Fire; how many in here have gone through the fire?  Some of the fire was of Satan but some of it was of God.  You see; the Word tells us that God is a consuming Fire, the purpose of the fire is to purify us of that which is not of HIM!  (Hebrews 12:29). This verse also means His judgment.   Malachi 3:2 talks about the refiner’s fire.  God’s fire is what molds us and makes us into the people He wants us to be. The fire gives us character! 

Isaiah 64:8: “But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.”

Jeremiah 18:1-10: “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.”  Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred at the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.  Then the Word of the LORD came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the LORD.  “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!  The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.  And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight, so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.”

Just because God prophecies something to us does not mean it will automatically come to pass. We must obey HIS voice so that HE does not relent of the good.  God does not change HIS mind but we can stay HIS hand.

Back to the fire building character in us.  When the potter is working with the clay and finally has the clay made into the character, he wants it to be he places the clay into a kiln which to my understanding is extremely hot!! The fire causes the clay to become hardened and less likely to get mars.  Now, the finished product can be broken but it will take more abuse than when it was just clay.  The fire of both God and the enemy helps to build character in us.

John 15:1-5

We must have tribulations for us to move from stagnation into perseverance, character and hope.  If we are to become Christ-like we must walk the way He did which including the tribulation, tests and victories.  He said that He came as an example for us to live by.

Character of Jesus includes weeping as in when He wept because of lack of faith when Lazarus died.  As in when He wept so bitterly that His tears were that of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane.   Also includes anger as in when He knocked over the tables in the temple with the money changers.  Also includes compassion as when He had compassion on the sick and lame and healed them.  Also includes faithfulness as in He is faithful to forgive us our sins and wipe out all our transgressions.  He was also faithful to complete the assignment He was sent to do when He came here to earth.  His character also includes love; not only is HE love but He shows love.  These are some examples of character that HE wants to bring about in our lives. 

When the fire comes; what is your first reaction?  How do others perceive you when you are going through the fire?  Do they see the new creature with some small cracks or do they see the old creature with a few solid parts? I say, let the fire fall and burn out all the dross in me that hinders me from being the witness that Christ wants me to be for HIM!