By Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski
The Church and the coal industry share a common purpose. They both play a major role to light up the world. Almost half of the planet relies on coal for electricity and for many it puts food on the table. In spite of this, some organizations work tirelessly to shut the industry down. Many folks are suffering as a result of their lopsided perspective. Similarly, the devil would like to halt the “light industry” of the Church. His strategies have always been the same and are used to diminish the light of Christians. In the end, God’s Church will be triumphant and reflect the shiny city on the hill that leads people out of darkness.
Some of the tactics used by Satan include sin, fear, and selfishness. These fire extinguishers will dim our lights and can completely put our fire out for the Lord. The populous message that sin is ok is not Biblical. Embracing it instead of repentance will separate us from the light and even lead to destruction. Fear will paralyze us from following God and sharing his truths with others. Finally, selfishness will keep us from loving and serving people in need. These devotions are what makes a difference and reveals the God of the universe. It is important to be aware of these demonic strategies and know how to overcome them through the Word of God.
Interestingly, coal is used in an important Old Testament ritual in Leviticus 16:12. That is right! God has used coal miners even in ancient times. When people would transgress, they would bring an animal to the priest. The animal would be sacrificed and take the punishment for sin. Obviously the ritual would not change the heart but would suffice to cover the sins at that time. In addition, the coals at the altar would be set on fire to burn the offering and light the incense to the Lord. Coals of fire have been used in the Bible in Isaiah 6:6 and others scriptures to symbolize purity and the passion of the offering.
This Old Testament ritual is relevant even to us modern day Christians. It is important to know that Jesus is now our only substitute and sacrifice for sins. However, we still go to the “altar” of prayer. How hot is our sacrifice unto the Lord? When we confess our sins, are we just going through the motions? Confession without change is just a dead offering without the fire. Seeking God with passion and your whole heart is like lighting an inferno at the altar. We need to stoke the coals of fire to allow God to purify us from sin. Searching deeper for his Holy Spirit will empower us to overcome fear. Denying ourselves will allow God to fill us with his love to serve others. It is at this place in God that our lights will burn bright for Jesus. If you struggle to shine for the Lord, it is time that you “dig” a little deeper for the coals of fire. In more than one way, coal will keep the lights on!
(Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski, Your Brother & Sister In Christ. All comments are welcomed at [email protected])