Keep the Fire Burning
In 1885, the first furnace was invented and installed into a home. This furnace replaced the wood-burning stove, which was the primary source of heat used in homes. Before these furnaces came into being, there were only wood-burning stoves, and they were the sole option to stay warm while inside.
The difference between the two is a furnace simply requires a few buttons to be pressed to set the temperature, and a wood-burning stove requires constant attention and stirring of the coals to maintain the fire.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance you attended NAYC 2019. You danced, praised, worshipped, and made commitments to God, that you have every intention of keeping when you returned home. It’s easy to live holy, praise, worship, and pray boldly when there are 37,000 other Apostolic believers doing the same in a huge football stadium, but what about when there’s only a few?
Being Apostolic is EASY at N-A-Y-C. When you are in atmospheres like that, you don’t doubt that miracles will happen, or your life will be changed. The ride home with your youth group, chaperones, and youth pastors is filled with high energy levels, declarations in your mind to turn your world upside down.
Then, you get home.
Your town, city, and neighbors are STILL the same. The pizza place on the corner is STILL serving the same slice, your mailman STILL doesn’t have any love letters for you, and the barista STILL gets your name wrong. You brush all of that off because you tell yourself that they have no way of knowing what you felt at NAYC. You were changed and convicted, so why does everything feel bland, and normal? Maybe you brushed it off and told yourself you would wait to get to Sunday service. You hoped that the first service back at your church would be fantastic, and your youth group would make an impact just like at NAYC.
You want to go back to school and start a P7 club. You go back to your friends and want to tell them everything awesome about the experience you just had at Youth Congress. You want to make a change.
But perhaps you are hit with reality when your school says, “no” to your P7 Club. Maybe your friends don’t care to be part of the Bible studies you want to each. What do you do? How can you keep the momentum going?
It’d be easy to drop back into your mundane lifestyle. It’d be easy to ignore the Holy Spirit prompting you to press harder to speak with your friends about how God changed your life. It’d be easy just keep the temperature in your life to a comfortable level.
“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:16 (NIV)
We HAVE to go to the wood-burning stove, and STIR the fire, and keep it from going out. It is so vital that you never stop trying.
“Give Aaron and his sons this command; These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar.” – Leviticus 6:9 (NIV)
In Leviticus, God commanded Aaron to keep the fire on the altar burning and to do so until the next morning. God was telling them that their sacrifice wasn’t supposed to burn out after they were finished with it.
Just as the fire burns out in the wooden stove, if not maintained; the same fire that you have from NAYC will go out, if you do not pray, study God’s Word, fast, and sacrifice your time and effort to do what He has called you to do.
Keep the fire burning on your altar, and don’t let the sacrifice you made burn out!
Erick Barkley serves Point of Hope Church in Indianapolis, IN, as the Student Pastor. He loves the outdoors, coffee, and learning anything new. He also has a Gerberian Shepsky named ’Mowgli’