salted with fire
Mark 9:49 Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Being salted with fire refers to the Fellowship Offering in Old Testament times. This was the 1 offering that the average citizen could take part in and present to the Lord. We will all be presented to the Lord. We will all be salted. The salt represents His Fellowship. He is pouring out His fellowship on us. Will we remain in that Fellowship, or will we turn away? When the heat turns up, will I stay salty and at peace with my brothers, or will I lose His flavor and be useless even for manure?
Will I stay useful, or will I shrink back in fear and begin to hate and blame my brothers? The answer so far is pretty crappy.
We will all be salted with fire.
The salt is our fellowship with Christ. It is our relationship to Him, our fellowship offering. We will all be tested with fire. Jesus announces His fellowship to us and love towards us, then He turns up the heat to test our commitment to Him. What burns up is gone. What remains is what counts.
-1 Cor 3:13 the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. 14 If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.
My family is being tested right now. The house is set to go on the market Monday. Our goal is to ‘sell all that you have and give to the poor’. Our goal is to do what the Word of God says, to take Jesus literally and to do unto the least of these what we have been doing unto ourselves. We’ve been well fed, live in a really great house, have 2 cars and get by pretty well. We’re not gluttons, just average Americans. Maybe even below average. My wife doesn’t work regularly so we can have more time with our children. We don’t take big vacations, don’t eat out hardly ever, or spend much on entertainment. We tithe and give a little to missions. We don’t swear much in public, don’t get drunk and urinate in our neighbors yards. We don’t sell drugs or swindle. So i guess we’re ‘average’. We seem normal to me anyway.
Up till now, normal’s been good. I’ve tried my best to please the Lord, making sure I spend time with my kids, wash my wife in the Word, take time to read and pray often…things you’re ‘supposed’ to do as a Christian. However, re-reading the Gospels lately, I’m shocked at how many times Jesus tells us to ‘die.’ [pick up cross and follow, unless a grain of wheat falls and dies it wont produce any fruit, if you are ashamed of me i’ll be ashamed of you…]
Paul seemed to focus on death quite a bit too
- -Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
- -Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
- -Phil 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death,
- -Phil 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
I’m dying, and it’s scary. It’s not romantic, it’s terrifying. I am being salted with fire, and terrible stuff is coming out. I’m afraid and worried about many things. But I’m also reminded of scriptures like this:
-1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Our vision is to see a house of worship, prayer, and discipleship raised up in the Twin Ciites. Now that the idea of selling is coming closer to reality, I’m pooping my pants and gross stuff is coming out of me. I am being salted with fire. He’s a short list of what’s in my heart:
What if God doesn’t provide? What if this is all in my head? What if He really isn’t leading us this direction?
- -then crap. I sold everything for nothing and made a fool of myself.
- -1 Cor 15:19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
What if no one buys the house? What if we’re making all these preparations for nothing?
- -Matthew 6:34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
- -Luke 12:20 “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”
What if we don’t find a place to live? What if we have to take the kids out of their school? What if our teenager decides to leave?
- -Matthew 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
- -Luke 9:62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Why am I doing this? Why is no one helping me? Why is my wife telling me to sand with a sanding block instead of sand paper? (We literally had a huge fight over which is the better way to sand the walls. I was obviously right. And I sinned in my anger.) We are generally fighting more from the tension of the unknown. We’ve lost our peace.
- -Phil 4:7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- -Psalm 131 My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. 2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Nothing good will come of this. This is pointless. everyone has a nice house and serves God fine. He won’t help, and in 20 years I’ll still be believing for the same things and nothing good will come of this decision.
- -Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.
The point is, we’re not doing this because we think it’s trendy or cool. We feel the pull of Christ and His Word on our hearts. I believe that this world in it’s present form is ‘passing away’. That ‘only what’s done in Christ remains.” The fire of His Fellowship will fall on us all. I don’t want everything I’ve ever done to burn. I want to produce fruit in keeping in step with Jesus.
If Christ is real, then I should really pay attention to what He told me to do. He told me to go and make disciples. He told me to look after the poor, the widow, and the orphan. He told me to seek Him first, and my neighbor second. He is the creator of billions of galaxies, the author and perfecter of my faith; and I’m having a difficult time trusting him to write the next page of my faith story. To find us a new house, to sell our current house, to provide food, and to do much of anything. I want to have faith for the impossible…as long as I can see myself doing it. I am angry, worried and afraid because I’m leaving the things I know. I don’t know how to do any of the next steps in our families journey. I know I’m supposed to say “Praise God, this is exciting and amazing” and stuff. And it is. But it’s also scary.
my only choice really is to die. If Christ is real, then He is worth every ounce of my energy, time and money. Houses, cars, careers…all these things will burn. They won’t withstand the fire. They aren’t salty.
I want to withstand this and keep my flavor. I want a deeper revelation of God’s heart, and I’ve determined the only way to do that is to leave what I know, step out in faith, and follow Him.