its flickering flame, reminds me of Moses staring into the blazing bush on a high mountain centuries earlier. These chosen servants, one to become a deliverer of a nation, one destined to be the spark of a new church, were both equally astonished by the presence of their Lord in their particular situations. Each had a life-changing decision to make, and each heard the profound proclamation of their Lord that still echoes down through the ages, standing as true today as it did at the dawn of creation: “I AM!”

Moses, as we saw yesterday, chose to accept his calling immediately, while Peter, stubborn, scared, frozen in the flame of God’s burning desire, choked on his own words, and denied even knowing the Man who had so radically changed his life. The bitterness of his tears just a few minutes later, sparked by a distant crow of a rooster, serve as the foundation of Christ’s forgiveness from the cross, for in that moment Peter was as guilty of betrayal as Judas and as the soldiers who would gamble for Jesus’ garments.

Which fire are you gazing into today? Are you kneeling in shoeless worship before the blazing fire of God’s holy love, praising Him for the wonders of His greatness, and praying for His direction? Or are you sitting, stunned by a small fire of twigs, clutching your arms around yourself rather than allowing God to wrap His arms of love around you in comfort and joy?

It takes the Fire of God’s love, the Great and Eternal I AM, to transform you from a mere shepherd or fisherman (or bookkeeper, doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.) into a mighty man or woman of God, a powerful instrument of His Holy Spirit. When we are filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit, and walking in the divine destiny He meant for us, then people will gaze and stare at us just as intently as they do a blazing fire,

unable to take their eyes off of us, seeking our counsel, desiring our company, yearning for our prayerful attention and affection. Consequently, the comfort we provide will be of continuous warmth and peace, not a small, smoldering touch, leaving someone wondering if there is more to come. With the Holy Spirit there is always more: more love, more power, more comfort, more joy, and more fire! And as Peter finally discovered, there is indeed more forgiveness, no matter our past hurts, disappointments or mistakes. To dance in the Fire is to enjoy even more of the festival of God’s eternal flame, signifying His glorious presence!

Let’s dance!

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