It was early in the morning and Doris was cold. She asked Dan if he would warm up the house. So he got up and only barely awake emptied the ashes from the wood stove into the cardboard box and set it behind the stove. Then he built a new fire and went back to bed. It wasn’t long before he awoke to the screams of Doris yelling his name. Their home was rapidly filling with smoke. Dan ran into the family room just in time to see flames darting up the corner wall. Quickly he found the fire extinguisher but instead of attacking the flames he sprayed directly into the box below and the blaze was contained.
It took a whole day, but Dan, with the help of Tom and Nicole, completely restored the damage. In the process of cleaning up, a neighbor came over to see what had happened. This turned into an opportunity to share about the Lord. Out of what could have been a life-ending tragedy, seeds were sown.
2 Corinthians 10:4,5—since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.
Ashes should be stored in metal containers. Sometimes the cause of battle is rooted in our own carelessness. Compounding the problem is our tendency to assail what we think is the obvious enemy. Had Dan sprayed the flames on his wall, he might have lost his home. The problem was not the flames but rather what fueled them—embers he had missed when he shoveled out ashes earlier.
God asks us to do something. We are only half-prepared to hear Him and so we respond incompletely. Then when troubles surface we blame Satan, others or our circumstances as the gist of our inability to obey. Not every predicament is caused by obvious enemies. We may skirmish against the perceived threat and miss the possibility that we ourselves fuel the fire. Unless we have died to self and signed up to follow Christ wholeheartedly we are in danger of fighting in the wrong manner the wrong matter. When we go into battle let us be sure we are attacking the real problem.
A metal bucket replaced a cardboard box. A bitter woman saw in action what faith in God accomplishes. God graciously spared a wonderful family. Life is all about learning lessons and one of those lessons involves learning how and what to battle. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
It is the natural virtues that battle, not sin as we think of sin, but pride, egotism, my temperament, my affinities; all that has to have the sword run clean through it mercilessly by God, and if I stick to my natural inheritance the sword must go through me.—Oswald Chambers in God’s Workmanship
©2006 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)