This is a picture of my bathroom counter-top. I lit a fragrant candle and went about my day tackling the household chores. At one point I left the room for just a few minutes. When I returned, the room was filled with smoke and I immediately remembered the burning candle. The candle burned through the bottom and scorched my counter-top. Yes, I know: (1) never leave a burning candle unattended and (2) never place a candle directly on any surface; there should always be a protective base beneath it.
I knew the safety precautions but I ignored them anyway.
This incident got me thinking about how we can sometimes become careless when it comes to sin. We know how to protect ourselves but we ignore God's instructions anyway. We leave ourselves vulnerable. We sometimes walk away from God to later find our lives surrounded by a smokey haze. We play with fire. And we become burned. There are indeed consequences for our actions.
I have scrubbed and scoured my counter-top but that scorch is there to stay. It is a permanent reminder of my carelessness and the importance of taking precautions in the future.
Perhaps you've been scorched because of mistakes you've made. Let it be a gentle reminder to be more cautious in the future. Let's remember to protect ourselves by seeking God's will above all else. Let's seek scripture for instruction, and let's pray for guidance. Let's not walk away. Let's not take the chance of suffering further damage. The Lord promises to protect us from the flames when trials come our way, but we need to follow Him.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.