Maybe you grew up a princess. But, I was a tomboy. I remember arguing with my cousin about how “real” tom-boys carry their hands…
I was seriously into mud pies and making forts with my cousin who was my sister and best friend.
I used to follow my brother; repelling down a mountain, racing in his eight cylinder, or skiing a slope that I knew was far too risky…
Because when we want to impress someone, we’ll do most anything.
Still, some of my favorite days were jumping into our family’s Scooby-Doo-like, chevy van, and traveling around this great land, the U.S. of A.
On stops, my brother and I would find an old river bed, leap frogs, or grab two sticks and just like Huckleberry Finn or Swiss Family Robinson, we’d try to make a fire, by rubbing two sticks together.
Some might have seen it on Survivor. Lint, and a stick, rubbed together in a challenge-vote off in some intense tribal meeting.
And yet, as Christians, it can be easy to put down our sticks, compromise the gospel, or forget His call to be ablaze, aflame with the zeal of His Spirit. We can grow cold, or sacrifice His tangible presence for ho-hum Christianity.
We then use church, or our circumstances as an explanation for why the fire has died inside us.
I open scripture this morning and read about the “wearing down”of the saints. Daniel talks about in Chapter 7, verse 25.
“He (the enemy) shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.”
The word, “persecute” in this verse actually means, “to wear down“.
“Wearing down” according to MacMillan Dictionary means, “to make someone gradually lose their energy or confidence”.
And I don’t know about you, but I often find my greatest enemy is my thoughts. I also get strung out from being too busy or over-scheduling.
And whether business or lack of confidence is the primary cause of your dwindling…God’s call is to be roaring flames, not barely burning embers just struggling to hold on.
My brother and I often dreamed of survival or living off the grid. Like Grissly Adams, we found it enticing, to live simplicity on God’s resources.
We dreamed rubbing two sticks together, starting a blaze so big the whole world could see. A fire so large, we’d draw the coastguard, and end up saving the people on some imaginary island.
Yet, as we get older, we can walk away from the fire that was meant to live inside us. We settle for head knowledge, cold religion, the doctrine of man, or some powerless words that include lots of teaching, but lacks real power.
I don’t want to settle for complacency, or for a Christ that didn’t die, or a Savior that never healed.
In the jungle, the fire keeps the wild animals away.
The Greek words for, “persecution” is also, “diókó”, meaning “to aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch.”
Scripture says, the enemy is a like a lion roaming around to see who he can devour.
Yet, the fire of God is our protection. Him flame burning bright in us, is the antidote for the world’s mediocre Christianity.
So, how do we “fan into flames” the gifts God has given us?
- Lay on of hands – 2 Timothy 1:6
- Ask God to help your unbelief – Mark 9:24
- Do everything as if unto the Lord, not man – Col 3:23, 1 Cor 10:31
- Accept reproval and discipline from the Lord – Rev 3:19
- Don’t get caught up in our culture of business – Ro 12:11
- Return to intimacy and connection with your “first love” – Rev 2:1-7
We can also fill our minds with scripture, worship, listen to sermons, serve others, live in a state of thanksgiving, prayerfully seeking relationship with Him continually.
Years later, my husband and I bought a larger piece of property. Over time, we have collected wood that has come from fallen trees or scraps seen as useless.
Some days, we ignite this big burn pile and just watch as the flames seem to reach the heavens.
Romans 12:11 says in the Amplified, “Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.”
And I imagine, this is how He wants our faith to be like. Alive. Bright. Wildly ablaze with a life that burns away the dross.
Maybe you were a princess. But, I was a tomboy…
Created to burn ablaze, for Him.
(Linking with F. Dean Hackett)
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