Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Keep the Home Fires Burning

Our God Himself is a Consuming Fire.

Heaps of burning coals come from a long tended, well fed fire.

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

2 Corinthians 4:7
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

We are His temple.  His fire dwells within us.

How do we keep the fire, the light of the worship of God, burning?  Fuel it with the pruned branches of our selves.  Be cleansed, giving yourself to His flame for His glory and your benefit.  If you find it is not from Him, toss it in.

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruitHe prunes it so that it may bear more fruit."

John 15:6
"If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned."

Fire is a defining source of light, warmth, protection and provision, of life.  Like a fire, we must tend our relationship with the Almighty God daily, diligently feeding the flames.  Take all of your failings, all of your fears, all of your concerns, misunderstandings, rebelliousness, desires, thoughts, and even dealings with others, to Him constantly.  He is faithful to cleanse you, to prune you and to keep His Spirit burning within you, to take your inability and make it glow with His ability because you have given it over to Him for His glory. Then you will have fed the fire with sacrifice and the offerings of your heart.  And from it, you will have a large and brightly burning bed of coals, one that will not easily go out.  One that can minister to others.  

"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written:  "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"says the Lord.
     On the contrary:
     "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
      if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
      In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.""

When we have taken our selves to the Father, trusting Him with the outcome, He allows the relationship a fresh start.  We stoke the fire of relationship with what we have receive from Him, forgiveness.  This blesses us and those around us with the flames of the presence of His mercy and righteousness.  We give ourselves over to Him that we might diminish and He might increase.  It is amazing how much of 'me' is flesh.

If your offender is a fellow believer who carries this flame of the Lord, your offering of burning coals will be provision for cleansing and refinement, refreshment.  But if your offender does not share in the same Spirit, the burning coals may be offensive to them because they are fueled by repentance and humility.

The condition of spirit determines the coals.  Your offender will either gladly accept your offering and be blessed.  Or they will scorn it, unable to receive it.  If theirs is a fire that burns with the offerings of the Lord, if they are alive, their Spirit will be rekindled by your forgiveness.  But, if theirs is a strange fire, one that burns for self instead of self, and they are dead within, it may burn as burning coals on dead branches for it will be a living fire.  Beloved, these are the results you have left in the hands of the Lord for His glory and for the salvation of many.  It is for us to make sure we go through this process of trusting Jesus with all of who we are.

Be sure you are cleansed and obedient, witnessing to the Lord's mercy and thus, blessed and able to bless.

Lamentations 3:22
"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail."

You must keep your home fires burning, taking your mistakes and trespasses to the Lord and being cleansed and forgiven.  Stoke the fire of God in your heart with all that you perceive of your flesh, and is not of Him.  It will burn mightily.  Then you will have fueled the fire of the Spirit and will have more of Him and less of you, resulting brightly burning coals to offer others.  

Tend and nurture your relationship with Jesus constantly, as a fire that needs tending so that you may burn brightly and be equipped for every good work.

In the Fire and Of the Flame,

Carmen Sunshine