In the tabernacle, after God lit the fire the priest had the responsibility to keep it burning. God would not send the fire again. The same is true with us, the tabernacle / temple of God. Once God sends the fire we must keep it burning. If the fire goes out it is up to you to fan the flame. Many times believers and the church are guilty of waiting for God to send revival fire, when He is actually waiting for them to fan the flame that He has already placed within them.
In the natural realm a fire has to be fed with more fuel or it will slowly go out. The same is true in the spiritual realm, we have to fuel the fire that God has placed within us. God will not send the fire again.
Keeping the fire of God and zeal for God is important and it is your responsibility, no one can do it for you. Developing and maintaining your personal relationship with God and your intimacy with Him must be your first priority in life. Like all relationships in life, your relationship with God demands time and attention. The more time you spend with God, the more you will begin to take on His desires, attitudes, values, and behavior.
Is The Fire Growing Dim Or Gone Out? – Self-Examination
Evaluate your life with the Holy Spirit. Are there signs that you are growing cold in your spirit? Have you left your first love? Can you remember a time in your past when you were hungrier for God than you are right now? If so, you need to repent and ask the Holy Spirit to create a hunger for God within you like you have never had before. Ask Him to fan the flame of passion within you.
Some signs that a person has grown cold in their spirit are:
Adopting a world view instead of a Biblical view.
Exchanging God’s values for the worlds.
Becoming complacent toward sin.
Being critical about everything.
Desiring the approval of man instead of God.
Ceasing to give to God’s work or to the needs of others.
Having secret thoughts that do not honor God.
Lack of love for others.
Lack of joy in their life.
Loving temporary riches more than eternal riches.
Making excuses for sin.
Lack of conviction.
No desire to spread the Good News.
Not enjoying times spent in reading or studying God’s Word, or in prayer.
Placing stumbling blocks in front of others.
Taking pleasure in people or things more than they do in God.
Thinking that they are missing out on fun.
Unwillingness to forgive.
Viewing God’s commands as restrictions.
God is not the center of your life anymore.
Separating yourself from other believers.
Rekindle The Flame
We need a revival that will rekindle old fires. If you leave a fire in a fireplace unattended for a while the embers will burn low, and if not rekindled they will go out. The same is true with the fire of God and our passion for God. When rekindling a fire, or flame, we must remove the ashes, use live coals, add fresh tender, and adjust air flow.
- Remove the ashes.
Leviticus 6:8-10 NKJV
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law of the burnt offering: The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it. And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen trousers he shall put on his body, and take up the ashes of the burnt offering which the fire has consumed on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.”
The priests were to keep the fire on the alter burning at all times and to remove the ashes from the altar each morning. The purpose, or function, of the altar was for sacrifice and worship. To many ashes in a fire can cause the coals (fire) to go out or they could block our flame from burning brightly.
We must be diligent in removing our ashes of yesterday because, they can put the fire of God within us out. Some ashes of yesterday can be emotional baggage, unforgiveness, unrepeated sin, unfulfilled expectations, or longing for things of the past. There are times that people, and churches, are blinded by longing for things from the past (living in the past) so much that they cannot see God moving in their lives and churches.
Psalm 77:11-14 NKJV
“ I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.”
We are to remember the great works of God because that builds our faith however, we must remember that God has greater things in store for us and that He works and moves in many different and new ways (Do not put God in a box). You cannot live in the past and have a fresh fire of God burning in your life at the same time. As believers we must get rid of ashes that accumulate each day. We can choose to remove those ashes, start each day fresh, ready to begin anew, or we can choose to hold on to them.
- Use live coals.
You must use live coals to when rekindling a fire.
Isaiah 6:5-7 NKJV
“So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.”
The coal from the altar symbolized purification (forgiveness) and the fire of the Holy Spirit. Like Isaiah, we must confess our uncleanness to God and allow Him to forgive us and to refill us with the fire of the Holy Spirit.
If you want to kindle a fading fire, you must bring the live coals close together. If you want to rekindle the flame in your life you must draw close to God.
James 4:8 NKJV
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
- Add fresh tender (fresh fuel).
We must put fresh fuel on the fire. Ways to add fresh tender spiritually are:
1. Spending time alone with God in worship, prayer and Bible reading.
2. Laying yourself on the altar – your plans, hopes, dreams and expectations.
3. Dying daily. Dry (dead) wood burns better than wet wood.
4. Confess your faults and weakness and ask God to strengthen you.
5. Surrendering everything to God.
- Adjust air flow – Don’t block the air flow.
Every believer needs a continual and fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. We must get alone with God and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us and to blow fresh upon us.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV
“Do not quench the Spirit.”
