Baptism by fire is a term that I had heard as a non-Christian, over the years I had perceived this as being a catch phrase that even non-Christians used to describe the immediate period of a new experience during which we find a period of hardship and trial.
This doesn’t sound like a very nice experience, and as I came to know Jesus more deeply I began to realize that the fiery baptism was the feeling of becoming profoundly convicted by the Holy Spirit. That the fire was burning away my pride, my unforgiveness, my selfishness my sins. That fire was the process of rebirth from the old me to the new me living a godly life that reflected God’s glory.
When I began to realize that everything I had was being stripped away, I also began to understand why these things were happening. That God was leading me to a place where I had nothing of this world left, relationships of deception, worldly possessions being left behind given away or sold, betrayal of trust. He was leading me to a place where the only one I could trust without a doubt was God. And that in this place of barren wilderness- stripped to the bare essence of soul, heart, and spirit a place of rebirth- the old had gone and the new was being born through the fiery crucible. Burning away self, burning a way self-justification, the searing of self-righteousness, tearing down idols of ego, a heart fickle and demanding in its selfishness and self-pity so easily filled with condemnation.
So, when I began to seek the things of God, of who He is, of who I am in Him, these new revelations of a God that is everything that I will ever need, the creator of all and only had plans to prosper me and to not do harm. This new world that I now saw with a lifted veil, stopped being so scary and alien, that confidence that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me, this knowledge began to become cemented in my spirit.
My eyes no longer looked to the fulfillment of my needs but the fulfillment of God’s desire for my future. A future of freedom of chains from sin broken, a life focusing on the needs of others. A life free from chains of unforgiveness and set free from chains of doubt. Because I now know that it is in God that I live free, I live with purpose, that I live with joyful hope, that God is creating within me a man that is able and capable of fulfilling His purpose for my life. So, I am thankful that I have found the strength in Christ Jesus to endure, that the Word is my strength and brings knowledge to my heart, that His word is a lamp unto my fear and a light into my heart.
So, do not reject the times of hardships, the times of loneliness, the feelings of rejection. Do not allow our conviction to become a lie of condemnation, for we have not been given a Spirit of fear but of courage and sound mind, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy1:7).