Clouds and Fire

“Such as I have Lord, I give to this boy.”

It was a simple prayer. 

Inside the diner, I gently placed my right hand on top of the head of this little 3 year old, who, ironically perhaps, was also named Nathan (my oldest son’s name). His eyes were not set properly and when I asked the boy’s grandmother if I could pray for him, she was thrilled.

“He is actually going for surgery tomorrow.” She told me.

You don’t say? What are the odds of that? I disregarded that info, and spoke healing into his eyes, protection, and above all, that this tender little child would come to know His Savior personally. It was a simple prayer and when I opened my eyes, he was staring intently at me. Oh how I longed to scoop him into my arms and just hold him.. to let the love of God wash all over him. But you see, they did not know me. I was a stranger on the road to Jericho. So I had to keep all that in. I had to tame that passion. I had to remain … “normal.”

That’s OK. We take what we can get, right?

Turning back to where my family was enjoying the remains of their meals, I was dimly aware that my children did not even think it odd that I was praying for a stranger… Perhaps amidst all the mistakes I am continuing to make, at least some aspect of His heart is printing on my two Sons of Thunder and my little Lamb. Perhaps….

It was then that I saw another couple, sitting at a table behind us. Neither of them were much older than twenty, if that, and they were quietly laughing. I knew immediately they shared a deep love for each other… a camaraderie that went well beyond the superficial platitudes of self-centered “friendships.” These two had each others backs. The girl’s hair was a dark blue, and his a matching shade as well, shaggy, with streaks of orange throughout. Their smiles were bright and countenance carefree.

But something was just itching at me. Not the agitation that I often get. Just…. something. I felt such love for them. I tried not to stare, but a passion for them rose up like a storm. The Fire Pillar within me that was fanned for the boy was now raging for this couple, and I could feel my eyes swelling.  I was vaguely aware I had stopped walking.

“What is it, Lord? What’s up?”

“I love them very much.” The Lord responded… “And they don’t know it.”

That… will never do.

“Hey, guys. Sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to say…”

I spoke with them for no more than two minutes. I asked about their hair and shared with them how I could tell they were sweet, gentle people. She was in school for hair, and had in fact, done the styling herself on both their heads. After a moment more, I thanked them for their time, and rejoined my family.

Several minutes later I turned to see them standing right beside me. After a silence that perhaps might make even a dead person uncomfortable, she spoke.

“I wish you were my dad.” the young lady said… and for the first time in many, many years… I did not know what to say. I just… loved them both, so much… so… much.

So….I stood and asked them if they would be offended if I prayed over them. Collecting my composure, I blessed them with life, with hope, with joy and above all, they they would know how much the God who died to rescue them, also, in fact, loved them deeply. I gave them our number, and watched them walk out. I could spiritually see a deep, thick blanket of love placed upon them by the Lord. Almost like a cloud. That’s better…

I had forgotten about the event entirely, when I saw a text a few days later from the young lady.  She confessed to having considered ending her life that day, and added,

“….meeting you made me realize there are good people in the world…”

More than ever, this world needs the love of God revealed to them. Who dwells mightily inside us is Love personified. But how can we give it if we don’t actually understand it ourselves? 

That will never do….

We have all the power and dominion over the enemy. This means we have the power and dominion to set the captives free. I heard it once said that there is “a freight train living on the inside of us,” and He is raring to get out.  Get to know Him better. Choose to accept what His word says about how lovely He sees His children. We are accepted in the Beloved. We are beautiful in His sight. We have all dominion. We are given an open invitation to enter into the Holy of Holies. Jesus took the keys to all forms of death, including fear, anxiety, rejection, torment and shame. Forever. We have the ability to bring the kingdom everywhere we go… because it resides inside the reconciled child of God. He gave us eternal life. That eternal life is already inside us…. not sure exactly what that means?  Consider casting aside the worries, pleasures and fallen thinking of this world.

You are fully loved already. Meditate on these truths. We are called to think as He thinks. We cannot do this if we meditate on our own self-condemnation.  We are called to live holy (this means to express His nature inside us first.. And then out ). How can we do this if we choose to live lives that say we do not believe He loves us unconditionally and deeply?

“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation–” Col 1:22

The greater we press into the reality of His love, the greater we will be motivated from His love, and in His love, to live lives consistent with His nature. This is where the fire pillar grows. This is where the rage of His consuming nature begins to consume His child. The blast furnace is within you. Holy Spirit is not idle. He churns and invites and longs to confirm the words of the Father toward Himself, you and those around you. 

“As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses” Exod 33:9

“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” Exod 13:21

The Pillar is the Holy Spirit manifested. That Cloud and that Fire is now within every child of God. 

That young boy and couple will never know, that by me being touched by Father’s heart, I will love them always, … but it has been my fervent prayer that through that encounter, they will know that the heart of the only One that truly matters, loves them passionately.

Theology and doctrine and expositions have their proper place in both the corporate body and our walk. But nothing… nothing…. replaces giving the love of God to others in all the varied forms that Holy Fire may wish to release it through His sons and daughters.  

This is a process. We must allow him to work from the inside out. Performing “dead works” (actions originating from the outside, in an attempt to change our inside)  to get God to love us more, is not only manipulative, it is also impossible. If we have personally accepted Christ as our Savior with all our heart, then we are already fully pleasing and loved and adored.  Father God longs for this intimacy, and the lost need us to be capable of carrying it and releasing it. It is all found with time spent “In Him.”

Oh, and by the way… the  more we spend time with Him, the more we will begin to feel His heart toward others. At this point we will never “feel” ready to interact with these individuals. LOL…. Just do it… and have fun.

 (Says the man who cries all the time)…

“Then Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.’ ” (John 6:68)

Now… what are we going to do about it, my dear family?