Through the Flames

Hey Westside,

Have you ever heard of Chaparral? Chaparral is a collection of low-lying hearty plants and shrubs that live in certain climate zones with moist, mild winters and long, dry summers. There are many fires in the Chaparral because of the heat and dryness and some of the plants were made to survive on through the fires. You see, their seeds will lie dormant, often for years and years until there is a fire. Then, in the intense heat of the firestorm, their seed casings will crack and the seed will sprout, only when it has “passed through the fire.”

Have you ever felt that you are in one of those long hot summers and the refreshing rains of winter are too short and too long in-between? Many folks may find themselves in just such a situation. Here’s a good question: Will you hang around long enough to go “through the fire” so to speak, so that you will be able to “sprout” and be truly alive?

The Bible shares how the early church was “full of joy” in times where they were being persecuted, tortured, and even being burned alive. How could they possibly be joyful when they were going though such times? It is because they were filled with the Holy Spirit. We can be filled to over flowing even during times of trial and testing.

What are you filled with? Questions? Fear? Doubt? All these will be washed away when the refreshing water of the Holy Spirit fills us to overflowing and pushes out all that other stuff. Spend time with God. Enjoy Him! Confess your weakness to Him and ask for His strength. The Bible commands that we keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit . . . and there is good reason for it!

How about meditating on this recent “Word for Westside” given by Vanessa McNamara:

I see you. Not only do I see you but I’m watching you.
I hear you. Not only do I hear you but I’m listening to you.
I know your needs.
I know your hearts.
I know each and every one of you, intimately.
Not only do I know you but I’m for you.
You are beautiful to me. Not just beautiful but glorious!
No looking down now. Look up. Look up into my face.
No slowing down now. Keep steady. Keep up the pace.
Wait for Me. Not just wait but expect. Not just expect but believe.
Press on. Not just press on but press in. Not just press in but lay hold.
Stand firm. Not just stand firm but resist. Not just resist but WAR!
This is your place and your time to SHINE. Arise and shine Westside!

Love you guys,

Steve 🙂

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