choosing where to stand …

“You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming themselves. –John 18:17-18


Standing with them. Near the fire. Warming himself with the temporal.

Why? Because Peter was cold. The chill in his heart permeated through to his bones, necessitating this human longing for warmth. The fire was dimming in his soul, and his flesh began to shake in recognition.

Peter had moved away from Jesus. And whenever a soul begins to move away from Jesus, the flesh takes over. The flesh compromises. The flesh warms itself next to a fire that will never satiate the chill within, only temporarily abate the chill without.

We should not warm our souls next to others who are only interested in warming their flesh. There’s not enough fire in that kind of fire to comfort the coldness growing within us. We should, however, warm our souls next to Jesus whose primary interest is our “within”—those attitudes, cravings, and behaviors of the heart that fix us to our eternal.

Let us be careful when choosing our fires this week. Whatever warms us … fills us. Whatever fills us … shapes us. And whatever shapes us spills out and over into the lives of those who stand next to us.

It only takes a spark to get a fire going. So choose wisely, friends. If your soul’s grown cold and your heart is losing ground, don’t stand next to “them.” Stand next to Jesus. His warmth, his fire, and his flame will never grow dim and will keep your soul ablaze with the truth and witness of his presence.

Won’t you come and warm your heart next to mine?

Standing with Jesus. Near his fire. Warming ourselves with the Eternal.

I’d like nothing more than to link arms with you as we make our stand with our Savior.

Peace for the journey,

18 Responses to choosing where to stand …

    • I’m so glad you are inspired, Deborah. I was as well when I read this scripture this morning. Something about Peter being cold just resonated with me. I hope you are well.

  1. I will most definitely stand and warm my heart next to the fire of the Spirit within you. I know linking arms with you is safe and will ignite a deeper and more vibrant flame as we walk together with the Savior. I will not be burned without, but like the Emmaus road encounter, my heart will burn within me, for together we will encounter Christ.

    This morning I read this quote: “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” (Jim Rohn).

    Passionately desiring to be like Jesus I need to stand near those who are ablaze with His presence, Word and love. Yes…that most definitely would include you Elaine.

    Joining with you and warming myself with the eternal,

    • So sweet, friend. I’m glad our arms are linked on the kingdom road. I pray you are well.

  2. Rather than seeing any value in their fire, it is my hope & prayer that those living among the temporal would prefer warming themselves by my fire/His fire. Sometimes it’s not a tension easily shifted, but when times are tough, it’s amazing who’ll come forth to borrow some coals.

    I’m glad to join you in your warmth-gathering invitation.

  3. For many years, I warmed myself by all the wrong fires….and got burned. So thankful that over a decade ago I figured out that the Jesus-fire is the only safe fire by which to warm myself. Wonderful post full of great wisdom, my friend.

    • I’ve really been searching my heart for any small fires I’ve built in an effort to get warm in recent days. Surprising what I’m realizing.

  4. I had to smile, Elaine. Just this week I posted about a conversation that my sister and I had. She had asked me the very thought-provoking question, “Where are you camping?”

    My answer to her question, and to yours, is this: I am choosing to stand next to His fire, in the campsite that He has chosen, and enjoying the warmth and the beautiful scenery that is found in His Presence.


  5. “The flesh warms itself next to a fire that will never satiate the chill within, only temporarily abate the chill without.”

    Isn’t it the truth! I’m nudging my way into that warmth by His fire, there’s room for all of us! 🙂

  6. I almost always come away from your blog feeling a bit guilty/convicted. In this widowhood life I find myself so overburdened with ‘stuff’ to do and take care of there seems to be very little time to ‘sit’ by anything or anybody including Jesus! I run from job to job to project to chore this with focus only on completing a task. I fall into bed at night exhausted only to rise again a few hours later with another ‘to do’ / ‘to be’ / ‘to go’ list for the day! As I’m reading this now, I am preparing to leave the office and head to my next assignment, always on the go. Someday…. But today, you bless my heart!

    • Gracious, no condemnation here, Cindy. Only what God is challenging me to do alongside all of us. I pray you’ll find warmth by the fire with Jesus this weekend.

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