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KEEP THE FIRE BURNING

KEEP THE FIRE BURNING

Justin Tucker, LHBC Worship Pastor

Leviticus 6:12 – 13
The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not go out. The priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall arrange the burnt offering on it and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.

Have you ever watched the television show Alone? I have fallen down the rabbit-hole of binge watching this show. If you haven’t seen it, the premise of the show is that it follows the self-documented daily struggles of 10 individuals as they survive in the wilderness for as long as possible using a limited amount of survival equipment. With the exception of medical check-ins, the participants are isolated from each other and all other humans. They may “tap out” at any time, or be removed due to failing a medical check-in. In the end, whoever remains the longest wins a grand prize of $500,000. The contestants have to build shelters, they have to hunt or trap or fish for protein sources, they have to forage for food and they do this all in the most brutal of weather conditions and environments on Earth. After the contestants are dropped off, the first two tasks that they perform are finding a water source and establishing fire. 

While water is essential to sustaining life, it can also be the thing that sends you home on the show. In survival situations, not having a fire to purify the things that you put into your body can make you severely sick and without medical attention, they can actually kill you. I’ve seen people drink water that wasn’t boiled or eat animals that weren’t cooked thoroughly, go home in some of the most excruciating pain ever. Fire is the one thing that you can’t do without in a long-term survival situation. You need it to purify water, to kill bacteria in the meat you cook, to stay warm or dry out in extreme cold, or even to signal for help. The truth is, without fire…you die.

Fire isn’t just essential to our physical lives, it is essential to our spiritual lives. We have to tend to it daily. How do we do that? I’m glad you asked. Each day we can throw a log on that  fire by spending time in God’s Word. We should meditate on the things that He is showing us, we should journal them so we can come back to them. We can throw another log on the fire by spending time talking to Him in prayer. When we ask for His will and direction for our lives we are stoking that fire. We can also fuel the fire by worshipping Him daily and by that I’m not talking about 20 minutes of singing, although that is one way to worship. I’m talking about living our lives as a living sacrifice like Romans 12 tells us to. By loving God, loving others, to live a life of service and encouragement, to bless those that harm you, to live at peace with people, to not be prideful, to be willing to associate with the broken. Ultimately, to not be overcome with evil but to overcome evil with good. I know, some of those things are hard to do. It’s hard not to clap back at someone when they are running you down. I know it can be hard not to say things we shouldn’t say when we get cut off on the interstate or when people come to a complete stop to make a right hand turn…maybe that’s only me. 

Here’s the thing, fire doesn’t fall on an empty altar. If we want to experience God’s mercies and His blessings, we have to take the personal responsibility of putting fuel on the fire. If we want to see His Spirit poured out in our lives then we have to do the daily things, we have to do the hard things, we have to do the sacrificial things. Altars were designed to sacrifice things on. What are we willing to sacrifice to see His fire fall down and set ablaze the altars of our hearts? What are we willing to sacrifice to have true intimacy with our Heavenly Father?

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord, thank you for your sacrifice through Jesus. Thank you for creating a way for us to be in relationship with You. Oh God, show us the places in our lives where we can fuel the fire of our faith. Help us to be people that live lives that are honoring to you and others. Teach us to long for time spent in Your Word and in Your presence. Father, pour out Your Spirit as draw nearer to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Ephesians 3:20-21-
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.