Have you ever sat beside a fire on a cold, damp night and relied on it’s flame for your warmth? Or, maybe you have found yourself curled up by a toasty fireplace and depended on the flame for comfort. Or, possibly you have even been stranded somewhere for a time, out camping or outdoors somewhere, where you have relied on the flames of a fire to sustain you with light until you were safely back home again.
In any of these cases you were dependent on “stoking the flame” to keep the fire going!
Whether the fire was providing you with warmth, security or light, you were committed to “Stoking” those flames to keep that fire going!
It has been proven by SERVIVALISTS, that the NUMBER ONE focus when alone in the wilderness, is to START A FIRE! The individual becomes completely obsessed with finding something, anything, to LIGHT A FIRE!
Then, once the fire is started, the SOLE FOCUS of the individual is to “FAN THAT FIRE INTO FLAME AND KEEP IT BURNING!
The individual guards it, protects it and stokes it, to ensure it does not go out!
It becomes an obsession! Nothing else takes president!
THE SURVIVAL OF THE INDIVIDUAL IS DEPENDENT ON THE FIRE STAYING LIT!
This is the intention and the imagery the Apostle Paul is speaking about as he instructs us to, “LIGHT A FIRE, AND KEEP IT LIT!”
“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7
The Fire Paul is referring to, is the spiritual fire inside each one of us, given to us by God’s Holy Spirit when we became followers of Jesus!
The question of each of us having this fire is answered here in verse 7, “For the Spirit God gave us…”
WE HAVE GOD’S FIRE IN US!
The real question is…
Is it burning brightly for others to see? Or is it smoldering, smoking, laying low with only a few dim embers?
IF THAT IS THE CASE, PAUL IS TELLING US TO FAN IT INTO FLAME!
If you had found yourself in any of the scenarios I mentioned in the beginning, you would be dependent on the FIRE BURNING BRIGHTLY! If it flickered at all, and even threatened to go out, you would frantically begin to fan it back into flame!
It is even more important for us to do this with our spiritual FLAME!
While it is obvious how to stoke a physical fire back into flame, it may not be as obvious how to FAN INTO FLAME our spiritual fire.
I propose there are two major ways to ensure our fires get lit and stay burning brightly!
THE FIRST WAY IS:
INDIVIDUALLY WITH ME!
I must keep my main priority in life to daily walk closely with God through reading His Word and through Prayer!
You can open God’s word through the pages of one of your favorite Bibles. Sometimes it helps to go get a new Bible every now and then.
I recently just did this after talking with a friend over a lunch date about her love for “Bible Journaling.” It has been exciting for me to go in each morning and pick up this new Bible and open it’s pages to find pretty illustrations alongside God’s TRUTHFUL and BEAUTIFUL words to me!
You may find it easier in your busy schedule to pick up a daily devotional and open it’s pages each day and read the verse of the day.
You may like to pull up an app on your smart phone or tablet and read God’s Word that way?
NO MATTER how you read God’s Word each day, the point is READ IT EVERY DAY!
You must depend on God’s Word daily, just like you depend on a fire burning when you are out alone in the wilderness!
It begins with ME as I pray to God each day and speak with Him!
There are many ways we speak to God…
We can speak to God silently or out loud!
We can speak to Him as we walk outside in His beautiful and magnificent creation!
We can speak to God quietly as we sit and sip a warm cup of coffee or tea curled up by those inviting flames by the fireplace.
No matter how and no matter where, we can fan our spiritual fires into flame when we pray to Him daily!
If you and I are going to “LIGHT A FIRE” in our spirit and keep it burning…
IT MUST FIRST START WITH ME!
By READING GOD’S WORD EVERY DAY, allowing Him to speak to me with His words of Love and Guidance, and PRAYING TO HIM EACH DAY, so I can speak to God, I am fanning that flame.
THE SECOND WAY IS:
TOGETHER WITH OTHERS!
“LIGHTING A FIRE” OR “FANNING A FIRE INTO FLAME” are both terms talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit of God, or being empowered by the Spirit of God!
There is no better way to do that than by being together with other followers of Jesus!
When you have a group of hot coals burning together brightly, and you take one out and set it aside, it burns our quickly!
Hot coals that burn together however, burn brighter and longer!
Through encouragement, support, love, and even laughter, we help keep each other’s fore burning brightly!
“But encourage one another daily as long as it is called today!” Hebrews 3:13
WE NEED EACH OTHER TO KEEP OUR FIRE LIT AND BURNING BRIGHT!
When we fan our spiritual flame it cannot be extinguished!
So let’s make a commitment to light a fire and fan it into flame through the two ways we’ve looked at!
(1) Individually with me, through daily Bible reading and prayer
(2) Together in community with each other, through committing to our Church and Life groups each week!
We will be a fire no one can put out when we do!
BURN BRIGHTLY MY FRIENDS!
Speak Truth Love