Maintain the Flame
by Pastor Donny Granberry
Our family has been outdoors people most all of my life.
Many of our vacations were camping, hunting, and fishing.
It may be hard for some of you to imagine, but my Mom can be an outdoors lady.
She always caught the most fish and she would always get a good Buck.
One thing we loved as boy’s, and that was building a camp fire.
There were many times we would sleep outside by the fire, and Mom and Dad would sleep in the camper or whatever we took to stay in.
Dad would find us a big stump with the heart in it because that would burn all night long and we would still have fire the next day.
He would get up and work the fire so that the flame would not go out.
8 The LORD said to Moses: 9 "Give Aaron and his sons this command: `These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar. 10 The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean. 12 The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. 13 The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
It was the responsibility of the priest to make sure that the fire did not burn out,
They would keep watch to assure that the fire was maintained.
I remind you, it is our responsibility to assure that we maintain the fire of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Some might say, Pastor, I am not a priest, it’s the Pastors job to maintain the fire, it’s the staff’s job to maintain the fire, it’s the husbands job to maintain the fire.
1 Peter 2:9 NIV
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
What does this scripture mean? It means that through Christ, every believer has been made a priest before God and allows us direct access to God.
It means that it is our responsibility to guard the flame, to be keepers of the flame, and to maintain the fire.
How do we maintain the fire?
We maintain the fire with the right components.
There are three components to fire, “fuel, oxygen, and ignition source.”
There are three components to maintaining the fire.
1. Fuel – Prayer
They all joined together constantly in prayer…
The 120 were joined together with one focus, prayer.
Notice the parallel between the spirit descending upon them, and upon Jesus.
Luke 3:21 NIV
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
The Disciples Baptism:
Acts 2:2-4 NIV
Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
They were getting alone to pray.
Jesus was always getting alone to pray.
When the disciples could not cast the demons out of a boy, his father brought him to Christ who cast the demons out.
They asked Jesus, why were we not able to cast the devils out, he responded, “This can come forth by nothing, but prayer and fasting.”
If we are to maintain fire, we must be people given to prayer.
2. Oxygen – Praise
The Lord is worthy of our praise.
2 Samuel 22:4
I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised.
*Israel had just been to war again against the Philistines.
David was getting up in years and grew tired in the battle and there were four giants fighting with the Philistines. Three were the sons of Goliath and the forth the brother of Goliath and their objective was to kill David.*
Four of David’s mighty men went against them in battle and killed all four of the giants, thus was David’s song of praise, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies.
From the rising of the sun, to the going down of the same, the Lord’s name is to be praised.
Some people may not understand you, they will say, why are you so extroverted with your praise, but they do not know where God has brought you from.
They don’t know your past, and when you remember the past God delivered you from it will bring forth praise.
David said, “He brought me out of a horrible pit, a miry clay, and He set my feet on a rock, and He established my goings, and He put a song in my heart.”
Church, fire will not burn without oxygen and you cannot maintain your spiritual fire without praise.
We sang the song this morning, “Praise your miracle on through.”
The bible tells us that God inhabits, or dwells in the praises of His people.
IN Luke 19: The Triumphal entry, the people spread out branches and laid their coats on the road and began to praise the Lord.
The Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke them; He replied “I tell you, if they hold their peace, the rocks will cry out.”
He is worthy of our praise.
Our praise is a fragrance unto Him.
As we praise Him our fire grows.
3. Ignition Source – The Word.
When Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and pray, the enemy tried to put out His fire.
• Stone to bread- It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
• The kingdoms of this world if you will worship me – Get thee behind me, satan: For it is written, Thou shall worship the Lord thy God, and Him alone shall thou serve.
(For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever)
• If you are the son of God, jump off this pinnacle (suicide) – It is written, thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God.
And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
The word of God will light you up if you read it and hide it in your heart.
Fire can become so intense that everything around it will burst forth on fire due to spontaneous combustion.
If you maintain your fire, and keep it burning hot, everything you come in contact with is at risk to become a part of it.
Our children are depending on us to pass, or transfer the fire to them.
2 Timothy 1:5&6
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 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.
I thank God for a General Overseer who wants to maintain the fire in this fellowship.
I thank God for a District Overseer who wants to maintain the fire.
I thank God for parents who’s desire was to maintain the flame.
It was passed to them from my Grandparents.
They have passed it on to me.
I will pass it on to my children.
The only way this is possible is if it is maintained.