When I was little and lived out of the city limits, my mom and dad would rake leaves into piles. I would run and jump in the leaves and play in the piles. But after clearing the yard, it would be time to burn those piles of leaves. Once the leaves were flaming with fire and smoking, my parents warned me to not go near the piles because I may fall into the pile and get burned. Well, I kind of tested them a couple of times by jumping around the piles. After that heat from that fire got to my pants’ legs, they didn’t have to tell me a third time! We operate like that in life. We tend to be okay in “safe” areas because we KNOW that it is safe. But then we confront areas that we know that are “unsafe.” We know this because we are warned that it isn’t safe and we see signs that it isn’t safe. BUT OH HOW OUR FLESH GETS US INTO TROUBLE! We get curious, hardheaded and fall victim to what our flesh wants. We forget about morals and integrity. We fall victim to doing what we want to. Before we know it, the FIRE of the unwise decisions we made starts getting to us. The FIRE starts causing us pain and making us uncomfortable. Unless you are one who loves to be in pain, that FIRE is going to start bothering you! That FIRE will make you realize some things…..make you want to change some things in your life…..and make you want to do all that is possible so that you won’t feel that type of FIRE again. We have all heard the saying that, “If you play with fire, you get burned.” Well, it is true. A fire can be indicated by smell (you can smell smoke), seeing (you see smoke or flames), touching (feel heat) or hearing (an alarm may sound off). These are warning signs that there may be a fire. Well, let’s apply this to our lives. Sometimes we are warned by others about a situation needs to be avoided. Sometimes, you can just “smell” a dead rat in the atmosphere. Sometimes, you can “feel” that something isn’t right. Sometimes, you can clearly “see” that something isn’t good for you. BUT OUR FLESH!!! It will get us in trouble every time when we fall victim to it. And after it is all said and done, we realize that falling victim to the flesh wasn’t even worth it. It didn’t do us any good. All it did was burn us and leave us in horrific state. WE PLAYED WITH FIRE AND WE GOT BURNED!! BUT GOD! If it were left to people to accept us when we mess up, we would be left burning in fire! BUT GOD! God never leaves us. We leave Him but He doesn’t leave us. God can deliver us right in the midst of the FIRE. God loves us, forgives us, comforts us, heals us and guides us back on that better road in life.  God will use the FIRE to move us closer to Him. God will use the FIRE to make us a better man or woman. God will use the FIRE to rebuild us stronger than ever before.  “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?” (Proverbs 6:27 NIV). – S.L.M.



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