Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Burn It, Baby!

Hey all, some of the readers of my blog may not know that a huge part of my Lifesong--where my love for ministry writing was really born was from a totally separate devotional ministry where I send out devotionals and fiction stories from my Lovinthearts.com ministry website . I thought I would post one from last year, and I hope it ministers to you today.


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Burn It, Baby!


As a little girl growing up in the Midwest, I have memories of the smell of burning leaves. In the fall, people would rake their massive volume of leaves, sometimes multiple times a week, but instead of bagging them, they would put them into piles for burning. It was a unique odor that I will never forget…not a bad one, just distinct.

One day, I was going with my Mom to my aunt’s house in “the country,” and I smelled the most horrible odor. This was AFTER making it past all the OTHER odors that one survives as she drives through the rural areas of southern Illinois (maybe to do with cows). Anyway, it was something burning, but it wasn’t leaves, and it stunk to high heaven! I pinched my nose and asked my mom what that hetrocious smell was as I gagged through the little air I allowed to come in through my mouth. She said, “Someone’s burning trash!” I had no idea that people could burn trash, but she went on to let me know that this was a regular act for country folk.

This memory came to my mind as I was reading this morning, and you know what, the smell even came back with it! YUCK! I’m glad it did, though, because it gave me a tangible grasp on this passage of Scripture from The Message:

Matthew 3:11-12
"I'm (John the Baptist) baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. The real action comes next: The Main Character in this drama—compared to Him I'm a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false He'll put out with the trash to be burned."


Imagine that! When we were saved, He lit a fire within our souls …the Holy Spirit. His role was to change us from the inside out…so the flame lit inside of us shines brightly on “Christ in us” while burning the “trash” at the same time. He took up that stink, so that we would be clean before Him…Do we get that? Our souls are spotless before the Lord because He did some sweeping, raking and burning.

Our goal as Christians is to keep living in Him, in a deeper and brighter way each day. The salvation part is covered, but there is still sanctification to be done. The cool thing is that we have the perfect Source of life within us, and we have access to that Source as we keep ourselves plugged into it.

When the Lord is our starting place for energy, for purity, for holiness, for light, for joy, for peace, for fullness, for pleasure—when HE is the supply of all those things—THEN and ONLY then, will we have success at living the Kingdom life here on earth. There is absolutely no way to do it on our own.


John 14:19 says, “Because I live, you will also live.” Because He did not give way to sin or to death, HE LIVES! When we draw on His life, He gives us the ability to say “no” to sin and death for today. As we repent and submit, He takes out the trash in our hearts and minds and burns it, baby! And I’m sure it stinks to high heaven. After those ashes comes His beauty as He reorganizes our priorities with His own.

What a wonderful opportunity for us to recognize His work in us today, friends, and to praise Him…to fall down and worship Him…to submit to Him. I’m ready for the Main Character in my drama (and there’s always lots of it) to do some igniting in me, how about you?

Let’s go to our Starting Place:

LORD JESUS, YOU ARE OUR SOURCE, OUR PROVIDER, OUR HELP. WHEN WE’RE TIRED, YOU’RE OUR ENERGY. WHEN WE’RE WORRIED, YOU’RE OUR PEACE. WHEN WE’RE CONFUSED, YOU’RE OUR COUNSELOR. WHEN WE’RE ATTACKED, YOU’RE OUR DEFENDER. WHEN WE’RE WEAK, YOU’RE OUR STRENGTH. WHEN WE’RE ANGRY, YOU’RE OUR CALM. YOU AND YOU ALONE DO ALL THESE THINGS IN US, AND YOU DO THEM WELL.
HELP US, FATHER, TO TRUST IN YOU TODAY, TO MAKE YOU OUR SUFFICIENCY.
IN YOUR NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.



In the Key of HE,

12 friends shared a comment:

Homesteader in Training said...

That was awesome my friend. A great reminder.
hugs to you.

Laury said...

Love your prayer at the end, Laura. Will hold on to this today for sure.

Joanne Sher said...

What an incredible image, and a wonderful reminder. Love the prayer too.

Betsy Markman said...

Wow, so many images come to mind...

I never smelled burning leaves until I was an adult - I happen to think it's one of the worst smells there is! :) But I never thought of burning smells in association with my sin before...

The good news is, if left alone and unburned, garbage still smells. When God burns away our sins, they go AWAY! Praise Him!

Thanks for this image to think about today.

Debra said...

LauraLee,

I felt like I was there with you ~ I have something for you at my place..when you get a chance to come and pick it up.

Blessings to you!

Homesteader in Training said...

Okay I know you hate these but I HAD to give you this award. Just come LOOK at it and then x out lol. Love you my friend.
Hugs.

Patty Wysong said...

Okay, I had to laugh at this one. Not only do I live in Southern Illinois, but we burn our garbage! I will definitely remember this--especially when I go out and light the burn barrels!!

And you're so right...burning garbage really stinks!!
Huggles!

Lori said...

Jesus is burning trash=our sin...excellent metaphor! Good prayer at the end.

Amy Bayliss said...

That is a beautiful post, girl! That is such an great way to look at it.

Sita said...

So many times I forget (with Satan's help) that my 'stink' was transferred to the Cross with all of mankind's stink...He took it all and stank so bad, the Father had to turn His back...now why would anyone do that for me?
May I never insult this incredible act of love by taking back that 'stink' as a label..but instead take up the aroma of the Cross...His blood that cleansed..and me sparkling clean because of His Son in me...

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

A vivid and "less than" desirable picture of my sin. But what a treasure I've been given through the purifying flames of God's intent!

We live next to a turkey farm, so I didn't have to stretch too far to imagine this one!

peace~elaine

Josh said...

Yay for the trash burning that He performs in my life! So glad to get rid of the garbage. :)