What do we do when the fire of contention is so close that we feel the flames and are immersed in smoke?
Sometimes the fire of contention and conflict ignites in our prodigal situation. We may watch the flames dance and leap between us initially in a cordial conversation. We are both open to a conversation. That’s good. We then sense an opportunity to turn it to the burning issue in our mind. We think, maybe it is the right time to express our concern.
Or our prodigal may start the fire with a conversation or expectation they know we won’t accept or tolerate. This type of fire starts with gas.
Either way the fire begins to flare.
As it fully ignites, we may tangibly feel our face flush as the conflict intensifies. We may feel immobilized and helpless as words fly and actions are taken that further unravel a frail relationship. Our senses are overwhelmed and our eyes sting with the smoke. We feel that if we inhale, our lungs will be polluted with the ash causing us to cough and back away. As we do so, we walk away stunned and smelling like smoke wondering what happened.
Get the picture? We all have been there at one point in our prodigal journey, right?
In a normal campfire, if fire and flames cause us to cough, our eyes to water, and we feel intense heat, we back up and move to a location where we are upwind from the smoke. We make the move and hope the wind doesn’t shift again.
What if we learn to do the same strategic thing using the wind of the Holy Spirit? Can we access His wisdom right there? Would He have our backs? Would He do that for us?
Certainly! In Acts 2, the disciples were in a desperate situation. Holy Spirit came, first as a rushing wind. Then by tongues of fire followed by speaking in a way unfamiliar to them. As a result of the supernatural work, people came to faith.
There is another event where Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3) were thrown into a fire when their faith was challenged. Jesus came and met them in the midst of the fire. They survived without smelling like smoke.
Why not ask the God who controls fire and winds to give us wisdom to protect and guide us?
Here a pattern to use when a fire has been real and intense.
Holy Spirit, You see the intensity of this conflict and how the smoke and flames have caused a lack of clarity for me. I ask by Your power and authority to come like a rushing wind to remove the smoke from my situation.
Holy Spirit, what actions and words do I need to release? Who do I need to forgive?
I choose to forgive my loved one for their part in the conflict and adding fuel to the fire. I choose to release their words and actions that have caused intense emotions. I forgive them for their accusations that have pierced my heart and mind leaving me feeling overwhelmed with confusion. I forgive them for any fiery accusations. I forgive them for their lack of understanding as I speak.
Please forgive me, Holy Spirit for my actions which make me feel condemnation and shame as I look back on it. Forgive me for operating out of my mind and emotions rather than out of Your direction, Holy Spirit.
Through Your power and authority, I release these things right now. Jesus wash the intensity of this event clean from both of us. Bring Your fresh wind into my life right now. I want to see the fire from a safe distance and not be directly engaged in the potential of being overwhelmed with it. I trust You, Holy Spirit, to fill me with the fruits I need right now, Come Holy Spirit. Wash me clean with the waters of regeneration and renew me. I rest in You counsel knowing You can give me direction and peace.
Holy Spirit, what truth should I know right now?
Holy Spirit, I choose to embrace this truth. Help me to stay up wind from the fire with You.
Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash