“Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire.” (l Thessalonians 5:19 GWT)
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor.” (Romans 12:11 NIV)
Anyone who knows me very well knows that I can’t resist the challenge of a really hot chili pepper. I love all varieties, and enthusiastically wait to get “fired up” when I indulge in them; they have the ability to speed up my metabolism by releasing endorphins all through my body! Just like I wait with anticipation on the effects of a chili pepper, God waits for red-hot, enthusiastic followers who love Him more than anything to do His will. Being fired up is also an expression used to describe our spiritual fervor; if there’s anything that catches people’s attention, it’s the enthusiasm we have when we act and speak about our great love for Him! To be on fire is to burn with zeal for God with a desire to please and serve Him. We are all expected to be zealously on fire for Him serving with all of our heart in our service and in the witness of our faith.
In 2 Timothy 1:6-7, Paul’s words to Timothy are: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”
We are challenged in our spiritual life to keep up our fervor and not to put out the spirit’s fire. Believers need to stay hot, not lukewarm or cold, and we can never compromise or overlook anything. God gives all of us gifts to use to build Him up and do His work, and when we use the gifts He has given us He will give us all the power we need. When Paul tells us not to put out the Spirit’s fire, he is telling us that we shouldn’t ignore or put aside the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives. Whatever our hands find to do, we must be determined not to rest until the job is done, and give eagerly according to our ability and even beyond our ability!
“Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it. (Ecclesiastes 9:9-10)
It’s important in my daily walk to surround myself with people, places and things that keep me filled with a desire to please and serve Him cheerfully and vigorously, and for others to see the character of enthusiasm working in me. I know I can’t kindle a fire in anyone else’s heart unless the fire is burning in my own! We need to make up our minds to keep a fiery zeal for God always in our hearts and resist the devil by refusing to submit to any negative thoughts that could suppress our enthusiasm!
…Following Tracy on Winsome Wednesday…