Saturday, October 29, 2016

GUARDING THE FLAME

The other day I was watching an old episode of The Andy Griffith Show. Opie, Andy's son, was appointed the Keeper of the Flame in this secret club of which he was a part. The only problem was that Opie was not supposed to play with matches. Aunt Bee found the cigar box in his room that contained the sacred "flame" instruments which were, in fact, a candle and some matches. Having been sworn to secrecy by the higher ups of the club, he could not explain to his father why he had these objects in his room even though he was to take the blame for a neighbor's barn burning down as a result of false accusations. When we become Born Again and receive the Holy Spirit and beyond that, become "baptized" in the Holy Spirit, we, in a real sense become Keepers of the Flame. John the Baptist told his Disciples in Matthew Chapter three, verse eleven, that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and with FIRE. I will never forget the day nor the hour when I received that fire! It is available to all who call upon the name of the Lord. Once we receive that gift, that fire, we have a sacred responsibility to keep it or another word is guard it. Ephesians Chapter five, verse eighteen tells us not to get drunk with wine because it will ruin our life but to be filled with the Spirit. The Greek translation of that verse gives the meaning that we are to "be being filled." Receiving that "fire" is not a one time experience. As I watch my husband build a beautiful fire in our woodstove, the illustration becomes quite clear. The initial fire, once burning full, brings such beauty and warmth to our home. As the flue is left open wide, dangerous gases are allowed to escape as fresh oxygen is brought in to keep the fire burning. If the flue is shut down completely and tightly enough, the fire will eventually go out. I see the flue as relating to my heart. If I shut down my heart and no longer allow the breath of God to breathe into me, the fire of His Spirit will eventually burn out. Hebrews Chapter thirteen, verse twelve  tells us (Brothers and Sisters) to be careful not to have a sinful, unbelieving heart and fall away from God. It doesn't happen all at once. Those coals can keep smoldering for quite sometime, but without oxygen (breath) it will soon dissipate. My daughter, Kim and I were talking earlier today about how interesting it is that the internet these days has so many sites that would bring doubt to things a person has believed for years. She reminded me of Eve in the Garden of Eden who listened to the Serpent (Satan) who in essence asked her to believe God was a liar by saying, "Did God really say?" Just like the false teachers written about in the Apostle Peter's writings when they said.... "Where is this promise of his coming you are talking about?" Second Peter Chapter three, verse nine, New Living Translation: "The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent." There is a reason, other than for ourselves that we need to Guard the Flame. Have you ever wanted to walk into a dark room and have it light up just because of your presence? Well, that is, as a fact, what happens in the Spiritual Realm when you are filled with the Holy Spirit through a life giving, God breathing, experience. You walk into the darkness of this world and the kingdom of this world and Satan and the flame that you carry illuminates and exposes EVERYTHING! It isn't you, lest you boast, but the Spirit of the Living God who raised Christ from the Dead and Quickens our mortal bodies. We are commanded in Ephesians Chapter five, verse eleven: "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather EXPOSE them." That is the power of the Keeper of the Flame! We are all called to Keep the Flame Burning Bright! How else can others see their way to enter the Kingdom of God and His Dear Son, Jesus Christ! As my Daughter and I discussed, the END is coming soon! Jesus IS coming back to take His Believers Home. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son (Jesus) that whoever believes (adheres to, trust in, relies on) will not perish but have everlasting life. We can either fear the light of exposure or welcome the light of life.  

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