Putting Out Fire

19 Sep
Ever end a day feeling like you ran around putting out fires all day long? You never get to the things planned, because something else interrupted you and demanded your attention. It leaves you drained and frustated.
Consider the one type of fire we should never put out. It is the source of energy, guidance and wisdom.

“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire” (1 Thessalonians 5:19   NIV).

This verse is part of a letter from Paul and his co-missionaries, Timothy and Silas. It’s written to a church they’d visited. In preceeding verses, they instruct the people to actively encourage each other and appreciate their leaders (see 5:12 – 18). This is necessary and something widely neglected. Prayer and verbalized encouragement fans the fire of God within the people working for his purpose.
But, in reading this passage, I also started to consider the ways we smother the Holy Spirit within ourselves.
Insecurity, unbelief, self-involvement. Focus on our own needs/plans. Failure to pray, read and meditate on scripture. The choice not to gather with other believers to sharpen one another. Looking at our overwhelm instead of our God.
And a big one for me, over-analyzing plans or decisions. The desire for plans to make perfect sense on paper, be logical and feel secure before we’ll do them transfers confidence from God to self. It sucks out the energy the fire of God creates.
So send that note of encouragement to someone. Stop and pray to God about your priorities and welcome his interruptions and press on his plans. Toss the pros and cons list into the fire.

It’s your turn. What can you do to fan the fire in yourself or someone else?

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2 Responses to “Putting Out Fire”

  1. Vonda Skelton September 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Just this morning in my prayer time I was reminded again that God, the creator of all, the beginning and the end, loves and knows me. Me. Not only that, but He has a specific plan for my life, and is–at this very moment–working behind the scenes to bring it all to pass. Humbling thought.

    For me, one of the biggest struggles is simply to open my eyes to what He’s doing. So many times I miss seeing it. Then months or years later, I look back and see that His hand was at work. But I missed it in the moment.

    I’m praying that I’ll see Him and what He’s doing…in the here and now. 🙂

    Great post. Thanks.

  2. Vonda Skelton September 20, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    Jeanette, I’ve been trying to respond to your email all evening, but it keeps getting rejected by the server! I also posted it as a message on FB. Guess I could try to Tweet you. I don’t know what the problem is, but my email can’t get through for some reason. 😦

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