I am currently reading through the book Can You Hear Me? Tuning in to the God who speaks by Brad Jersak. I've read this book once already, but wanted to read it again. Brad talks about the various ways that God speaks to us. He reminds us that God speaks the same ways He always has, and one of those ways is through parables. At the end of the section I was reading, Brad suggests that the reader stop and ask God to reveal a parable to us. So, I asked God to show me a parable and He did so immediately! Bear with me as I try to share my thoughts. I apologize if they are too scattered, but hopefully the point will get across:
The temperature has dropped here, and so we are using our wood burning stove to help warm the house. I was adding wood to the fire and God told me this parable: The stove is my heart (spirit). The wood is God's word. The oxygen the fire needs to burn is the Holy Spirit. The door to the stove needs to be opened so that I can put more wood on the fire. I need to open the door of my heart (spirit) and put more of God's word inside to keep my spiritual fire burning. By continually feeding the heater with wood and stoking the coals, heat is generated and it warms those around it. I need to continually feed my spirit with the truth of God's word, stoke the coals (which is doing good works) and I need the Holy Spirit to breathe on me (surrender to Him) so that I will, spiritually speaking, warm those around me.
It takes work to keep a fire burning. I can't just put wood on once, walk away and expect it to keep going; I need to keep adding wood. I also need to remove the ashes from time to time so that there is room for the wood. You see, fire produces ashes. God's word will burn up things in my life, and some of those things need to be removed so that there is more room for Him and His word.
Other things I realized about fire:
Fire gives light.
Fire gives warmth.
Fire is fuel.
But, fire can also do damage. If I use God's word incorrectly, I can burn those around me instead of warming them. In return they will recoil from the fire instead of drawing closer to it.
Father God, thank You so much for pointing out this parable to me. Thank You for speaking to me in this way. This is something that I need to meditate on today. Show me how I can better tend to the fire You have started in me. Help me to feed the flame with Your Word. Help me to stoke the coals by doing good works. Help me to keep the fire burning so that light and warmth emanate from me and so that people around me are drawn to You and to Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, breathe on me so that I can stay on fire!