As I was preparing for my Sunday night class this week, I came across a quote in my commentary on the book of Nehemiah. The quote is by General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army and it is quite eye-opening.
"Bear in mind that it is the nature of a fire to go out;
you must keep it stirred and fed and the ashes removed"
I am not sure of the exact context of General Booth's quote, but I know when I read it I immediately thought of my Christian walk. And just how easy it is to let the fires of my devotion to God burn out. Even when I am so determined to guard against that happening.
It is amazing how we can get our fire for the Lord burning so hot and so bright and then we just stop. We sit back and let it slowly burn down until all we have left is smoldering embers and a little bit of smoke. I have been guilty of this so many times and it just breaks my heart when I think about it. I can be on fire one minute and flameless the next.
As I read this quote today, I felt the conviction fall on me immediately. My fire is certainly not burning as hot as I desire it to burn. And it is no ones fault but my own. I have no one to blame but myself.
You see, our Christian walk is in need of constant maintenance. We have to keep those fires stirred up and fed. We have to keep those ashes removed so they don't quench the flames. We must be purposed in our pursuit. And we must be pursuing Him daily. Once we find Him, we don't just go about our business and neglect Him. We must keep feeding that fire that burns within our souls so the flame never goes out!
We must stay in the Word! It is of the utmost importance that we feed ourselves from the precious and Holy scriptures daily. The Bread of Life is truly what nourishes our souls and we must partake of it on a regular basis. If we don't feast on it every day a little bit of our fire goes out. If we don't eat the Word we will starve that fire and it will have nothing to keep it stoked.
I love the Word of God and I love the study of the scriptures. And I know that no matter how much time I spend communing with my Father through His Word, it is never enough. I want more. He deserves more.
There are so many things that tend to distract us from the things that are most important. There is nothing wrong with reading a book or playing a game or watching television. Unless those things are keeping you from spending time with Jesus. Unless those things are contrary to the teachings of Christ. Unless those things are unspiritual, unholy or ungodly.
I needed this reminder today that I need to be putting most of my energy and most of my time into eternal things. My first priority has to be my Savior. I need to be more purposed in my pursuit of Him. I need to be more determined to be like Him. I need to be more diligent in keeping my fire for Him burning bright and hot. He has to come first in my life.
I have a new desire in my heart to strive harder to be like Jesus. To love like Him. To minister like Him. And to be about my Father's business. I want to keep myself stirred up inside so I shine for Him all the days of my life.
"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that
ye look for such things, be
diligent that ye may be found of Him
in peace, without spot, and blameless."
(2 Peter 3:14)