Feeding the flames

Following the message I preached recently on letting our light shine before men, one of our elders (Graham, if you are from Wildwood) sent me the following, quoting from what I said about discipleship towards the end.

 And it’s not a quick fix: little flames need to be shielded and fed with stuff that burns, or else they are likely to go out.

Last week on holiday we decided to light the fire one evening. The fire had been laid with paper and kindling which lit well, flaring up quickly. But the wood was too spread out and, although it burned, it didn’t become established. After a while my mother in law said, “It’s failed; it’s going out.” But I felt I should gather what remained, blow on it, and wait. I didn’t use another match. Five minutes later the kindling, now gathered, was roaring. I put some large logs on the kindling and shortly a healthy blaze was filling the whole house – and it did not go out.”

I’ve looked at this a few times now, and I think that there is quite a lot of detail that we can draw out of it prophetically:

Jesus has laid a fire in His church, and has struck the match. We are seeing, and will see, flames going up in different places as individuals and church groups catch the fire of the Holy Spirit. These flames will at first sight seem short-lived, just as there have been past “revivals” and “moves of God” that have flared up locally for a season, then faded away.

However the Lord is changing things in His church. He is taking away walls, and He is moving people around. Some of us can expect to be moved as He gathers the kindling that is alight in order to create the blaze that He has planned. We can expect to be put alongside different people in different places, just as that scattered kindling is drawn together and piled up. If we don’t allow ourselves to be “gathered together” like this our flames are at risk of spluttering out.

After the gathering comes the blowing. Among those already on fire there will be a strong sense of the breath of God stirring people to greater faith, greater love, more earnest prayer, more worship, more time in His presence. The cry of “More of You, Lord,” from the Welsh revival, from Toronto, will be heard again. We will learn to wait in faith for God to move. As has happened in the past, some onlookers will reject what they see; others will be drawn to it.

The large logs that go onto the kindling will be those “greater works” that Jesus promised us. A few will go on at first as individuals grow in their faith; then more, as the blaze takes hold. I think this will happen more of less simultaneously in different places as the blaze fills the “whole house” – all of His church – with the glory of God. I think that is when we will see a mighty harvest.

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