Scriptures: Leviticus 6:13, 2 Timothy 1:5-7, Hebrews 12:29, 1 Timothy 6:20-21, 1 Timothy 6:10
The priests in the Old Covenant were required to keep the fire burning on the altar, it was never meant to go out. This is a picture of the flame of the Holy Spirit that is placed on our hearts when we are born again by a living faith in Jesus Christ. Just like the Old Covenant priests had to tend to the flame so that it remained burning on the altar, so too, must we tend to the flame of God. In this message we look at two things that hinder the flame. We also examine two practical ways for us to steward God’s flame in our hearts. Our God is a consuming fire! What a joy it is to have God living on the inside of us!
There are two things in particular that will attempt to extinguish the flame of God on our hearts. There are many things, but these two in particular are important for us to understand in our culture and the days we are living. The two things are:
The Love of Money.
The Scriptures say it plainly.
LOVE OF MONEY
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
1 Timothy 6:20-21
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.
Notice that the love of money causes some people to “wander” from the faith while knowledge causes some to “swerve” from the faith. Wandering communicates a slow departure, while swerving is a lot more sudden.
It is important to note that the Scriptures do not say money is the root of all kinds of evils. It is the love of money! It is when the desire for material wealth grows in your heart where you will do anything to earn its affection. The love of money causes people to engage in all types of evil activity. The second one however is not quite as obvious.
Knowledge is likened to irreverent babble and contradictions and is the cause of many people swerving from the faith. A careful study of this subject will reveal that this knowledge is akin to what Adam and Eve received in the garden when they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This “knowledge” is the reason that our country is so divided right now. We are arguing over the knowledge of pandemic statistics, political platforms, motives and other “knowledge” that makes us feel like we have something to say. But the only knowledge that counts, that endures, is the knowledge of God. The intimate knowing of Jesus Christ as Lord of all. If you have fallen prey to this type of knowledge I want to encourage you to repent! Turn away from it and begin seeking Jesus through his Word!
So if the love of money and knowledge are two (of many) things that will try to extinguish the flame of God! But fear not, there are things we can do that actually cause the flame of God to increase into a bonfire on our hearts!
Just like an earthly fire, there are two things required to keep a fire burning. Wood and air. Once the fire is lit, all someone has to do is make sure that the fire continues to get air and wood. So if the faith is a flame then I believe the wood is the revelation of God’s love for us demonstrated on the cross. The wood of the cross, the revelation of God’s love is the fuel needed to keep the faith. Practically this looks like spending time, frequently, meditating and thanking God for his love demonstrated through His Son Jesus Christ on the cross.
But if you add wood to a fire and it doesn’t have any air, the fire will go out. I would like to submit that the air, the wind or the oxygen required to keep the fire burning is nothing other than the very Spirit of God himself! We cannot burn for God without God! In order for the flame of God to endure upon our hearts we must have a continual flow of God’s spirit into our lives. Personally, I have found that God’s spirit is attracted to God’s word! So one of the ways that keep the Spirit’s flow into my life is to keep my eyes and heart upon the Scriptures. If you feel discouraged, like the flame of God’s love and spirit have grown dim in your heart, allow this message to stir you and encourage you to fan into flame the gift of God!