I remember hearing that phrase even growing up as a little child.
Really? Who would want to play with fire?
This idiom is a warning against folly. It's a red flag for dangerous and unsafe acts or behaviors that can lead to pain and injury.
This week the news reported the warning that it was Red Flag week. What does that mean? It means that the conditions outside are conducive for spontaneous fires. It won’t take much to start a fire. The humidity levels are low and often winds can promote fires that can engulf acres of land.
These fires don't apologize or give warning to anything in its way. It will consume the dilapidated house along with the mansion down the road.
Yesterday evening I received photos from a friend. The images depicted the danger of the flames running rapidly through a local neighborhood.
As I stared at the photo it was so surreal. I could see the danger, but the image was so captivating.
As I spoke with my friend the Lord impressed me, that's exactly what happens when my children are very close to sin.
It's a captivating time. Often, we will reason that “we can handle it.” We say things like “I know what I'm doing.”
We are convinced we have a grasp on our situations, environments, troubles, marriage, gambling, drinking, drugs, and on and on it goes.
Something even less subtle is when we pull back from gathering with the Saints. The Lord has made it clear that we are not to forsake coming together.
Sunday, the first day of the week, is an opportunity for us to gather, worship the Lord, giving him thanks for who he is. Praising him for protecting us from darkness that was unbeknownst to us.
The fire is neighboring us. Sometimes we see the smoke. The danger is when we are captivated and drawn in. Wake up! Sin visits us all. It tempted Jesus in the desert. Jesus, the Word overcame him with the Truth!
We need our safe net! We are not strong enough to fight without the Helper! The safe net is prayer, touching and agreeing with someone before we become attracted and fall. Run! Run! Sin is crouching at the door waiting to see who will open it. (Genesis 4:6-8)
Water is what is needed to quench this wild fire. Fire departments will fight this on foot and from the air. The fire must die. Fire lines are created to break and stop the flames from this destructive path. If left alone it will continue to burn and destroy everything.
The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit himself is our Counselor and will warn us even before we see the smoke. He will direct us. He will use others to warn us. God will cause a donkey to speak just to save us from the threat.
We need to resist the pull of sin from every angle. Physically we remove ourselves from the path of temptation. Spiritually we call on the One that is our Helper. He will make a way of escape for us. Follow Him. He knows how to get us out of the fire before we get burned.
Look around. If the landscape is changing perhaps, it’s because the flames are coming. God sees it is all. The warning has come. Run!