In 1962, a fire started burning in Centralia, Pennsylvania and has been burning ever since. It is believed that on May 27, 1962 the fire was intentionally set in a waste disposal area. The City Council decided to burn the waste to clean up the landfill, a common practice during that time.

But Pennsylvania has some of the largest coal deposits in the world. Centralia is located in the eastern part of the state and was once a town with a busy mining business. It turns out the landfill was situated on the top of an old coal mine and the fire ignited the coal beneath. 

Authorities tried to extinguish the fire for years. They pumped water into the mine, covered the surface with clay and dumped wet sand into holes drilled down from the surface. But none of those attempts put out the fire.

State and Federal authorities gave up trying to extinguish the fire in the 1980’s. Unlike wood in a forest fire, coal burns slowly and steadily. Coal naturally contains its own fuel (carbon) and the tunnels provide oxygen from the surface. The town is all but abandoned and when the last few people die no one will ever live there again.

Below the surface the fire continues to burn. It now reaches as deep as 300 feet and covers 6 square miles. The fire grows 50-75 feet per year. Most amazingly, the fire will continue to burn for another 100 years.

I’m struck by how nothing can put out the fire and that the fire will keep burning for years. Can the same be said about us? Is fire for God is burning in us and can’t be extinguished? Will fire for God keep burning our entire lives?

God revealed himself several times in the Bible through fire. It is a symbol of his presence. Exodus 3:2 says, “There an angel of the Lord appeared to him from a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but was not burning up.”

The fire of God in us means we want more of God, we desire what he wants, we have passion. To be fired up is to have enthusiasm and zeal for the things of God. Is the fire still burning in you? Make sure nothing can put it out. If you stay on fire for God he will continue to do new and powerful things in your life.


About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ six​​ books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.

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 New Devotional from Pastor Rick McDaniel: Vida De Alto Impacto con Rick McDaniel

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