The oldest underground fire in the world is within “Burning Mountain” a hill near New South Wales, Australia; it is estimated to be six-thousand-years old. Incredibly, “coal seam fires” are actually quite common, along with other subsurface fires. Hatred operates much like an underground fire and can last a lifetime. Sometimes it is fiery flame that all can see, but mostly it smolders just underneath the surface. Hatred is an insidious, destructive and dangerous intruder in the heart of a lover of God. I have both hated and been hated; it is evil and a game of fools. While avoiding the hatred of others is nearly impossible, as believers, we can be free from its internal harm or lasting effects through God’s forgiveness and mercy. Lord, purge my heart of hidden hatred and snuff out every ember.
“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd,” Exodus 23:2NIV. Geese fly in formation so they can draft off each other to make flying easier. People do the same. We have a natural tendency to simply follow the herd; it is easier to go with the flow of whatever is popular, faddish or commonly admired. The steep price of a drift-along-lifestyle is the failure to find your divinely created purpose. We are carefully knitted together by the Creator for His specific calling for each of us. We can never rise to God’s best by going along with the crowd. I must continually find that sweet spot of being WITH the crowd but not OF the crowd. Lord, protect me from wandering aimlessly and help me keep my pace in cadence with Yours. Teach me to be comfortable in the gaggle but to be willing to fly at the front of the formation.