October 30, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Give Your Fire a Proper Place to Burn

Recently, Marianne and I attended a fundraising banquet for Safe Families for Children. (A Christian alternative to Foster Care)

The keynote speaker for the evening was the founder of Safe Families.

During his speech he used a phrase that caught my attention. He said, “Give your fire a place to burn.” It resonated with me and I couldn’t shake it. I’ve been pondering it ever since.

It is the nature of fire to burn. When given the correct place to burn, fire produces much good. In a fireplace it produces warmth; in a boiler it produces steam, and in a lamp it produces light.

All of these useful things are the byproduct of fire being given a proper place to burn. But again, it is the nature of fire to burn. So, whether given the proper place or not, fire will still find a way to burn. We call that wildfire. And wildfire produces chaos and destruction.

After Jesus’ resurrection and immediately before His ascension, He promised His disciples that they were going to receive “The Promise of His Father.” He then instructed them to go to Jerusalem and wait until they were endued with power from on high. So, there they were, one hundred and twenty souls in an upper room waiting on The Promise to come.

However, I believe that as they prayed and waited, the Lord was doing something in each of their lives. I believe He was preparing them to be a vessel where His Holy Fire could burn. We know that when The Promise of His Father came, it came as cloven tongues of fire and rested upon each of them and they were all filled with and empowered by the Fire of the Holy Spirit. When the Fire fell, It did not burn as wild fire. The Fire burned in properly prepared vessels.

Fueled by this Holy Fire, the disciples came down out of the upper room. This Fire emboldened them to come out of hiding and to boldly begin to declare the message of Jesus Christ.  Over three thousand souls were saved that day and the New Testament Church was birthed. The world was changed. Why? Because the Holy Spirit Fire of God had found proper vessels in which to burn.

As I sit writing this column, I have just returned from the Annual Meeting of the Troup Baptist Association. Our college campus minister told a story about a young student at the college who plays on the tennis team. He came to the minister and told him he wanted to get his life right with Jesus.

Afterwards, he told the minister that he wanted his whole tennis team to be right with Jesus too. So, he started inviting them to come to a weekly Bible study.  Now the entire tennis team attends a Bible study each week. Why did this happen? It happened because the Fire of God found one properly prepared vessel in which to could burn. All it took was one young man inviting others to discover what he had found. Amazing concept, isn’t it?

So, as I close this column today, I do so by reminding each of us that the Holy Fire of God wants to burn brightly in us, His children. However, often we experience wild fire or no fire at all, because we have not properly prepared ourselves to be a proper place for His Holy Fire to burn.

I encourage you today to give The Fire of God a proper place to burn in your life.

Brother Aaron

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