Keep It Burning
by Ethan Fortner
If any of you know how fire works, you know that it takes fuel, heat and oxygen. Fire simply will not function without one of these components, and in our spiritual life it reigns the same way.
If I were to light a match and tell you try and blow it out from about 10 feet away, you probably would not succeed. Unless you somehow had a leaf blower in your back pocket. See at a distance, fire cannot be put out, but the closer you creep in, the easier it becomes. So I say to you today, keep it burning.
As a believer, each of us has a spiritual fire within us. A passion to pursue God. A fire that keeps us in love, a fire that gives us the desire to share the good news. God constantly asks through the Bible to keep your passion alive. And he also tells you of the things to avoid, that might put it out.
Romans 12:11 tells us to keep our zeal, and keep fervor in the Lord.
But certain things in life can put out your fire. And God is saying in Hebrews 12:2-3 to keep your eyes on him, even when those things try to put it out. Even when sin creeps into your life. Keep your eyes on me. Keep your fire burning. So that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
So what can put out the fire? I’d like to focus on 2 types of destruction. Outward Destruction, and Inward Destruction.
-Outward destruction is when someone or something else says things or does things, to you that begin to put out your fire.
-Inward destruction is when you say or do things to yourself, or think things about yourself that put out your fire.
An example in the Bible of outward destruction in the Bible would be Judas Iscariot. Judas knew Jesus personally, and was so close to Him. But ultimately Judas let the thought of money, and the thought of power get to him. Judas so easily let the words of the Pharisees get to him, that his fire began dwindling. He let this idea in that money was not as valuable as Jesus. The words of deception from others got to him, and the root of all kinds of evil, (money) took him down a path that ultimately lead him to betrayal, and death. He let outward influence, destroy his fire.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character"
There's a quote that says "Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future."You have to be careful not to let certain friends and family say things that could corrupt your fire. If they get too close it could be put out be put out. Do not let the words of others, disarm your faith.
To hit on the thought of items, You can't let things of this world corrupt you. Sinful things or not. Games, movies, music, books. Ect. They will also corrupt your fire. What you inhale is what you exhale. And when things get to close. It will also put out your fire.Influence is the biggest weapon of change. Good or bad.
The thing about inward destruction is that it is always sparked by outward destruction. When someone tells you that you aren't beautiful. It makes you start to think it yourself. When someone tells you that you are the worst player on the team. You start to believe it yourself. When someone tells you that you can’t do the job the right way, countless times to belittle you.You start to believe you aren’t worth it.
When someone abandons you. You start to believe that you aren't worth anything. And these things creep into your mind and you eventually become the one that puts out your fire.
In these situations, you have to be the one that instead of blowing out your fire. You have to let certain things stoke your fire. Such as reading your Bible, going to church, praying, listening to the good people around you, and ultimately understanding what God says you are.
Don’t let the world destroy you, but let the word uplift you.
Because God says you are loved, cherished, and his chosen instrument.
YOU radiate light wherever I go. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14
YOU shine like a firework in the night. “Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philipphians 2:15
YOU are a child of Light. “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”1 Thessalonians 5:5
YOU are designed for good works. "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
YOU are full of Fire. "For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
So don't let outward destruction blow out your fire. Don't let inward destruction put out your fire. Instead, Stoke the fire and until it's too big to contain and control, and last but not least: Share your fire. Christianity was not meant to be bottled up, and neither was salvation. And Jesus absolutely will not be contained.
If you have a fire. You have to build it up, and then when it's so big - you have to share it. And then light a fire within everyone else. Stoke your fire today. Read a chapter or two, pray for 5 minutes or 5 hours, I don’t know what you need to do to have a deeper intimate relationship with God. All I can say, is the bigger the fire, the more light you can see. The bigger the fire, the more warmth your soul might feel. The bigger the fire, the more change to an environment you have. We are the wildfire of hope. It’s time to start consuming what needs to be set ablaze in His love.