Posts Tagged ‘walk’

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January 8th Fan Into Flame

I am sensing a pattern here and if it continues I may just have to call in from home on Friday morning because the glaciers are coming.  There was an undercurrent of glee in the children’s classes at church last night as the kids anticipated another day off from school with temperatures and wind chills plunging well into the danger zone.

In weather like this a flame can be the difference between life and death.  I recall a movie from my youth where one of the characters is desperately trying to kindle a flame with hand that have no feeling and a body that just wants to lay down and sleep.  Honestly I cannot recall if he gets the fire going or not.  However I do know this there have been times in my life as a child of God that I have felt just like that.  My spirit is numb and cold.  I feel like I fumble everything that I try to do.  I just want to lay down and sleep.  I have become convinced of my own ineffectiveness, shame overcomes my desire to serve, perhaps even my desire to live.  I have fallen prey to the lies of the enemy that tell me I am unloved, unworthy and will never amount to anything.

It is definitely time to Fan Into Flame the Gift of God, to refuse to be ashamed to testify about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to move on to Paul’s second step for Fanning into Flame the active presence of God in our lives.

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,”  2 Timothy 1:8

Paul does not call Timothy to do something that he has not done or is unwilling to do. Here is one of those translation idiosyncrasies that just makes my day (yes I know that is pathetic but what can you do).  Our next step in Fanning the Flame is “Join with me in suffering” and in the Greek that is 1 yes count it 1 word…  soong-kak-op-ath-eh’-o  perhaps even better than hupomone (if you want to follow that rabbit trail you can look it up on fanintoflame.net or you can look through the past two years of Yes FM morning munches to find the series on hupomone) Ok off the rabbit trail and back to the suffering.  Paul tosses out this big word (which only he uses and only twice and only in this book) to give Timothy a key to Fanning that gift of power, love and self-discipline into a raging fire.  Join with me in suffering, in experiencing the rough stuff in all the irritations, inconveniences and yes sometimes flat out persecution that comes with being a child of the living God in an ungodly world.  You do not have to go it alone.  Jesus said “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”  Walk the path of hardship and do not be afraid to ask someone to walk with you or if your path is currently smooth do not be afraid to walk the path of hardship with a brother (or sister) and remember that no matter where you walk, Jesus is walking there with you.

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She stood by her seat watching Allana lead the children in dancing to the praises of our savior.  Just her toes wriggled to the music.  She had already been asked several times if she would like to join the children up front and dance but had said,” N0.”  Still she stood there staring and wriggling.  I walked over and asked her again, “Would you like to go up and dance with the other kids?”  She shook her head no but kept staring and wriggling.  “You don’t have to belong or have to know the songs you can watch Miss Allana”, I tried.  Still no, but then I could see her gather her will together and she looked straight at me and said, “I’m afraid.”  Her face turned red with this moment of pure honesty.  “Tell you what, why don’t I walk up there with you and put you right between Miss Allana and Sami so you can follow right along with them.”  Her eyes got big and she slowly shook her head yes and whispered, “OK”.  I walked her up, placed her between Sami and Allana and then watched her blossom to life dancing with all her heart for the next 30 minutes.

Sometimes people will respond to tracts, tv shows, invitations to church services, revivals or even altar calls.  But sometimes they are waiting for someone to take that long walk to our Savior with them.  It seems like just a short and easy stroll to us but they are afraid.  They can see the joy, the fun but for whatever reason that walk is terrifying.  They are waiting for someone to walk with them, hand in hand; to introduce them personally to Jesus and then to tuck them in right between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Maybe they should grow up and get over it.  Maybe they should not be so stubborn and afraid.  Or just maybe we just need  to be ready to walk that walk with them.

There was a man who lived in Jericho, a wealthy and powerful man.  He could have easily summoned Jesus to him or approached Jesus through the crowd using his many servants to clear the way.  But he didn’t.  He ran ahead and climbed a tree.  I think that perhaps he had listened to the greatest lie that Satan ever came up with, “You are not the sort of person that Jesus could love.”  Still he wanted to see Jesus.  How surprised he must have been when Jesus stopped at that tree and said, ” ‘Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ And he hurried and came down and received him gladly.  When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.’  Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  (Luke 19:5b-10)

“Zaccheus stopped…”  After the invitation there was the long walk back to Zaccheus’ house.  For Zaccheus it was a walk of shame, a walk that reinforced the lie of Satan.  It is a walk that so many are unable to take alone.  Jesus took that walk with Zaccheus.  It was not in the safety of his home that Zaccheus found salvation.  It was not kneeling at the altar or standing in the revival.  It was walking with Jesus.  “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”  (Ephesians 5:1-2:  bold  lettering is mine)

Maybe it is time for all of us to take a little walk, to pray that the Holy Spirit will point out those Zaccheuses waiting up in a tree to walk with us;  those little girls wriggling their toes waiting by their chairs to dance, giving us the opportunity to be imitators of God Himself and walk in love.

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