There is something so comforting about a fire inside with snow falling outside. I love the look and the sound and the heat. But fire is powerful. It is not tame. It is beautiful in a fireplace, useful in a fire pit, and dangerous when it is unleashed. It is hot and unapproachable. It permanently changes what it touches. It can also refine precious metals to make them more pure by allowing the dross to melt away. Once something is burned, it can’t be restored. You can’t just add water to a burned dinner or rehydrate burned wood. It is permanently changed.

So are people who allow themselves to know God as he actually is are. God described himself as fire. As you consider the idea that God is a refining fire, ask him to reveal to you what needs to be burned off of your life to make you more pure. Pride? Judgmentalism? Despair? Addiction? Need for the world’s approval? Need for control? What is so stubbornly entrenched in your heart and mind that you just can’t decide to get rid of it; it must be burned away? When our knowledge and our passion meet, there is an energy and power there that challenges us to become more than we are and usually brings out the best in us.

Knowing God is like that. The Christians who best reflect God’s truth and life are those with a burning passion, whose lives are filled with a purpose and “fire” as a result of their relationship with God, not the milk toast ones who just go through the motions of religion.