Posts Tagged ‘flame of love’

flame of loveListen, God! Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
    King-God, I need your help.
Every morning
    you’ll hear me at it again.
Every morning
    I lay out the pieces of my life
    on your altar
    and watch for fire to descend. [Psalm 5:1-3, The Message]

Have you ever just prayed and prayed for something in particular? And prayed. And still the heavens are silent. We’re waiting for the fire to descend, the fire of the Holy Spirit to step into the situation, to alter it, to heal it, to divide it, to just manifest! Darn it!

I believe in the fire of heaven. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the God of the Universe, sweet Spirit, in all and through. But the longer I keep my God alive within, the more sure I am that no desire on my part will bring the fire. I don’t have the timetable.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t pray, even fervently, but the prayer has to be without that one eye open – the eye that is looking for results. The more we look for the fire, the less likely we will see anything. Besides, it’s more likely that the miracle, the answer, the fire of God, will come in an unlikely form. In the same way that the Israelites looked for a warrior Messiah and a conqueror; instead, they got a mild-mannered carpenter who carried no obvious weapon, hired no bodyguards, and enlisted no troops. And yet, that Jesus and that ragtag dozen turned the world upside down.

Paul writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” [Philippians 4:12, NIV] And yet, he was also a mighty prayer warrior. He believed he was living out, each and every day, eachHoly spirit dove and every trial, answers to his prayers.

After all, there is still the simplicity of Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” The fire is in every day, every hour, every minute. You don’t have to “see” the fire to trust. Holy Spirit, flame of love.

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In the Amplified, this phrase is written as the “mystic secrets” of the faith. And in other translations, the “mystery of the faith.” In all of them, the key is the revelation that came through the Christ. Faith is required: it is not of this world.

I Timothy 3:9
They [deacons, servants] must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

Because Christianity has become so well “coded” and molded by traditions and habit and assumptions, the wonder of the message is often lost. God-Spirit manifested in the Christ and created a path back to Himself that was not burdensome or difficult, except for one thing: the path must be embraced as truth. The path is a wonder because it is a road filled with paradox. The way is not straight, but help is always within reach. The ground is not without potholes and rocks, but a guide is promised to navigate us through safely.

I think back to that moment in time when I accepted the mystery of Christ as a reality in my life. It is indeed a mystery how I could be faithless one day and full of decision the next, how I could be asleep and then awakened.

During this Lenten season, I am using a devotional called You Set My Spirit Free: a 40-Day Journey in the Company of John of the Cross adapted by David Hazard. I love this book because it makes the mystic writings of John of the Cross more easily accessible to me. He writes,

“This flame of love is sent down to us from the Father of Lights. Isn’t it love that bathes our soul, kindling a sense of awe and wonder at the glory of God? . . . What I have just described, is in fact, the way the Holy Spirit begins His work in the soul. It is love that causes us to rise up from spiritual sleep and open ourselves to God. Love is the call; and love is the transforming power.”

All love is a mystery, even the love between humans or animals. Yes, love can be nurtured and love can be protected, but the first instance of love, the awareness of love, that is mystical. To think any differently is to downplay its power. And for this reason, it is called a deep truth of the faith.

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