Do you remember seeing Medieval movies where the characters carried torches in front of them to light their way? They made the torch. They carried the torch. They went on their way.
The light of our own fires is what we follow when we live in independence from God. In Leviticus 10, Nadab and Abihu made “their own fire” and God killed them. Pride and fear are some of the roots that steer our souls into a spirit of independence from Him. We become corrupted and seduced because we have received a different spirit than the Holy Spirit who originally called us (2 Cor. 11:3-4). Whether it is attempting to gain salvation by another gospel or calling Christ Lord yet failing to do what He says (Luke 6:46), we are choosing to light our own fires.
The consequences of lighting our own fires is not good because lying down in grief and torment is no figure of speech (Is. 50:11). Many will lie down in grief and torment eternally when Christ exposes them as imposters for having their own agendas (Matt. 7:21). And we lie down in grief and torment temporarily when we are lovingly disciplined to be broken from our independence and conformed to Christ’s image (Heb. 12:11).
On the contrary, do you recall when God led His people through the darkness by a pillar of fire? God appeared before them as fire. They followed.
The light of God’s fire is what we follow when we live in dependence on Him (Ex. 13:21). Brokenness and humility are roots of a dependent soul posture (Ps. 51:17). With wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ, we grow to live in humility (2 Cor. 11:3-4) and continually lean upon and are supported by God (Is. 50:10). Our agendas are not in the equation because our lives and agendas are owned by Christ. The consequences of following the light of God’s fire is that we bear much fruit (John 15:5) and God is glorified in our lives.
Ask God to reveal to you areas where you may be walking by the light of your own fire. The revelation will enable you to walk in the freedom of dependence on Him and bear much fruit.
My personal story of brokenness is recorded in my book.
The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.
Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God.
Behold, all you [enemies of your own selves] who attempt to kindle your own fires [and work out your own plans of salvation], who surround and gird yourselves with momentary sparks, darts, and firebrands that you set aflame!—walk by the light of your self-made fire and of the sparks that you have kindled [for yourself, if you will]! But this shall you have from My hand: you shall lie down in grief and in torment.
Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you?
2 Corinthians 11:3-4
But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
For [you seem readily to endure it] if a man comes and preaches another Jesus than the One we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the [Spirit] you [once] received or a different gospel from the one you [then] received and welcomed; you tolerate [all that] well enough!
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.
For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].
My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.