The Lord reigns; let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundations of His throne. Fire goes before Him and consumes His foes on every side. (Psalm 97:1-3)
Psalm 97 is a wonderful psalm of praise reminding us of the awesome majesty of our God…
His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all peoples see His glory. (vs 4-6)
This psalm is a good word for us as a congregation. We have been through a momentous season of decision, obedience, transition and change. It is certainly not over, as the Lord calls us to not simply realign under a healthy covering, but also to align with His vision of the Church.
In all this we can rest assured. Fire goes before Him, and us! The mountains are melting like wax! All peoples WILL see His glory! Righteousness and justice are and forever will be the foundations of His throne!
In a time when all is being shaken and much of what we took comfort in as a church and people and nation and culture is being shaken AWAY, it should bring us great comfort and joy to realize that our God cannot be shaken and in Him we will see victory—on earth as it is in heaven!
Fire goes before Him for at least two reasons: To consume His and our enemies, and to refine His saints—you and me. We are better positioned now to both see and feel that fire, and we cannot stop now to just admire the smoke—we MUST go forward all the way with Him!
The Lord is calling us to burn with a passion for Him that will not be cooled by structures and systems that were never Biblical in the first place. He is calling us to be an authentic New Testament Church, ready to stand in the fire, ready to receive Him as He comes again.
He WILL burn up His/our enemies with a holy fire that cannot be stopped. In a world that will increasingly turn on us, hate us, misrepresent us, and ultimately try to kill us, this fire will prevail, and we will prevail with Jesus through the Fire!
He WILL return for an unblemished Bride, a Bride on fire for Him as His refining fire has made Her pure for Him. The days of “going to church” or playing church or flittering between churches is rapidly ending. He is calling forth One Church, all consuming, never compromising, as ordered and victorious as the first church was and yet even more radiant, refined by fire!
We are rediscovering together the deeper fires of the early church, and, with His help will adjust until we are truly “First Church!” This means we cannot stop now in transformation. Leaving what was it not enough to get us to what must be. A Fire goes before Him. Refine and refigure us, Lord! We burn with a passion to be your Bride, and to stand with You as Your enemies are finally and forever thrown into the fire…!