Believers must not quench or grieve the Holy Spirit. One definition of quench means to extinguish a fire. Grieve means to feel grief or cause great distress. Both, quenching the Holy Spirit and grieving the Holy Spirit, can happen when a believer (or church) disobeys God and/or puts their will above that of God (follows their own desires). Quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit both hinder / stop the work of the Holy Spirit.
Some (but not all) ways of quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit are:
1. When we do what we know is wrong (in thought or in deed)
2. When we fail to do what God has told us to do. To know to do good and not do it
3. Unbelief – lack of faith in God
5. Sin that you have not asked forgiveness of
6. Flirting or playing around with sin
7. Failing to follow the Holy Spirit’s instructions
8. Trying to do things on your own – not seeking the Holy Spirit for direction or help
9. Filling up your schedule (or life) with so many things that it crowds the Holy Spirit out
10. Wanting your way (will) more than you want God’s perfect will
11. Ignoring the Holy Spirit
12. Corrupt communication
13. Bad attitude
14. Neglecting Him and/or the gifts that He has placed within you
Soul Or Spirit
What you feed the most will grow the strongest. This is true in both the physical and the spiritual realm. If you take two rats and feed them different amounts of food, the rat that is fed more will grow stronger than the other one, and eventually it will overtake the smaller one. In addition to having a body, man has a soul (mind, will, emotions) and a spirit. Whatever part is fed the most will overtake the other part. In order to be spiritually strong we must feed our spirit more than we feed our soul.
Romans 7:14-25 NKJV
“ For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Galatians 5:16-26 NKJV
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Every believer has a battle raging within them – between good and evil. The soulish part of us will dry to draw us away from God and what we know is right. That is why spiritual growth is so important.
Is the spiritual climate around you favorable to spiritual growth?
Are you making progress in your spiritual growth?
Are your standards more Biblical or worldly?
Fall In Love With The Lord Of The Work, Not The Work Of The Lord
There is a big difference in working for God and loving God. God desire for you to love Him with all your heart, soul and mind.
Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV
“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
People can, and do, work for God and not love Him or have an intimate relationship with Him.
Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ ”
Things to remember…
1. The work of the Lord should flow from your love and intimacy with Him. Do things to glorify God, not yourself or to please man.
2. Narrow your interests. Too many projects use up time and energy without producing kingdom results.
3. Don’t get so busy with the work of God that you don’t have time for intimacy with Him. If you are too busy with ministry work to spend quality time alone with God, you’re TOO BUSY.
Matthew 16:26 NKJV
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Mark 8:36-37 NKJV
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Nothing is worth loosing your soul over, including ministry work.
Allow Yourself To Be Washed By The Word Of God
In Biblical times you could not go into the holy place or the holy of holies (the presence of God) without first going by the outer court and then the laver. The priest would offer a sacrifice on the brazen altar then he would go to the laver and wash before going into the holy place. The laver was made out of looking glasses that the women had brought out from Egypt. The laver was a place of reflection and sanctification. The water in it represented the Word of God. No matter how many times the priest went into the holy place he always had to wash his hands and feet before going in.
Exodus 30:17-21 NKJV
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them – to him and his descendants throughout their generations.’ ”
As believers, we too, must continually look into the Word of God to see ourselves. We must examine ourselves on a daily basis (throughout the day) with the Holy Spirit. Then we must repent of any sin. As long as we are alive, we have a continual need for repentance – a continual need for the washing of the Word.
Keep The Flame Burning – Protect Your Relationship With God
We often hear people that are getting a divorce say that they don’t love their spouse any more – that they have drifted apart. Their drifting apart, in many cases, was not caused by something that was done, but by doing nothing to keep their relationship alive. The same can be true in our relationship with God. Sometimes the flame goes out because we do nothing to keep it burning.
Each believer must protect their intimate relationship with God and make it a priority. In the natural realm a couple must guard their marriage from outside influences and distractions. The same is true for us spiritually. We must not allow outside influences and distractions into our relationship with God. As we keep our First Love in mind we will strive to live a holy and consecrated life. A life set apart for God.
Spending time with God is not the same thing as spending time at church, with other believers or doing ministry work. We must have time alone with God. He desires an intimate relationship with you and that only comes as you spend time with Him – talking to Him, listening to Him, reading and studying His Word. Relationships demand time and attention – they just don’t happen. It is said that we become like the people we are around. As we spend more and more time with God, we will become more and more like Him – we will begin to take on His thoughts, standards, dreams, attitudes, behavior, and burdens. The more we seek Him, the more we will find Him. The more we will find Him, the more we will seek Him.
Your relationship, and intimacy, with God will deepen as you spend time in His Word and commune with Him in prayer. You must make a conscious decision to guard what you hear, see and do. In other words, we must choose for ourselves to protect our relationship with God by filtering out negative and unholy influences.
Psalm 101:3 NKJV
“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.”