Kansas farmers are acquainted with the rhythms of the earth. They know, like Ecclesiastes 3:2, a time to plant, and a time to harvest. They rub soil between cracked palms and grin at rainclouds with deep canyons of wrinkles. They know their land like they know their own children. They know how to make things grow.
Farmers burn their fields in order to clear them of weeds, dead stubble, and unwanted insects. The fire is a “reset” button of sorts, enabling unhindered new growth to happen. Burnt fields are completely open to whatever the farmer wants to plant, because there is no other growth to compete with.
Burning the fields is practically a rite of Spring in this part of the country. The grey clouds billow into the sky, and the unmistakable scent of scorched grass tickles your nose as you drive down the highway. Flames lick up the dry grass, moving like a huge black paintbrush across the landscape.
This Spring, I am praying that the Lord would burn the fields of my heart.
I am so thankful for this Easter season that we’re about to celebrate – proclaiming this Sunday that HE IS RISEN – but, as we all know, the death comes first. The Cross. The fire.
Through the Cross, Jesus justifies me. My sins are washed away, completely and forever. Yet while I am still on this earth, I struggle with sinful thoughts and actions. I have to bring those things under God’s authority, and be obedient to the sanctification He wants to work in me. I am justified, but I am continually being sanctified by fire.
I desperately want for Him to plant new life in me. I want to produce a harvest that glorifies Him. The newness of life that He promises? I yearn for it.
But the old cannot exist with the new.
I am praying that the Lord would burn away my sinful thoughts and desires, my crooked motivations, my bad habits and my prideful attitude, and plant His spirit anew within me.
I am praying that God would consume me, leaving nothing of my depraved humanity behind.
I am praying that I would be laid low by His burning grace, that I would be given a fresh start, humble and empty and refined by fire, ready to be filled with Jesus.
For our God is a consuming fire.
1 Peter 1:7
…so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, “They are my people”;
and they will say, “The LORD is my God.”