I came to send fire on the earth. (Luke 12:49)
Fire always finds things out. As it creeps and encroaches and overtakes, it makes one discrimination between things that it can devour and things over which it has no power. It puts them into those categories; the finding out, the classifying, the deciding. Look at the context, Luke 12:51 – “Think ye that I am come to give peace in the earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.” He goes on – “There shall be from henceforth five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. They shall be divided, father against son, and son against father; mother against daughter, and daughter against her mother; mother in law against her daughter in law, and daughter in law against her mother in law...” – discriminating, setting things in the category to which they belong.
One category is that which can go on and abide and endure because it is of God. The other will be licked up by the fire, and simply pass out of existence. “The fire shall try every man’s work,” said Paul (1 Cor. 3:13). The fire of unavoidable and unerring discrimination. That has ever been the effect of a work of the Holy Spirit; to put us into the place to which we belong. It is a kind of dividing thing all the time. Are you for, or are you against? Are you with, or are you not with the Lord? Are you going on with the Lord, or are you not going on with the Lord? The Holy Spirit is pursuing that course all the time to find us out and to just classify us like this, so that when the Holy Spirit has worked we are in definite categories. Division has come, and it is unavoidable.
By T. Austin-Sparks