DAY 06

pursue transformation

I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Matthew 3:11

If I were to consider myself anything, anything in the world…it would have to be a pyromaniac. Yeah! Bet you thought I was going to say something spiritual. I absolutely love fire. There is something about it that makes me think deeper thoughts. It causes me to do some introspection, to search for answers, or even to silence everything.

One day I was with my dad and we were building a fire. So we gathered the wood, tinder, and the lighter. As we were getting ready to start the fire my dad told me that all three elements were essential to make fire. He then looked at me as asked me an interesting question, “son, do you know why fire is so important?” I replied, “Well yea I think so dad. It lights up the dark and it gathers people.” He smiled at me and asked, “What else does it do?” after awhile I answered, “ It brings hope, joy, and s’mores!” He laughed and started the fire. Then with a meaningful look in his eyes he said to me, “Then BE fire my son.”

John the Baptist was famously known for a lot of things. Things like, eating bugs, being hairy and for calling religious groups “snake gangs!” He was also Jesus’ cousin who preached repentance and water baptized many people. Let’s read:

1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”

4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Did you catch that? Baptized you with FIRE! This term is so powerful. You cannot just play with a little bit of fire and not expect it to utterly consume you. John was talking about Jesus and His Baptism of Fire. But not just any fire, a FIRE that will completely consume you and cause you to burn with passion for God. Let me say it this way:

When Jesus comes into your life, He will immerse you in his presence. And just as a piece of wood is transformed in the presence in fire, so are you in His presence.

Desperate Acts

Just as a piece of wood is transformed in the presence of a consuming fire, so should you be in His presence. Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance any special experience that you may have had with Jesus and His burning presence. Write down those moments and how He literally transformed your life for the better.

Never forget what Jesus has done in your life. Keep record of it! This week write down every moment you experience the transforming presence of Jesus.

Pray this Prayer of transformation
Jesus today, make me new. I want to be transformed, change by you! Make me like Jesus. As I draw near to you, I ask that you burn away anything in my life that doesn’t bring you glory and is not in pursuit of you. In Jesus name amen.