Fanning the Flame

Imagine a single coal. Alone. Burning bright, now softer, now fading as the heat recedes into the center. The colour dulls, and the light diminishes. Now visualise yourself leaning in, placing a red hot coal beside it and blowing on it, gently enough that you don’t snuff out the cooling one. The coal pulses and soon is burning. You fan until it bursts into glorious flame.

Are you hot, cold, or lukewarm for the one who saved you?

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord.

I’ve mentioned that when I went to the travel agent some months ago and she asked, “So why are you going to Europe?” my answer was, “Because I feel like I’ll die if I don’t.” Laugh if you will but that is passion. Our passion is like a coal and if we separate from Jesus it gets lukewarm and eventually dies out. And sometimes we’re too busy to even feel our spiritual toes turning blue.

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs.

Where does your strength, your security come from? From your job, your marriage, your ‘position’ at the church, your youth or talents, what people think of you? Don’t just give the answer you tell yourself, if it’s not the truth. We need to be relying on the Lord for that Valley of Weeping to burst with refreshing springs.

It can be easy to lose our passion. It’s scary how easy. Do we still weep in times of worship, still long for alone time with our saviour? Still feel soul sick when it’s absent from our lives? Does our heart yearn for him like the heart of a lover?

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

Are we radical? I know people can be wary of letting emotion play too big a part in their relationship with God, but the love we experience with him, both given and received, is not without emotion. He is passionate about us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Always has been, always will be. Jesus is like a burning flame (a face like the sun, what could be more glorious?) and the closer we get to him the quicker and more fully we catch fire.

Does he still command our attention when he walks in the room? Are we still captivated, awed, brought to our knees, overflowing, obsessed? No one could be more worthy of these reactions.

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield, He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

As I sit here in my room, in the quiet, I think, with tears in my eyes, “Jesus, you gave us all your righteousness while all we forfeited was our sin and the right to die. Who does that? Why would you choose us (much less stick with us)?” The truth feels too wonderful to be true.

And I also pray this prayer: “Jesus, forgive me for having a wandering eye, a wandering heart, for allowing my passion to dim.”

Never forget that he wants us close enough to hear the whisper.



All quotes from Psalm 84, New Living Translation.
Image 1:, sourced 13 July 2016.
Image 2:, sourced 13 July 2016.


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