Journal Entry // February 25, 2021
For everyone will be salted with fire.Mark 9:49 ESV
It’s so easy to become despondent with fear or shame or guilt over sin. It is easy to let significant failures drown my mind and overwhelm my heart. It is easy to lose perspective and forget two important details.
First, Jesus came to bring salvation and forgiveness. He heals our wounded hearts and forgives our sins by taking the due penalty for them upon himself. I can rest assured that Jesus wants me to come to him weak and humble. To be fully aware of my sin and need of a Savior. To quite my striving and to rest my head on his chest. He will bring me peace and comfort as he brings forgiveness and repentance.
Second, we are all to be “salted with fire.” Every one of us will experience the heat of temptation and the burn of sin in our lives. None of us will be able to escape this fire in our lives. Just as salt is used to preserve and purify, this fire is designed to bring sin to the forefront of our minds. This fire is there to demonstrate our failings and need for a Savior. I need this fire in my life to show me my inconsistencies and where I am not following Christ.
My flesh is weak and my appetite for lust is greater than I want to accept. My appetite for sex, money, power, pride, and control is amazingly more deeply rooted than I understand and often acknowledge. I like to pretend that my heart is in order and that I am seeking after Jesus and delighting in the Lord. Yet when this salting with fire arrives, it burns me every time.
I feel the deep intensity of the heat as it roars through my mind. This salting of fire turns into a raging wildfire at times. I am learning to see the sparks of flame. I am learning to see and smell the smoke. For when I can sense it early, then I can take my heart to Christ. And in my weakness cling to him. He will snuff out the flame. He will bring calm and restore order. It’s when I ignore the signs or try to deal with it on my own that I get burned.
This is the speaking truth to myself and the Lord that needs to always take place. When I am honest with myself, then I am better able to trust in Jesus. I am desirous to cling to Christ in my weakness. I lose all my illusions of strength. I better understand that it is in my weakness that faith flourishes. My love for Christ is best displayed when I give an honest assessment of my heart and mind. To admit that my flesh craves sin. That the salting with fire can happen at any moment. That I can lull myself to sleep and pretend that my strength is what keeps me safe. But by speaking truth, I understand that my eyes should always be alert to the signs of fire. To be vigilant for the sight and smell of smoke. To not let even the smallest hint of sin and temptation remain unchecked.
Vigilance with humility. Always looking to Christ for assurance and putting my trust completely upon him alone. Continuing to give praise to Christ for my success and clinging to him in my weakness. Being salted with fire enables me to keep my eyes focused on Christ. Where they should always be found.