[This is Henry again.Â Jody’s on a heavy schedule, while I’m recovering from the flu and working from the couch! Comfy!]
3Our God comes
but he doesn’t keep silent.
Fire devours before him,
A furious windstorm surrounds him. — Psalm 50:3
Does your God come with fire?Â Does a tempest surround him?
I hear lots of people pray that God will bring them peace, comfort, and even prosperity.Â I hear plenty of prayers for healing, which to us means that our current symptoms will go away and we will become normal–in our regular lives on earth.
Now there’s nothing wrong with asking God for peace, comfort, prosperity, or healing.Â I think the problem is often that we expect God to produce all these things without disturbing the landscape.Â The humorous song “Please Don’t Send me to Africa” comes to mind, but “Africa” could be anywhere at all.
It could mean that God is calling you to speak more boldly–or to observe a profound silence when you want to speak.
It could mean that God is calling you to the mission field far away–or perhaps to your next door neighbor, you know, the one you really don’t like.
It could mean anything at all, and that’s our problem.Â We often do want God to appear with devouring fire, and we kind of like the tempest or whirlwind thing, but we want to think of that as God’s tough side, shown to his enemies.
But if God comes to you with fire devouring in front of him, where will the fire burn first?Â If God comes to you with a whirlwind surrounding him, what will you experience before you encounter the eye of the storm?
You see, God doesn’t see us as his perfect little ones.Â He sees us as his perfectible little ones.Â God doesn’t see healing as restoring us to some previous state we call “normal.”Â He sees healing as making us more like him, carrying us a little further on that path to holiness.Â If we are healed as God wants us to be, we will be anything but normal by the standards of this world.
We’d like a nice campfire.Â God is planning a forest fire.Â That’s what happens when you combine a wind storm with fire.
Are you ready?Â Do you really want it?