Set the World on Fire
I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!
Luke 12:49 NLT
That verse gets me fired up! I think of it in the way of the popular worship song that sings “Set a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain, that I can’t control. I want more of you God. I want more of you God!” I think about being overwhelmed with joy, about being so excited about God and what He is doing that I just want to tell everyone. I want us to love God with everything we have, and to have this burning passion that will be a catching spark into others’ lives.
But then continuing this passage, you start to read about suffering, burdens, division…?
I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.
Luke 12:50-52 NLT
Maybe he’s talking about a different kind of fire. A fire of destruction. We all know fire causes destruction. Warning, if you decide to fan this spark, it can burn down your world. The perfect world you’ve created outside of God can come crashing down around you. Your family, your friends, your spouse, can all turn against you. Even people you don’t know start to hate you!
But even when fire is destructive, it also brings about new and healthy growth.
My heart breaks as I sit here thinking about how far people are from God, and that Jesus is really saying this fire is about refining the world. After He came, we HAVE to choose. Fire is scary to a lot of people. And sometimes it can be hard to hold on to that joy and passion knowing it’s pushing some people farther away, that it’s changing everything we know, and that it is even changing us. We need to burn the unhealthy things in ourselves – the bad habits, the toxic relationships, the sin, everything that doesn’t belong – so that we can be who God designed us to be.
It starts with one little spark, one person, one flame. Have you ever gone to a great conference or camp or retreat and then went home so fired up and excited that you wanted everyone to know about? But within a few weeks, you are back in the same rut as before and nothing has really changed. Fire consumes. It is ever moving; it doesn’t just stay in one place because if it doesn’t spread, it dies! So if we ourselves catch fire, that fire is going to burn out if we don’t spark into others and try to set the world on fire. Jesus kindled it, but it’s our job to keep stoking it. Even when it means destruction in our lives. Even if it means division in our family. What is the Holy Spirit telling YOU? What do you need to set on fire in your life?