Keeping the fire burning

Leviticus 6:12; "Meanwhile, the fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must never go out." New Living Translation 

One of the greatest thing that I have ever been asked is, 'Dr Glenn, how do I keep the fire of God burning in my life? How do I stay on fire for God?' So many who start out on fire for God do not remain with the same fervency that they once had. I am writing this last chapter because of a young man of God, Adrian from Johannesburg, who loves the Lord with all his heart sent me this message in Facebook, 

'Hi Dr Glenn, how are you doing? I had a dream I was asking you about how to keep the fire burning all the time. Then you took me to another place to explain  it to me, but I woke up and missed it. Maybe you can explain me now outside of the dream? When you can...Bless you!'

I wonder if this question is also a question of the heart for you? Maybe you remember how you were once on fire for God but now this seems such as a distant and foreign memory.  You wonder if that fire can ever be rekindled that once burnt in you? Yes it can!

Today, in modern society the work of keeping the house warm during the cold season has been simplified. Without any stress we program the desired temperature for the desired time on the thermostat and the house is warm through the night with the perfect temperature when we get up in the morning. In the past it was a different story!  Fire was carefully tended to and wood or fuel supplies were under an observing eye because a lack of it could be fatal. A prevailing sin in the church today is the sin of lukewarmness that Jesus reprimanded us about, ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.’ (Revelation 3:16) Too often for too many believers, their spiritual temperatures change. Some can get all ‘on fire’ for God during the attending of a revival meeting and rededicate their hearts only for a little later to be right back to being lukewarm and lackadaisical Christians again. You need to keep the fire on the altar of your heart on all the time. Lukewarmness is rampant in the church today?  How can we recognized lukewarmness in our lives? Lukewarmness is manifested as a lackadaisical attitude towards the things of God. While there may be more, allow me to reveal seven manifestations of lukewarmness,

  • Lackadaisical attitude toward the Scriptures

Appetite is a great sign of health. When there is no hunger to read and know the Word like you used to then lukewarmness has crept into your life.

  • Lackadaisical attitude towards Supplication                                                                         

No zeal for a powerful prayer life. You go to church but your prayer life is virtually non existent.

  • Lackadaisical attitude towards Sanctification

What you would have never partook of years ago has become acceptable in your eyes all in the name of so called maturity and grace. It has made you indifferent aboutpersonal holiness. The Word is no longer the alpha  and omega in your life but society now determines what you believe is right or wrong.

  • Lackadaisical attitude towards Soul-winning.

The Great Commission which is the only reason why Jesus left us here for is no longer your heartbeat. The Great Commission is now the greatest omission in your life. You cannot remember the last time you led somebody to Christ. Soul-winning is no longer a passionate pursuit.

  • Lackadaisical attitude towards Service

Your excuse, ‘The church has hurt me’, and that’s why you are not involved in the local  church. I’m going to be blunt with you, ‘Who cares if the church hurt you? Did Jesus hurt you?’ No! Then your excuse is not valid. The notion of sitting in church and do nothing is an indication that the fire has died on the altar.

  • Lackadaisical attitude towards Singing and Shouting

Your praise is not vibrant. There is no expression of gratitude and joy for your salvation. The singing is half hearted and the shouts of other saints are viewed as annoying, repulsive and a source of embarrassment for you. 

  • Lackadaisical attitude towards church Support

You no longer view church attendance as imperative whereas before you would be in all the services. There is no support in tithing and offerings as well as any outreaches of your church. This indicates that your wood is wet and the fire truly died out.

Now let me show you three simple ways you can rekindle the fire of God in your life. 

1. Muse upon the Word.

Usually you will notice people who are no longer on fire for God do not have time for the Scriptures. They have lost their passion for the Word. The Psalmist says, 'My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned...'(Psalm 39:3) The Word is the fire in the boiler room of your heart. Stay with the Word. Go to a church that preaches the Word- the uncompromizing Word. The two guys on the road to Emmaus gives us another piece of the puzzle,

Luke 24:32 - And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?"

Clearly the Word of God is important if you want the fire of God to burn afresh in your heart.

2. Stay where the fire is

This is a great story for illustration- A certain faithful believer was noted by the pastor to have been absent from many services. The pastor went to visit the individual and found him in a back room sitting before a roaring fireplace. The pastor sat side by side to the individual in an armchair for a while before the fireplace when suddenly, he reached over and pulled a red hot coal out of the fire and laid it on the hearth of the fireplace. In a little while, the red hot coal became a smoldering ember and eventually a cold white ember, emitting no heat. While both were sitting and observing what just transpired the individual looked at the pastor and said that he would be back in church.

Fellowshipping with believers who love the Lord and are on fire God will keep you on fire. That is why you have to be careful as with who you hang around with. The old saying is true, 'Birds of a feather flock together.' Some Christians think they are so clever in thinking that they do not need to go to church. I am going to be as blunt as as I can. That is just dumb! No matter how small or big your church is, as long as they love the Lord, preach the Word and do not quench the Spirit then you should attend your church faithfully.

3. Don't quench the Holy Spirit

Paul emphatically told the Thessalonians 'Quench not the Spirit' or as the GOD"S WORD TRANSLATION aptly pens it, 'Don't put out the Spirit's fire.'(1 Thessalonians 5:19)What does that mean? Do not put out or extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, cloven tongues of fire sat upon the disciples and the spoke in tongues. In other parts of the book of Acts they spoke in tongues and prophesied. It is very clear to keep the fire burning we  need to constantly be tapping into the gifts of the Spirit.  We must never suffocate the prophetic. The Holy Spirit wants to speak to you. Despise not prophecies and prophesying. I realize that there have been abuses with prophecies and the gifts but as the old saying goes, 'Don't throw the baby out with he bath water.' The gifts are for us today! Find a church that believes and practices the miraculous.