Isaiah 5:24a – Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust. (NIV)
I love to sit and listen to the stories that old farmers tell about what actually happened in the good old days. This one was funny as it was told to me, but it could have been serious.
The two farmers had just finished loading a brand new truck with bales of hay. The whole time, they left the truck running. When they finished, they climbed into the truck and headed for home and the barn.
Unbeknownst to them, the exhaust pipe had ignited the hay and started a fire. All the while, they were travelling down the road, marvelling at how well the new truck ran.
Along the way, they noticed people waving their arms at them, but they thought that they were only admiring their new truck.
It took a while before the driver glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw the blaze that they had in the back of the truck. Without stopping, he picked up speed, swerving back and forth across the road, shifting the load until all the bales of fiery hay were distributed along the way, setting the fields on fire as they landed.
As they talked about this event so far back in time, they joked about having set fire to most of southern Ontario.
Hearing this reminded me of another sort of field that needs to be set on fire — with the Holy Spirit.
John 4:35 – Do you not say, "Four months more and then the harvest"? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. (NIV)
In speaking about the "harvest", Jesus appears to be referring to the people whom the woman at the well invited to come out from the city of Samaria across the fields to see Jesus. That kind of harvest in the fields all around us today is still ripe, and all ready to be set on fire with the Holy Spirit. Many in those fields are just waiting to be gathered into His kingdom. Our great commission is to tell others about Jesus, the source of our hope in eternal life.
Prayer: Most gracious heavenly Father, we come to You this day filled with the Holy Spirit. Enable us to go forth with the boldness of Christ to set the fields on fire with the Holy Spirit, Who is given to us as Christians to spread Your Word in Jesus' name. Amen.