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The Hottest Flame

To do the quickest work, God uses the hottest flame. There is no hotter flame, in my opinion, than waiting on God. Nothing purifies us faster than when we have to wait on God. –Bob Sorge, the Fire of Delayed Answers

I did some quick research and found that cooler flames in fires produce more smoke, while the hotter flames burn clean.

When the flame is in my life, I have a hard time telling the difference. A flame is a flame, but this makes a little more sense. I know I can’t escape the fire, but initial flames can be so obscured in smoke and distraction, I can’t see Him or what He’s doing.

I cry out to God because I don’t like the uncertainty and He moves me into a hotter flame, which is never what I had in mind. Still, in the hottest flame, I can see Him working and feel the peace even as the heat seems unbearable.

He designs these beautiful situations so that we can experience Him and grow differently. Waiting on God can feel like the melt-your-skin kind of heat, but at least you know what you’re waiting on instead of being shrouded in smoke.

Behold our shield, O God,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. –Psalm 84:9-11

The Lord God is both a sun and shield. You may feel the heat of His brightness as it purifies, but He is also a shield to the things that want to destroy you.

As we wait on Him, we come to understand that even a day close to Him and in His heat is better than a thousand outside. This is the product of a heart that waits.

If I’ve ever tried to get out of the heat, I find myself in the obscured and confused position again and wander into the tents of wickedness, but I’ve seen too much. I can’t stay away.

I wait because I know He’s good. Doubt makes me want to run. Pride makes me want to forge my own way. Anxiety makes me want to dig a hole in the ground and stay there.

But a moment or a day with Him removes that—cleanses and purifies—until I can’t see me anywhere else.

What are your thoughts? Do you embrace the hottest flame or find yourself recoiling?

fda-sorge3Welcome to week 1 of Chapter 12 for our book club discussion of the Fire of Delayed Answers (disclosure) by Bob Sorge. We are taking a sentence, paragraph, or passage that inspires, encourages, or challenges and writing about it. Since the chapters are longer and subject matter warrants, we’ll also be taking 2 weeks for each chapter. If you have a response on your blog, add it to the widget below. Either way, head over to my friend and co-facilitator, Sarah Salter’s blog for her thoughts. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please dive into the conversation!

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  1. Lately my flame has been burning hot. I’ve been writing songs that I believe are God-inpired and need to be heard. That kind of muse/flame only comes at certain times and I believe it’s divine in nature.

    • Amen. I know what you mean. There are times and seasons where that kind of inspiration everywhere. Those are wonderful times! Thank you, Dan.

  2. Do I embrace the flame? I know I should, but it’s HOT! 🙂

    I find myself reading the Scriptures time and again of how we should find joy as we struggle because God is working on us in the flames. But I still try to avoid them… not because I don’t want God to work on me, but because I am a wimp when it comes to pain.

    I have gotten better at seeking Him through the adverse times. I have learned a lot as a result of the flames. I know they are needed, but I still need to work on the embrace.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Fresh InsightMy Profile

    • I’m with you. I think our first reaction will generally be to recoil from the flame, but when we can understand He’s in it (understanding that He’s not always in it), we can hopefully learn to readjust more quickly. I’m certainly no pro, but I’m learning! Thanks Dusty.

  3. It’s hard to be in the flame, but as you said, it’s the best place to be. It’s “self” that tries to avoid the pain.

    Enjoyed reading, thanks for this perspective on the heat.

    • Absolutely--thanks so much, TC.

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