Stoke the Fire!

by Lura Langenback

© 11/16/01

During autumn, in areas where it gets very cold, folks get ready for the winter months by cleaning out fireplaces, getting an insert, or preparing a wood stove for heat. They lay in a large supply of wood or in other areas some other type of fuel such as propane, for the coming frigid months. These folks know what a colder than usual winter could be like if they were not prepared for it. Then comes the freezing weather. The house is toasty warm with the fireplace radiating heat. When the fire gets low, the person tending it puts in more wood or other fuel to keep it going. If it gets too low, it's likely to go out or smolder, not giving out much heat. Pretty elementary, isn't it?

It works the same way in the spiritual realm, in the body of Christ. If we have a blaze going inside, we are blessed. However, if we do not 'stoke the fire', it slowly dies down to embers that will likely not give much heat. But take heart, it doesn't last if you restoke the fire! There are times, though, when we don't have that 'first love' feeling anymore. Spiritually, we slip into a complacency that seems comfortable, something we don't want to change. Then it becomes difficult to even want to change or to make an effort. Unfortunately, many in the body of Christ are coming to this point in their lives. Sometimes, it comes from the world's cares. 'With all that going on, HOW can I keep a fire going. I am SO TIRED these days.' But wait, the Lord has other ideas. He wants us to be stoked up, on fire!

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." (KJV)

But King James doesn't quite tell you about the fire. It does say to stir up the gift inside you, which we have found to be the anointing of the Holy Ghost. The amplified bible tells us:

2 Timothy 1:6, "That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you" (AMP)

Now that's pretty straight. Instead of gradually allowing yourself to become lazy spiritually, get back on FIRE! for the Lord. Do you remember your first love of the Lord? I do. Many times, I wished for that to be back again but I didn't actually do anything about it. But then, the Lord gave me a nudge, told me that I should be doing things for Him. All of a sudden, wonderful things started to come into my mind. God's slideshow was amazing! A fire began to stir up inside me. However, I have learned that if you do not stoke your own fire, it will burn down, go to embers, barely alive. Did you notice that this is your job, not God's? I used to ask, no..plead with God to give me the fire. Yet He already has done this! That prayer was 'of no effect' because He has already given that gift to us.

How do we fan the flames? Talk to your Lord. Enjoy time with Him. Spend time in the bible, seeking what He says to you. Think (meditate) on each verse, listening for wisdom to come from the Father. Soon, it will come. And the biggest benefit of all this? PEACE!! Not only will you be on FIRE but you can have that wonderful peace that passes all understanding.

If your embers are slowly burning down, just praise God that He gives us the ability to fan the flame! Bring excitement to your life. Did you know that church does not have to be when you learn to wind your watch (for you that still have that kind!)? You don't really have to get your next 40 winks in either. Revival is in the land, sometimes even in your own church. If it isn't YET there, pray for it! You will be blessed and surprised just what that prayer will do. Talk to your friends, get a prayer chain going. Attend a bible study. Oh oh, I can hear the groans there. Believe it or not, bible studies can be FUN! If the person doing the study has no imagination, use yours! Introduce new ideas that God has given you. Make it fun. Whoever said that Christians don't have fun, do not KNOW the Master.

Stir up the gift that is inside you! God has given you these gifts, equiped you for your own witness, even if you don't FEEL like you can. YOU CAN! So, go out there and enjoy being in the Lord's family. Don't go with 'touchy, hurty' feelings though. Do not allow someone else to dampen your flame. Its' YOUR flame and the Lord's, not the one who will tell you how silly you look or how stupid you sound, and they will. Who cares? If God told you to do it, enjoy it! Step out a bit. Get out of thatComfort Zone and get into life! Let the excitement grow into the 'joy of the Lord'! Did you know that the joy of the Lord is your strength? (Nehemiah 8:10) Strengthen yourself! Am I excited? You bet I am. I know that when you do this, the joy of the Lord comes on you and nothing will bother you. When I got that happy, someone tried to make me sad. I laughed at them! It got them angry at me and that made me laugh more. They were trying to steal my joy! NO WAY! It's MINE! It's yours too, if you stoke the fire..

If you do not know the Lord Jesus as your personal, yes I said PERSONAL Savior, or you are born again but not living the life you should, please take the time to go to the Lord now.

Father, I am a sinner. I've done things so wrong in my life but now I ask you to forgive me of those sins, cleanse me white as snow. Jesus, please come into my heart to live and be my Savior and Master. Abide with me. Please fill my to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit! Thank You, Lord. I am saved! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, you have become a new creation in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."). Did you know that once you prayed that prayer that the Lord wiped those sins from existence in His Mind? Yes, He did!

Now as a new believer, take time each day to pray (talk to the Lord like you talk to a friend. He IS your friend), read your bible, find a good church home where they teach out of the bible (not all churches do that) and enjoy your salavation. You now have a hope in Jesus unlike anything you ever knew before.