I am certain that most of us have witnessed a campfire or a fire in a fireplace at some time in our lives. The beauty of fire is something to be considered. It produces light, sound, and a distinct smell. Sitting around many fires, I have witnessed these very things. But I have also witnessed what happens to the fire when it goes unattended. As the fire begins to die down, the light that is produced is diminished likewise so is the heat. The once crackling flames crackle no longer and the light that was produced is reduced to an orange glow. If left unattended and unprovoked the fire will die and will leave behind a pile of ash that produces no light, and no heat. Sadly, this seems to be the walk of many Christians, who once were on fire for the Lord and have begun to produce less heat and their light in the world has been diminished into a glow that will soon be a pile of ash that no longer produces anything.
Paul in his 2nd letter to Timothy teaches this in 1:6-7:
For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”2 Timothy 1:6-7
The word that Paul uses to “fan into the flame” is “ ἀναζωπυρέω” (anazopureo)” and it literally means “Kindle afresh (329) (anazopureo from ana = up, back or again + zoos = alive + pur = fire) means to keep in full flame. Stir up the fire. Add fresh fuel. Cause something to begin again, to reactivate or to cause to begin to be active again.” The true believer will have a flame, that may grow dim, but praise be to God we have the Holy Spirit that administers to this flame and it will never go out, but it may grow dim at times, due to the inactivity of the believer in his or her walk.
Maybe the cares of the world have taken priority, or the whisperings of the enemy have caused us to stumble. It could be that we ourselves have neglected to feed on the Word of God. If you are feeling as if your fire has now been reduced to a pile of glowing embers, be not worried for those truly in Christ will be drawn back to the flame of the Holy Spirit and that flame will be reignited and will spread like wildfire. Paul reminds Timothy to constantly stir the fire that the Lord has kindled in his soul. Jim Elliot once asked, “Am I ignitable? God deliver me from the dread asbestos of other things. Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame.” Like Paul, Timothy, and Jim Elliot constantly stirred the fire, adding to it the Word of God—prayer, meditation, worship, we too must do the same. Why? For we don’t have a spirit of fear but one of power and self-control.
He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,Titus 3:5
God saved us, based on His mercy and His mercy alone. We didn’t bring anything to the table, so we mustn’t depend on ourselves for this stirring of the fire, but we must depend on God. He has washed us with the Word, and we must continue to submerge ourselves with it. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.” It is through the Word of God that the man of God is fully equipped for every good work that God prepared for us beforehand, and through constantly being in the Word, prayer, worship, fellowship with the Saints, the Spirit of Power will constantly be stirring the fire within.
On a personal note, during the week of March 9-11, Titus and I went to the Shepherd’s conference, and what a glorious time it was. Listening to these men of God, who are submerged in the Word, preach Christ. It was through this preaching, fellowship, worship, and most importantly prayer and the Word, that the coals of this Saint were stirred. Some may say, “how did the flame become so low”, or “why did you not stir the fire” and honestly, I don’t know. What I do know, is that through the week of Shepherd’s, my God stirred the fire in me and I want to encourage you by exhorting you to dive into the Word with the expectation of meeting Christ first hand. Brothers and sisters, sit idle no longer, use the bellows of the Word of God to stir the flame within. Go, now, feed the flame with the Word of God, for man does not live on bread alone, but every Word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
Psalm 104:4 – He makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne (who died at age 30) said “The oil of the lamp in the temple burnt away in giving light; so should we.”