This was my second trip to Koh Samet. The first time I saw them I was caught in the awe of the show. I saw them again on this second visit and as I stood there watching them twirl those rods high up into the air and gaze as the hoola hoop size circles ignited with fire swung around their waists, a theme started rising in my heart. Koh Samet is an island about a 2 ½ hour drive south of Bangkok. It is a resort and retreat beach where people can rent a room, jump in the clear water during the day and enjoy sitting out on the beach at the many restaurants that line the shore at night. It is a beautiful place to be. During the evenings, there are several restaurants that have “fire shows” on the sand just a few feet away from where the people are sitting. These shows are directed by one man and several of his younger apprentices. As I stood there on the beach that night and watched these young boys, some of them near 8-10 years old, I like all the other spectators was in awe at the skill and precision at which they performed. And while standing there, I started to have these thoughts and ideas. Ideas of what it means to be a carrier of fire. These boys are young yet they are skilled. They are following the lead of one man. I started thinking about how this correlates to one man, Jesus and His followers. What does it look like to be a carrier of His fire today?
This is a theme that has been playing over in my mind since I came back to Bangkok. I see God's fire as being His presence. It is something that is dangerous, powerful and awe inspiriting. It brings warmth and ignites passion inside people. More than anything else I want to be someone who is skilled at handling the presence of God. The presence of God, His Spirit is a very powerful thing. Many people today are hungry to see a manifestation of the presence of God. They want to see some miracle or sign. They want to see a healing or a deliverance. Many times these things are the outflow that comes when the presence of God comes. Before I came to Thailand, I had the opportunity even in my home church and with my friends, to experience and see the power of God through healing, deliverance and salvation. Here in Thailand I see it as well. And yet I cannot be focusing on these things. I must be focusing on God's presence. If I focus on amazing things that I see, I will only get to taste a little of what God has planned. He wants me to be a carrier of His fire, to experience His presence in such a way that I let Him decide what the manifestation of His glory will be. As I watch the boys keep an eye on their instructor, and follow his lead, I am reminded of how important it is for me to keep my eyes on Jesus. He is the Master Instructor and One who will know where and how to move, what the next steps will be and how it will all work out. So when I think about carrying God's presence I think about keeping my eyes on Jesus and I also think about passion and purity. There has got to be a love and excitement for being able to be a part of carrying such a wonderful thing as God's power. The Bible says that we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the power belongs to God and not to us. --2 Corinthians 4:7-8 A few days ago I was reading in the book of Hebrews and it talks about the Israelites and how they went to "a physical mountain to a place of flaming fire..." (Heb. 12) and it was a frightening thing and how now we as believers are called to go into heavenly places to encounter the presence of God. We encounter this "all consuming fire" as we learn to walk and encounter God in the secret place and throughout the day. It is through prayer, listening to Him, watching for Him, receiving from Him, worshipping Him, that we are ignited with His presence, His fire. Something I noticed about these boys who were carriers of fire is that they were confident and even proud in what they were doing. God has called us to be confident and glory in we are as His children. We carry His glory.
So today, as you encounter places of darkness in your own life, in the lives of others or around you, know that you, are God's child, His child of fire, and that you carry the real, tangible presence of His glory wherever you go. May God richly bless you!