Startling revelation I had today while trying to stir our wood fire into life: wet wood won’t burn.
In fact, if you put wet wood on a fire, it will smolder, sizzle, and create a lot of smoke, but it will not burn very well. In fact, it will come close to just stifling the fire altogether.
Now, nobody in their right mind will put a wet log on a fire – but sometimes a piece of wood is deceptive. It looks dry and seasoned on the outside; perfectly acceptable. But once you put it in the fire, its true nature comes forth. It creates smoke. You can see the water sizzling out the end falling on the flames below. You watch your fire slowly die unless you work hard putting better fuel into the flames.
As I was fussing with the above situation this morning, I said “Lord, there must be some spiritual application to this. Right?” And sure enough, there was.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 – Do not put out the Spirit’s fire. (NIV)
Like a damp stick of firewood, Christians who are dampened by various distractions can
become useless except for blowing smoke and making noise.
In some cases, noise like a sizzle is exciting – like if my friend Jalanda is frying up some bacon or chicken. That’s a good noise, a sign of good things to come.
But in the case of trying to get a roaring fire going, when you are trying to “fan into flame the gift of God within you” that wet sizzling sound leads to nothing but blowing smoke – it means something is at work, from inside, trying to quench the fire of the Spirit. It may sound productive on the surface, but in reality, it is not only not productive, it is working against you.
This quenching could come from others, to be sure – other well meaning believers who tend to drag people down with all sorts of nonsense. Some get caught up in gossip, backbiting, and other undesirable “church issues” and they let those things drag them down. Sometimes, it’s being the victim of a false teacher. But I think ultimately, the reason our spiritual life is quenched lies within ourselves – just like it lies within that stick of wood.
Are you seasoned, or are you damp? Are there things within you that are quenching the flame of the Holy Spirit? There sure are things in me that have kept me at a slow smolder for years.
Some of which includes clinging to untruth: I thought that truly, God was not MY Father because I never felt His presence. I never felt like I was His child. I did not have a fantastic testimony like others did, and I compared myself and my feelings of flat emptiness inside to what appeared to me to be the vibrant Christians around me, and I falsely concluded that I was not really a true believer; I was one of the tares among the wheat, a goat among the blessed lambs…because I did not “feel” what everyone else seemed to be feeling.
My husband’s answer to the damp wood is to blow heat onto the pieces to hasten the drying process.
The answer to drying out our own damp souls is to soak up the heat from the Light.
Psalm 89:15 – Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
Immerse yourself in the Word, give yourself over to prayer, regardless of how “damp” you still feel. Wise friends told me recently “We are believers, not feelers.” Let that light shine on your darkest parts – the darkness will not be able to extinguish the Light of the Savior – no matter what you “feel.”
John 1:1-13 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. …. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
I received Him years ago – but never really learned to walk in His light. I learned to go through all the motions; to appear to be “in the light…”… I learned to go to church regularly and listen to the right music and so on and so forth – but never, ever, have I really learned to just soak in His presence, to learn from Him, to have the Holy Spirit alive and vibrant within me…that’s what I want. I’m not going to find it anywhere but in His presence.
A special thank you to my dear friends, Nancy & David, who have helped me begin this journey, and also my friends in the Crosswalk Facebook Group who helped me get this completed w/ scripture helps. Being a part of God’s family is a wonderful blessing!
If you are interested in more of my puzzling journey, please see all my blogs under the “Puzzle Pieces” tag (click here). God Bless!