"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Don't call the fire department, they will find you by your fire. Rejoice in that you have been sought out, but don't let them put it out!

As most of you know-- well, probably all by now, I am a girly girl. You know the kind who are completely out of their element in a camping setting. You know the kind who hide their food in a tent so that the animals won't get it... Yeah, I never said I had any common sense. I have never been a scout either, just not my thing so much, but I am an AHG scout leader now and Olivia loves being an American Heritage Girl. She is currently working on her fire safety badge. She knew all about the fire plan part-- I know about that and so have taught her that over the last years... but when she gets to the actual building part... well she will be learning something very new.

I do know 2 things about fire building!
           1-- it is dirty. You will get your hands and shirt dirty from the wood, no matter how hard you try not to. And the ashes, well yuck! Gray nastiness and stale fire smell of a spent fire. Disgusting!
           2-- it takes more than just throwing log on the fire to keep it going. Apparently there is a special way you have to do it or the fire will go out.

Do you know that in the Old Testament (you probably did, but follow me here) fire was often the form which God took when He appeared to man. You know like in Moses' story. He also consumed offerings by fire from Heaven... Then in the New Testament Jesus Himself says that He came to bring fire to earth (Luke 12:48). He also eludes to His Crucifixion and resurrection  in the same paragraph where the fire will finally be kindled. Then during Pentecost the Holy Spirit actually came down like mini fires on the apostles.

There is another thing I know about fire. A small fire is not impressive unless it spreads. You know if the initial flame on the campfire were the only fire, you would not get many marshmallows cooked. In order for it to do it's job it has to spread and consume the wood and be fed more wood. But the biggest thing is that if it does not spread to the new wood, the fire will eventually be quenched.

After Pentecost the apostles went out and Baptized like 3000 people on one day. Talk about church growth and an impressive fire. Well, they never stopped spreading their fire. It is an absolute truth that their fire was not quenched because it is still burning 2000+ years later. How many man made fires burn that long?

Now we are the current caretakers of this precious fire. We are to keep it spreading. We have to make sure the fire is fed. That is the easy part for most, but even some grow weary with this and choose "more important things" -- whatever keeps them from actively seeking God's renewal. So once the fire is renewed, the fire can't just sit still it has to consume that new wood and spread the fire around. You know, "It's not about me it's all about Jesus"... we say this every Sunday because it is the truth. Being at church is not about me getting fed-- about me getting something to sit on and hold dear. It is about taking what we have and proclaiming God's glory. Taking the wood that is thrown on the fire every Sunday and consuming it. Becoming a bonfire and not just a spark. We have to do our part which is a job. No one ever said being a Christian was easy. Those who think it is easy or desire it to be easy are the... well, I will be so bold as to call them the tepid Christians or the lukewarm Christians that disgust God. Yeah, disgusts Him to the point He would not even stomach to swallow you if you were food. (Kinda reminds me of Gordon Ramsey hurling a disgusting dish made by one of his Hell's kitchen contestants into the garbage. Not throwing with your hands hurling...)

I do not want to disgust God. There are many times that satan tempts me to become lukewarm. For this is the easy way out.

I am learning by the fearless AHG leaders who are teaching the girls about building fires, that it is not an easy process to light a fire and keep it burning for the whole 3 minutes required for the badge. Apparently it is not that simple. It must take work and skill. The spark with the match, well I am guessing that is the easy part and the fire taking hold of the wood to consume it is the difficult part. Even though you have a diligent fire starter and builder who really wants the fire to spread, there are outside forces which make the fire go out or not spread. You know like the wind for one, or wet wood, or not enough kindling... I am guessing here, because I don't know how to build a fire. The times I did build one in the hearth at The Crosseyed Cricket, I used tons of lighter fluid, paper plates, newspaper and a fire log and even then did not ever become good at it. So I am merely speculating.

My point is that satan will do anything to put out our fire. If our fire is small it will be an easily accomplished task. If our fire is huge and spreading well he may have to enlist his fire department to help. You know pull out all of his resources to do what he can to quench the fire. He may use discouragement, disillusionment, frustration... you name it he will use it.

BUT WOW! Here is the best part-- we have someone who is just as actively fanning our flame. I mean someone who wants to whole world to be lit. We cannot let satan get his way. We have to do our part and grow God's kingdom here on earth. We can't do that tending to our own little world to busy to consume the rest of the wood. We have to, HAVE TO step out of our comfort zone to make this fire an all consuming fire for Christ Jesus. We have to do our part. Eventually we will get so big that satan will fight us tooth and nail. If you get here rejoice because, "Here's your sign". Your sign that you are a fire that satan is really scared of. One that he has to pull out all the stops to battle you. You WILL NOT lose. God promises that. You just cannot give up.

So, my lesson on fire building this morning is brought to you by AHG troop TN5624 and our badge learning.

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