Psalms 104: 4 - Who maketh his angels spirits; his minsters a flaming fire.
It was last week that I read this verse during my daily bible reading and the last half of the verse has occupied a fair amount of my meditation since then, "his ministers a flaming fire".
The "who" has reference back to the LORD my God in verse one. Most of the chapter is devoted to reminding us of all the things the LORD does one of which is making his ministers a flaming fire.
There are ministers that belong to him. This at least implies that there are ministers that do not belong to him.
He makes his ministers a flaming fire. This is what he does with his ministers. They do not make themselves a flaming fire, he makes them a flaming fire.
Is there such a thing as flaming without fire? Is there such a thing as a fire without flaming? There actually is a slight difference here as to what is intended by the use of these two words. Fire is what it is. Flaming is what it does. Fire just has reference to fire with no inference as to its purpose. Flaming on the other hand involves the idea of to set on fire, burn, kindle, blaze up. The LORD makes his ministers a flame that burns, sets things on fire, kindles, and blazes up. God's minister's bring the heat! Isn't that really what we need, what God's people need, what churches need, what the nation needs; red-hot preaching originating with red-hot preachers!
It's about bringing real passion to what we do. Not the kind of passion that is manufactured in the flesh with soaring oratory, indisputable logic, rhetorical flare, or homiletic mastery. Rather the passion that comes from spending much time with God and his word, cloistered away from the world and its deadening, fire quenching influence.
Passion, a flaming fire does not manifest itself in a singular fashion. It may be in the context of a weeping prophet, or a prophet that calls fire down from heaven, or a voice crying in the wilderness, or an apostle with a vision for world evangelism. But what they all had in common was a passion, they were his ministers and he made them a flaming fire!
John 5:35 tells us John the Baptist was a burning and shinning light.
In Jeremiah 20:9 Jeremiah tells us that the word of God was a burning fire shut up in his bones.
David relates his passion in Psalms 39:3 when he says his heart was hot, the fire burned, and then he spake.
Should we not be a flaming fire? Do we not have every incentive to be passionate? We are dealing with eternal truth! We are called to minister to people with eternal souls! The siren song of the temporary drowns out the clarion call of eternity! Our response all to often is a dry eye, a dispassionate delivery, submitting to the shackles of the clock, and assuming the temperature of those around us. The flaming aspect of our ministry has been extinguished.
Rise up O preacher, or should I say, Flame Up O preacher! If we would own our allegiance to God he will make us a flaming fire. With a flaming fire in the pulpit the ice will begin to melt in the pew!