Tuesday, March 04, 2008

There is no doubt that at times our passion for Christ burns brighter than others. In the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of seeing God move in some pretty powerful ways. I have seen lives set ablaze by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. It is the coolest thing ever.

In our lives we experience ebbs and flows emotionally. There are times we are up and times we are not. Most of us would prefer to be consistent. We would enjoy being "up" more often, if is could be so.

When the Spirit of the Lord moves within us, we experience power that we often express emotionally. We do so, because we were created as emotional beings.

However, there is a difference between emotional highs, and the burning presence of the Holy Spirit within our lives. Understanding the difference can help us deal with some of the lows we experience.

When the Lord fills us up, He does not expect that we will keep this to ourselves. We are filled so that we can share the experience. This in turn, has impact on those we spill it on. Encouragement is naturally drawn from a shared experience, when others get to see what God is up to. He intended for it to be this way.

He is with us always, but we often don't feel Him. We are prone to making the mistake that if we don't feel Him, then something is wrong. That somehow He has left us.

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. He inhabits us when we invite Him to be our Savior. We take Him with us everywhere...even the places He would prefer not to go.

What we need to remember is that when we sense His presence less, it does not mean He isn't there.

When we gather together for worship, teaching, fellowship and prayer, the presence of the Lord is often sensed in intensity. We can think of it this way...when you are near a campfire, and the flame is hot and expressed in various hues, you often have to withdraw from the heat, but you enjoy the beauty of the expression of color, as well as the experience around the fire.

When you leave, you even carry the aroma of the fire with you. Others know where you have been, because of it.

However, if you are present at that same fire, and someone separates the wood, and spreads it out so that it is not consumed together in flame, the embers glow for a time, but then wane. The heat dissipates, the flame disappears and soon, you are staring at a charred piece of wood, stripped of it's beauty.

When we allow ourselves to be separated from the body (of Christ), and we are no longer finding it important to be present with other believers, what is left has lost its glow. The flame is gone. The brightly colored hues previously expressed in concert are now a scarred representation, looking more like a battered vessel then a white hot ember.

It is Christ in us that forms the beauty of who we are. When we forsake the fellowship of believers and chase down lanes, void of His presence or that of others who reflect Him, we tend to wane. The fire of Him who burns within us reduces as we begin nurturing the wrong things in our lives.

I have seen God manifest callings in the lives of believers who short days later, stop believing in what God did. They stop believing, because they are withdrawing from the body and embracing conventional worldly wisdom.

We need to remember that this is called foolishness, in 1 Corinthians.

When God calls us, His calling is secure. It is we who allow confusion to enter the picture as we begin to take our eyes off of Him, and begin to listen to those around us who don't reflect Him.

The enemy is the author of confusion. He gains great footholds in our lives when we decide to do our own thing, over remaining in fellowship, and experiencing the multiplied burn of His presence (as we fellowship together).

If your flame has lost its beauty, it isn't because you have been abandoned. It is because you have moved away from the source of the fire.

We are embers. He is fuel. We cannot burn in the brilliance He has created within us, without Him.



At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burn, baby, Burn!! Let that Spirit warm you as you fellowship with Him and cause others to come for (s)mores!!

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow Dad, that is a beautiful analogy, God has truly given you a gift!

much love,

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for letting the Spirit work through you guys! It is definitely a blessing!!!

At 10:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words today.

Love you.

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What a beautiful description Brent. The other thing to remember is the joy that comes with fellowshipping with others. Their passion is contageous.


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