Summary: Only God can enlighten our spirits when they become darkened by the fierce winds of life.
Hurricane Katrina left much of our neigborhood in darkness. Amid that time I purchased several candles and strategically place them throughout the house. But when I attempted to light them, I discovered that I had no matches nor lighters of any sorts. I had candles with no fire. Anyone who would’ve visited my house at that time would not have noticed the candles because they were without fire and purpose. Often we ourselves feel that way on this Christian journey. Life sometimes leaves us so drained until worship become a kind of going through the motion. Solomon says; in Proverbs chapter 20:27, that our spirits are the candles of the Lord. The text says; Thou shalt enlighten my darkness. Observe that the light is inherently God’s, while the darkness belongs to us. This year we’ve experienced many unusual occurrences. The storms have disrupted the lives of so many. There is hopelessness and despair all around us. The constant talk of nuclear wars, global diseases, terrorism, human cruelty, and world famines; these are all causes for human despair and depression. The church has shifted to a secular and material gospel. The concern is more about the financial income than the soul’s outcome. Yes, the churches too, have become candles with no fire. We incite the emotion until we get a percentage of "Amens;" at day’s end we return home with that same old feeling. Oh that the fire of God would burn within our hearts. We have become so accustom to this strange emptiness until we are fascinated with only a spark of Holy Ghost fire. What we have become; only God can change. No amount of singing, clapping and shouting can enlighten our darkened candles. Tonight, as we approach this "New Year", the skies will be lit up with fire-works. But visit the church and you will find candles with no fire. The world is cold and callous and the church is reflecting the same. Sometimes it seems that the Holy One has forgotten us. It appears that we are turned on but not plugged in. We seldom feel the electrical currents flowing through our spiritual veins. But I submit to you tonight, that God has not forgotten his children who are victims of life’s uncertainties. Like Noah, we are victims of a violent age. Like Job, were are confused about the sudden-ness of sorrow and death. Like Isaiah, we dwell among people of unclean lips. Like Lot, we are exposed to sodomy in its worst forms. We live in an age of rebellious children. No wonder we are drained and void of the passion that charactizes a few burning souls. I remain hopeful tonight that God is still able to be a light unto our path. He will give us the strenght we need to carry on. He is that fountain that never run dry. God is with us in our darkest hour. He says; to those in "ICU"; I SEE YOU. God sees and He cares in all that we encounter. No darkness can dispel the presence of His power. We must ever keep in mind the scripture; "If God be for us, who can be against us." C.S. Lewis once wrote, "God whisphers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. Isa. 50:10 tell us, he that walketh in darkness and hath no light; let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. In other words, we must trust God in every circumstance. God is the only one that can enlghten our spirits. A darken spirit cannot emit fire. Light is reflected from the enlightened soul. The sun doesn’t labor to shine, it is the nature of the sun to shine. In heaven there is light without fire. In hell there is fire without light. It is amazing that hell fire results in absolute darkness. In heaven there is no night. In hell there is no day. The text says, Thou shalt light my candle. Thou shalt enlighten my darkness. Note, the light is inherently God’s. But the darkness belongs to us. Lets us consider the following:
I. What Extinguishes Our FIRE?
D. Self-sufficiency (excluding God)
E. Sight (depending upon the externals)
H. Society (opinions of others)
II. The Manner in Which God Lights Our Candles.
I. His Presence ....Heb. 1:7 (God is Consuming Fire)
II. His Word....Jer. 20:9 (His Word ia burning fire)
III. His Ministers...Psa. 104:4 (His ministers are flaming fires)
IV. His Glory...Ex.24:17 (His Glory is a devouring fire)
V. His Judgement...Isa.30:27 (His judgement is devouring fire)
VI. His Approval.....1 Kings 18:39 (Fire is symbol of God’s approval)
VIII. His Holy Spirit...Acts 2:3 (Fire is a symbol of the Holy Ghost)
III. What Happens When God Lights Our Fire?