When I was a kid, the first thing my Mom heard from me when she saw me after school was 'I'm hungry!' That's because I usually burned up most of what I ate for lunch in a short time. Whether in grade school, middle or junior high, high school, or college, the activities create a shortage in the body that requires putting more food in it to sustain it. Obviously, this happens to everyone. If you neglect to feed yourself, soon your body notifies you that something is needed. What a wonderful system our bodies are. Sounds so simple, yet it is quite complex. The problem is that we can tend to take this system for granted because we are so used to having the meals to put in the bodies. In other less food rich countries, folks go hungry and the body deteriorates in time if not fed proper, nutritious meals. The point is, without fuel for the body, it cannot live for long.
Likewise, when someone builds a fire, if there is no wood, it cannot be sustained. For those who have usable fireplaces or woodstoves, this is not news. It almost seems like I am being too simple, doesn't it? But think about the fire for a moment. How do you build it? First there has to be something very easy to burn, like paper or bark. Then there is kindling. This usually consists of little pieces or small branches of wood, less than an inch in diameter. Then we apply a larger branch or piece of wood. Only when the fire is lit and burning hot, can we put in that huge log. Why? Because if we put it in first, a person could try to light it all day and nothing would happen. It's too big. But now, the fire is lit and going strong. It feels so nice in cold weather. Pretty soon, it begins to slow down. The coals are hot but the wood is being consumed and soon there will be none left. Now what? The answer is fairly obvious if you don't want the fire to go out, right? The direct application of another log or branch will sustain the fire. Sometimes, it needs a good stirring instead of adding more fuel. It may simply need for unburned bits of wood to be brought into the flame area. We call that 'tending the fire' and that means that we are watchful of it and take the appropriate actions to keep the fire going. Only when you actually want the fire to go out, do you no longer feed it with fuel, correct? 'This is all pretty simple stuff. What are you talking about?'
Think of these things as stories or parables. Go back to the hungry children for a moment. If you are a parent, the last thing on earth that you want is for your child to go hungry. You do everything it takes to make sure that the children have something to eat, even if you are not able to eat something yourself. Why is that? The answer that comes to my mind is 'because I love that child and I would do anything to make certain that she gets food to be strong.' Don't you think that if you feel that way about your child that God feels more so about His?
The Lord, from the beginning, has been giving information on how to sustain spiritual life to every man, woman, and child that lives and ever has lived on this earth. There are no exceptions. Not one individual has been left out of His plan. Not one single person has been left out of the spiritual information highway. He loves us. We are His creation. Yet we don't do the things He tells us to do in order to sustain spiritual life! Why is that? This is something you have to answer for yourself. But let me tell you what the Father is giving you.
God is giving you spiritual fuel to feed that spiritual body of yours. Daily, He sends messages to each of us, yet we tend to ignore most or all of what we are told. We turn away to do things of this world, leaving the Lord to wait on our convenience. If we should have an especially difficult day, many times we have what one preacher calls a 'fit of carnality.' We are in the flesh. But wait, God is Spirit. They don't mix.
Like the fuel for the fire and the food for the body, we need daily doses of fuel for our spirits. What happens if we don't do this? The spirit inside becomes feeble and cannot function in the proper way. The difference between the body and the spirit is that the body is flesh and at some point, it will die. The spirit will not. If it's a born- again spirit, it will wither and grow so feeble that it cannot do anything despite the fact that it is a new creation and the Holy Ghost resides in there. If it is not born- again, it is dead to the Lord yet it is still alive to the world. When that host body dies, the flesh suit comes off and the spirit still lives but not in the place set aside for those who love the Lord. Yes, it will go to the devil's hell. God never intended for any of His creation to live in eternity there. Does He send the person there? NO! People have a choice. They do it to themselves when they ignore the Most High God.
On the other hand, if you charge in trying to learn everything at once, you end up like the big log on the fire. It won't light because you can not learn things out of their sequence. Remember what it was like in grade school? You didn't read Hemingway the first day. You didn't add all those complicated numbers that day unless you were a prodigy. Regular folks do things more slowly. There was no algebra class in 1st grade. Things were given to you a little bit at a time so that you could receive them, learn from the teachers. It is the same with the Lord. Like the fire, you begin to build with small things first, then adding larger and larger things as you grow. If you try to do things that you want to do, or that you think the Lord wants, but He has not been included in that decision, then you didn't build your fire right and it will fail.
Let's get back to the feeble spirit. Why is it so feeble? No fuel. So, what is the fuel for a spirit? We know that food sustains a body, being taught things and life experiences sustain a mind and make it grow, then it follows that God's Word would sustain the spirit. It is spiritual steak and shrimp, caviar, pizza or whatever food you love the best. If you will begin or continue to feed your spirit the food of the Lord, each day your spirit will grow stronger and be better prepared for the day, week, month, or year just as a child will grow and be better prepared when they eat a nutritious meal before going to school. But it takes more than just a few brief seconds a day. You need prayer, study, praises, and worship too. Know why? Because God is intimately involved in your life, if only you will let Him, but you have to know Him too. How can you have a friend and not talk to them? When you begin to feed the spirit the 'God Food', then you will begin to find a new hunger to get closer to Him. Sometimes, we neglect that for the world's cares. We get so wrapped up in our lives that we forget to fuel the spirit and get closer to the Lord. When we do that, we become feeble.
