Summary: Christians may all be a candle that is useful to the Kingdom of God but that candle is only good for pleasing the flesh unless it is set on fire by the Holy Ghost.
Candles Without Light
As I walked through the sanctuary this morning, praying for God to reveal to me what he would have me to say to you, my eye was drawn to this candlestick and holder that sat upon the table. I was struck by its beauty and by the fact that it adorned the House of God, making it a more pleasant place to be. It is pleasing to the eye and makes us feel more at home.
I just stood there for a moment, looking upon this beautiful decoration when the Holy Spirit began to reveal something to me that I really had not thought of. It seemed that He was wanting me to realize that there was something wrong with the candle, something that was obvious and yet so easily overlooked or ignored when people would look upon it.
How many of you can already sense the Spirit of the Lord talking to you right now and inspiring you with what is wrong with this wonderful object that I hold before you? Is it the base, or the candleholder?
The candleholder that I hold in my hand is beautiful. It has been designed and built by a master craftsman to depict the form of a beautiful angel with its wings spread wide and its hands folded in prayer and meditation in worship to its Creator. It stands before a pillar that is ornately carved to give a very small impression of the glories of Heaven’s realm from whence the angel has come as a messenger of God to his people.
It is set upon a firm foundation that is designed specifically for the purpose of holding the angel and the pillar, which, in turn, serve as the socket where the candle is mounted. All in all it is one beautiful piece of work. And yet there is something still very wrong with this wonderful candle. Have you noticed it yet?
When I look at the base, I cannot but think of the foundation upon which each of us has built our lives, that is if you have given your heart and life to Jesus and taken him as your Savior. Jesus is the only foundation that will never fail. My life and your life is established and founded upon the rock, Jesus Christ. When the winds of adversity blow and rain of troubles and trials come down upon us, that foundation will stand and we will not fall. Surely we have not built our lives upon the sand. We depend upon the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God for everything we are and everything we do.
There is no doubt in my mind that all of us desire God’s best and that His will is done in us. There is no doubt that the Love of God is abounding in your heart, and yet I wonder if we do not sometimes have the same problem in our lives that is so easily seen in this candle and candlestick. Can you think of what that problem might be? Have you seen the problem with this candlestick yet?
When I look at the candlestick and its base I cannot but also think of the church; this church, and many more like us, whose greatest desire is to see the church grow with the adding of new converts, more ministry and more manifestations of the Glory of God in our midst. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit and the teaching of the Word of God without compromise, we strive to work together with God to make this place, and this congregation, into a church where every man, woman and child that enters our doors can feel comfortable and at home in God’s house.
Those are wonderful goals but I sometimes wonder if God doesn’t get just a little tired of us being too concerned with the appeal to the flesh and to creature comforts. Where is our focus? Is our focus only on meeting the needs of the flesh to be pampered, petted and pleased? Is our focus on making things so beautiful to the eye that we forget the more important matters of the Spirit and needs of the soul?
I see too many churches that are in the business of pleasing the flesh but don’t focus much on the condition of the heart and the salvation of the soul. You don’t have to go far to find those churches who teach a lot about love, family relationships, getting rich, or being a success in this world. Educational seminars, Personal Development Training and Building a Successful Marriage Relationship are among the hot topics of the day but you don’t see many Holy Ghost filled revivals going on anymore. Why is this so? It’s because our focus isn’t on the things of the Spirit but on the things of the flesh.