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I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. Luke 12:47-51
Most of the time we are not privy to Jesus’ thoughts or processes. His motivations and operations are a mystery to us, as they were to the disciples. In fact, the words in this passage came as a surprise Why would the Lord want to bring “fire and division“? Where was our meek and gentle Savior, Who came to seek and save the lost?
I have been in some places where I thought it would take a miracle for the Lord to move among the people. It was sooooo dead, the environment was actually sucking the life from me. I wanted out. I wanted to be someplace different, someplace where God was doing something. Have you ever lived in these dry, desert places?
Notice, Jesus didn’t want out, He wanted kindling. He had the fire. He had the spark. What He wanted were some people ready NOW to receive His life, so that they could catch fire with Him. His baptism (death, burial, and resurrection) was just a few months away. As Jesus looked around Himself, He wasn’t comforted. What He saw was a group of followers who were not ready to catch fire. I am sure they thought they were ready. Just like we think we are ready to follow the Lord anywhere. But, Jesus’ words tell the truth… He was still searching for kindling.
I have been on camping trips where it was my job to start a fire. It is easy to find wood…but sometimes it is more difficult to find kindling. Kindling is the smaller, insignificant dry pieces of wood which will burn immediately without effort. Without proper kindling it is impossible to ignite the larger limbs and branches, even with plenty of spark.
The question becomes are we kindling where we live? Are we easily fired-up or does it take the Lord a long time to move us? Jesus looked forward to the day and time when He would have kindling. The Lord doesn’t need large, green pieces of wood. He needs small, insignificant, tender but dry wood which will easily ignite.