Okay, now we know that we have to feed the spirit. In my story about the fire, it included stirring the flames when there was plenty of fuel but it wasn't placed in the right spots. That reminds me of the scripture in Timothy:
2 Timothy 1:6, "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands."
What did Paul mean by that? When we are born-again, the Father sends the third part of the Godhead to us, our Comforter, the Holy Ghost. He gives to us the anointing of God, which is the power of God. Think of it! You have the power of God residing inside you right now, as long as you have given your life to the Lord Jesus. That power is to be used for ministry work, not to impress people. Each of us has a call on our lives to serve the Lord in some capacity, whether it is preaching, teaching, giving comfort to someone, or just taking the trash out at the church. It is also life sustaining power for you. It is a gift of God. See? The verse says to stir up the gift!! That makes it our responsibility to do the stirring, not God. Some of you have been wondering why you aren't more victorious in your life. Stir up the gift! How do I do that, you ask? Get closer to the Lord by prayer, reading, meditation (thinking about and pondering the scripture you read, asking the Lord for insights), and just plain talking to Him like He is your Best Friend, because He is. The closer you get to the Lord, the more the fire is stirred. The more the fire is stirred, the more fuel it needs. The more you read, study and pray, the more fuel you give to the fire inside you! Each thing builds on the other. The result is a very hot fire that wants to love the Lord and serve Him because of what He has done for you. And that is the potential inside you right now.
How hot is your fire? Some folks who barely get by, who read once in a while because they have no time, they pray in the car or a quick one as they get up, are too tired at night to talk to Him or read, find all sorts of reasons why they haven't studied, are the folks who have small fires. Think of a small lit candle on a birthday cake. It barely has a flame. One poof of air will make it go out. Those who ignore the Lord and do not talk to Him, seek Him, get closer to Him are those who have such a flame in their spirits. So feeble that they can't spiritually hold up their heads let alone do anything for the Father.
Am I condemning you? Certainly not! It is time for the body of Christ to quit 'playing church' and do what is required. I know that some of you have just gasped and thought, that's not me. She is talking about Elizabeth in my Sunday school class that comes only once a month. No, I am talking to you, the reader. There are so many folks who think they are 'doing something for the Lord' when they show up at church, warm the pew for a half hour, look at their watch repeatedly because there's a roast in the oven at home and 'pastor had better get that sermon finished before we leave anyway! My roast is NOT going to burn because of a longwinded preacher that doesn't know when to quit and that is that!' If that's you, come closer to the Lord. Spend quality time with Him. Get to know your Father, your Brother, and your Comforter.
There is something many folks have not grasped as yet. Church is a blessing, an empowerment, for you. It is a place where you are fed spiritual food, if the person giving the sermon is talking about and teaching the Word of God. It is a place that helps you to sustain for the week. Call it an extra burst of energy. It isn't supposed to be a desert dry place to sleep for the half hour sermon. A true house of God will be a place of joy, encouragement, worship, and praise. Not only the pastor or preacher but also the congregation will be so involved that the church will feel as if it breathes! You will not want to leave, it is so refreshing. I have been in services that lasted several hours and did not even realize how long because the watch was forgotten.
Is this the type of place you worship? Because if it is, there are very few pew warmers. If not, don't go getting a committee together to throw out the pastor and get a new one. Pray for him. Seek the Lord. If the Lord leads you to another place, GO! If He does not, then that pastor will become on fire and then watch out! The power of the Holy Ghost will come upon folks and nothing will stop the church from growing! Are you aware that one person, praying for his or her pastor, can change the minds of others? Pray for them too! If you think that prayer does not change things, try it. Don't go doing one of those 'hey Lord, fix my pastor' prayers. Pray with love. Put time and effort into it. Be consistent. Come to a place where prayer is natural to you, no matter where you are. Did I wander off the subject here? No. We are still feeding the spirit.
It is time for the body of Christ to get their spiritual acts together because there is not much time left. These are the last days! Jesus will be coming back for His church very soon. But that church must be ready for Him because He will come and get a church without spot or wrinkle.
Ephesians 5:27, "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
(Be sure to read all the verses around this one. I have given this portion to show you what the Lord Jesus expects when He comes.) Now for those of you who think that the 'church' is a building, you are right. But not the one you go to every Sunday or once a month or twice a year. No, the body is the temple of the Lord. The church of Jesus Christ is the body of believers that call Him Master and Lord, that are His servants (we need to translate these greek words. 'Christ' is not Jesus' last name. The translation is the Anointed One and His Anointing. Get that revelation and you have one more key to knowing Him better.).
Feed your spirit and then do the work you are called to do. The most basic call is to witness. Jesus told Peter that if he loved Jesus, then he would 'feed my sheep.' Take what you learn and share it with others. The information isn't a secret and we should not treat it as such. Tell someone you know and love about Jesus. When you know the Lord, He will guide you, give you words to say. It's all about feeding your spirit, then feed My children.
If you have not asked Jesus into your heart, please pray with me. If you have asked Him into your heart but are not living the life you should, come pray with us. If you have walked away from the Lord but now know you need to come back, pray this simple prayer with us.
Father, I have sinned against You. Please forgive me. I ask Jesus into my heart to be my Savior and Master. Jesus, I am so grateful that You died on that cross and rose again for me! Please wash me clean and fill me to overflowing. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus'Name, Amen.
If you have just prayed with me, then you are a new creation in Christ! Or you have come back home! Welcome to the body of Christ! Now, get out that bible you have been hiding for years and start to read. I recommend starting with the book of John in the new testament. Find folks who know the Lord, be it a church or group meeting in a home. Above all, remember, you are one of those children of the Lord. Feed my children!