December 1, 2023

Beside Still Waters: The Burn Ban

Therese Apel

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” – 1 Timothy 4:1-2

Earlier this year, up until a few weeks ago, we had a partial statewide burn ban. A burn ban is set into place so that when conditions are perfect for fire to spread and destroy everything in its path, we don’t give it life. If you follow that burn ban, you shouldn’t have to worry about being in a situation where you’re afraid the fire is going to overwhelm your land and your property, or like one Jackson horse owner had, your barn. That fire that started as a trash burn killed 14 of his horses.

Sometimes it’s not you who starts the fire. Sometimes it’s somebody else that didn’t take into consideration what their actions would do to your life if the wind changed just right.

People don’t like talking about Satan and demons and evil, but they exist. If you get on TikTok, it’s full of mediums and psychics and tarot card readers. It’s natural to have a great interest in that stuff, because we all like to hear things specific to ourselves, especially if they are unknown. That’s what we think this verse is about, and it is. But it’s also a lot more sinister than that.

God has showed us what happens when we blatantly disrespect the things he’s told us. Why do we not listen?

It’s not just about the occult stuff, it’s about the things that we do without talking to God because we don’t like what we know he would say. Where do you think those temptations and intrusive thoughts come from? “I’ll just borrow a little money from the cash register…” “Nobody has to know about my shady business deals…” “I have so many connections, I can do whatever I want to whoever I want because I’m untouchable.”

That’s not God.

When you give in to those thoughts, that’s when the devil wins. That’s when that trash fire catches the wind and destroys everything around it, even some things that belong to other people. You can gravely hurt others by ignoring what you know God has told you, and you definitely hurt yourself.

“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” – 1 Timothy 4:7

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