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STIRRING THE FIRE (GUEST ARTICLE)

August 21, 2015

 

STIRRING THE  FIRE

         You’re sitting in front of a fireplace.  You begin to feel cooler than you want to.  What do you do?  You find a poker and stir up the fire so that it burns hotter.  Easy fix!  Right?

You also know that sometimes our spiritual fires burn low, too.  That’s what happened to Timothy.  His friend Paul writes to him and exhorts, “. . . stir up that inner fire which God gave you . . . .” (II Tim. 1:6 Phillips)  Satan doesn’t want your spiritual fervor burning high.  He’ll put it out if he can.  The Bible book of Hebrews addresses believers whose flame Satan had tried to snuff out with persecution.  The exemplary church in Ephesus fell into the doldrums of loveless correctness.  Jesus told them to return to their first love or be extinguished. (Rev. 2:1ff.)

How do you stir up faith?  Probably the best way is to go back to the source.  Talk to God about it.  Sometimes we get to doing so much good that we forget from whence we came.  Go to God and ask Him for renewal.  Read the Word.  Listen to what He has to say.  You’re a lot like a car; you can’t go on empty.  Hear Him!

Assess your life.  Have you allowed matters of this world to weigh you down?  Timothy served in a city caught up in a world of success.  Remember that God did not call you for success, but for service.  Jeremiah was a total failure worldly-wise.  People wouldn’t even listen to him.  Refocus your attention on Him.  Satan will dishearten and discourage you if he can.

Be wary of negative people—powerful wet blankets.  They do a great of job of putting your fire out.

Be wary of activity.  You need time in quietness with the Lord.  Elijah didn’t see God in the wind or in the earthquake or in the fire.  He heard Him in a still small voice.  And so from the faithful psalmist: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10)  In quietness.  In stillness.  God stirs the fire.

Larry A. Shelley

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