I have many memories of being around fires as I grew up. In the Fall as cold and winter weather began, we raked the fallen leaves and branches into piles and then set them on fire. We had to stir and turn the leaves occasionally to keep them burning. I remember sitting around a fire just to relax and enjoy our family and friends. I remember preparing hamburgers and hot dogs over the flames of a grill. I remember making popcorn and holding marsh mellows over fires until they turned light brown and were gooey in the middle for a tasty desert.
“… they saw a fire of burning coals there, with fish on it and some bread.”John 21:9
I remember the fires in a fireplace that was under a barrel full of water in Africa. It was the only way to get hot water and felt so good to have a hot bath. I remember sitting, talking and laughing as we sat around the fires to stay warn in the cool evening air. There’s something special when sitting beside a fire. The dancing and flickering flames were and are captivating, but it’s the heat from the fire that kept us warm and comfortable.
“It was cold … stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. …”John 18:18
One thing that was common in all of those fires was that we had a part to play to keep the fires burning. Sometimes when the fire had almost gone out, we had to add some paper just to start the flames. There were times that we had to blow air over the embers to get it burning again. If we did not stir the wood or add more wood the fire would “burn out”. We had to turn and stir the wood. But in every fire we had to add more wood to keep the fire burning.
I see similarities between a fire and my spiritual condition. There are a few things that I have to do to start a spiritual fire and to keep it burning. For example, if I don’t make an effort to seek and gather spiritual truth, and stir or think about spiritual truth, put spiritual thoughts in my mind and heat my heart with spiritual truth, the spiritual fire will go out. I need to add the wood of God’s truth and practice obedience and stir the embers of faith, or the spiritual fire will go out. There needs to be an ongoing effort to keep the spiritual fire burning. We have to fan the flames.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God …”2 Timothy 1:6
Fanning the spiritual flames and keeping the fire burning in our lives means regularly listening to preaching and teaching from God’s word, the Bible. Reading, studying, applying the Bible to my life and obeying are ways to fan spiritual flames in my life.
Fan the spiritual flames by taking some extra time to focus on your spiritual life. It may mean giving some extra time alone in Bible reading and prayer. It may mean attending some special church services or listening to preaching and teaching through some form of media. It might mean reading some Christian books for spiritual inspiration and motivation. It might mean asking other Christians to share their testimony and pray with you. It’s our responsibility to stir or fan the spiritual flames by seeking God and asking for His help in our walk with Him. Ask for His help, guidance, counsel, direction, motivation, and passion to follow and obey Him. God often waits for us to stir our spiritual fire by seeking Him. We can fan the flames by setting aside some extra time to spend with Him. If we don’t keep it burning, the spiritual fire will go out.
There is a part for us to play, steps we need to take, things we need to do, a responsibility to accept so we can fan the flames of our spiritual lives. It’s mine, it’s yours, it’s our responsibility to fan the spiritual flames in our hearts and minds.
Do you need prayer or need to talk? Please feel free to reach out to Pastor Dwayne Potteiger @ [email protected]