Do you ever have times that your zeal and the clarity of God's purpose grows a little cloudy? Whenever that happens to me, I know I need to get alone with the Lord and spend some extra time reading His Word, getting myself stirred up!
I recently started a fire in our fireplace on one of those cold wintery St. Louis days (and we have had PLENTY this year!). As I worked on the fire, I began pondering the similarities between this natural fire and God's flame in our hearts and lives.
The first thing I needed in getting this fire started was some kindling wood and a starter flame. At the same time, I also realized that all we need is a little starter flame to stir ourselves up. That "starter flame" could be reading our favorite scriptures or receiving a word from a friend, a Bible teaching or even a song.
What a sense of accomplishment to see the fire you work so hard to build, begin to take off! In the same way, isn't it good when you feel that little flickering of hope & clarity of purpose start to reignite in your heart?
Now the next thing I noticed as I watched my beautiful fire was: This flame wouldn't burn forever - it needed to be fed. Continually! Thankfully I had recently split some wood and had a load in my garage, so I began feeding the fire.
It's the same way with our spiritual life - Once that fire gets lit inside, we must keep feeding it with nuggets of God's Word and His Love through Bible study, prayer, worship and communion with Him. If you don't feed your heart with fresh manna from Heaven, then your zeal and confidence will dwindle and eventually fade out - just like an unattended fire.
Are You Stoked?
So before I knew it, the fire was blazing! I was so proud of it so I just sat back, soaked in the warm glow and got busy studying. However after just a short time I noticed the fire fading already. :-/ But what was interesting is that there was plenty of wood in there - It just needed to be stoked!
So I grabbed the poker our son made in his high-school Metals class, and as I moved the wood around, the flames began to burn bright again. Sometimes we may have all the wood (or Word) we need, but just simply need to stir things up in our lives!
So how do we do that?
One way is by simply praying in the Spirit or singing out some great worship songs. Sometimes you might just need to take a drive and commune with the Lord, or take some time at night and look at the stars, admiring God's creation.
You can also stir yourself up by just simply remembering how much God loves you and all of the great things He has done for you through the cross! It's amazing what you can do with a little fire if you just keep it stoked!
Beloved, this is now the second epistle that I write to you; and in both of them
I stir up your sincere mind by putting you in remembrance... 2 Peter 3:1
Peter's fire was stirred up, and he wanted to make sure everyone's was too! If we continually remind ourselves of God's goodness in our lives, that alone will stir up our inner flame.
OK, so I'll tell on myself here - I almost forgot to open the fireplace vent so the smoke had a place to go! (That was a close call!) So check this out: Sometimes the vent of our hearts may be closed, and that is SUPER UNHEALTHY. We MUST make sure it stays open to let God's goodness flow out of us to others, sharing the love.
It may be a comforting word to a hurting friend, a phone call, a text, a prayer, a financial gift, WHATEVER! Just like a good fire, a healthy life needs to give out. Don't wait for, say, a public speaking opportunity - instead just open your heart to the world around you and start letting your life bless someone else. I guarantee your fire will start blazing!
Our Take Away
I think the biggest lesson I learned in this experience was that I simply have to give attention to the fire in my life - To feed it and not let it go dim! Like the saying goes, That which we give attention to, grows.
Till I come, place attention
on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers,and
teaching them. Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through
the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their
hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters.
Pray This Prayer With Us
Thank you Lord for placing your fire inside of me and helping me keep it alive through Your Living Word. I know I have to do my part - adding and stirring the wood (Your Word) in my life, but ultimately You are the One Who created the fire, and through Your miraculous power You will keep it going.
And I am certain that
God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until
it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Don't get too comfortable, cuddled up by the fireside of your heart and forget to keep it stirred up! Sometimes it's easy to start a fire, but it takes work to keep it lit!
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
2 Timothy 1:6
Live mindfully. Live with purpose. Live stoked.
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I wrote a song several years ago about Jesus' encounter with Mary & Martha from Luke 10:38-42 titled Listen to His Heart. I can reme...
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