Summary: The fire of God must be kept burning in our lives because that is what helps us to sustain our soul and spiritual life. His fire enables us to live a life of blessings.
Keep the fire burning!
Thesis: The fire of God must be kept burning in our lives because that is what helps us to sustain our soul and spiritual life. His fire enables us to live a life of blessings.
Testimonies: Beth and Tom about how the Convention ignited a fire in their hearts.
8The 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. 10The 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. 11Then 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. 12The 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. 13The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
I Thess. 5:19: “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire!”
Illustration from Survivor – I have noticed in watching the show how the host emphasizes over and over the importance of being able to build a fire and keep it burning. His emphasis was on the importance of fire to sustain life in the wild. Fire is essential for survival!
Life is sustained in the wild and in this world by fire - His fire also sustains spiritual life in this world. It is an important life sustaining element for life both physically and spiritually. Fire keeps us warm, allows us to cook food, to boil water to purify it, it provides heat and light in the darkness. It can also be your distress signal in the wild. Fire is the most valuable resource for survival in this world in which we live. We need to make sure we know how to build a fire and how to keep the fire burning. The key to survival in this world is fire and the ability to keep it burning spiritually as well as physically.
Fire is spoken about in the Bible 549 times and it used as a symbol of life spiritually, it burns up sin, and it purifies our soul and it we use it to give God offerings, the fire on the altar of our heart sustains our spiritual life.
God uses the metaphor of fire often to express the purpose of His fire.
Jim Cymbala in His book "Storm" shares how he sees the fire of God going out in the life of the church in America.
WARNING NO. 1 – WE’RE NOT AS BIG AS WE THINK: A quick Google search will reveal some surprising statistics about Christians in America. For example, one website says that 246,780,000 people (79.5 percent of the population) in the United States are Christians. That’s a huge percentage of Americans who claim to be followers of Christ! But is it true or a bogus number? If nearly 80 percent of the population were Christian, wouldn’t we see the effects of that in culture? Let me ask the question in a different way. Are eight out of ten people in your school, office, or community Bible-believing, churchgoing followers of Jesus?
He also states, "To get an accurate count of Bible-believing Christians in America, Dickerson looked at four studies by four different researchers who had four different motivations and used four different methodologies to calculate the number. Their unanimous conclusion was that “the actual number of evangelical Christians is shockingly between 7 to 8.9 percent of the United States population, not 40 percent and certainly not 70 percent.” That’s right, only 7 to 8.9 percent of America. The truth is that the number of real believers in Jesus is in a massive decline, and that decline is happening much more rapidly than we have thought.
This brings up a concern that I have that suggests we have people claiming to be Christians but there is no fire of God burning in their hearts to guide them and direct them. They are Christians in title but there is no personal connection to the Lord. They are not experiencing the presence and the reality of Jesus.
The problem is these Christians need to know how to build God’s fire in their hearts. Their faith and fire from the Holy Spirit needs to effect their hearts and their Spirit, Soul and Body and this only happens when our faith is rooted in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. So we need to know how to ignite this fire, tend His fire and sustain a fire from God in our lives.