So, what else did our Lord teach me on our camp out? Well, every night we had a big campfire. Now, I don’t mean that we burned some wood. No, we used up three or four bundles of wood and might have singed the trees a little!
Anyway, eventually we had to go to bed, so we let the fire die down because we wanted to use the embers to cook with in the morning. We do that every time we go camping. It saves on propane and, well frankly, it is more fun that way.
In the morning, we simply placed some wood shavings and dried leaves in the middle of the pit. Then we stirred the embers a little while blowing on them. First, we saw a little smoke begin to float up from the ashes, and suddenly the leaves and shavings simply burst into flames! It was so cool!
The amazing thing happened that morning. The moment the leaves burst into flames, deep in my spirit I felt the Lord say, “I will do that in the lives of my people!” Now that excited me!
I began to picture someone who had known the Lord and was truly on fire. They were always talking about their Lord. Whenever the doors of the church were open, they would be there. Whatever they touched blossomed. As the Psalmist said, “Their path was lit by the Glory of God.” They had a passion and desire that far surpassed simple infatuation from the very beginning of their walk with the Lord! However . . . well (how do I say this?). Well, something happened. Their faith began to waiver and they began missing church; no longer spent time in prayer and certainly no longer spent any time studying the Word of God. It was a slow and gradual eroding of their faith.
What happened? How did they drift away? Well, the only analogy I can come up with is vitamins. That’s right. When we take our vitamins religiously, we will receive great results. However, if you quit taking your vitamins, you will slowly feel the effects. No, if you skip a day or two nothing will happen. However, months after you quit taking your vitamins, you will be able to notice the difference. You will begin to sniffle; colds come easily; you may begin to feel the aches and pains.
That is what in our spiritual lives. No, it won’t happen after one day, or even two. But slowly your zeal and enthusiasm will fade away. At first, you probably won’t even notice the changes. For instance, you were once very patient and gentle, now you snap at your children. See what I mean?
Does that describe your life? If so, remember our campfire, how we were able to ignite our morning fire by stirring the embers. Paul told Timothy, “I often think of that genuine faith of yours . . . Because you have this faith, I now remind you to stir up that inner fire which God gave you . . .” (II Timothy 1:6-10).
That’s what I am encouraging you to do. Stir up the embers of your faith. If need be, drop on the floor and call out to the Lord and say, “Father, I do miss you. I am sorry I have drifted so far from you. Please allow me to come back. I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your child. Take me on as one of your hired hands.”
When you do, like the Prodigal son, your Father will throw his “arms” around you and receive you as His own. He will clothe you with His robe of Grace and place His family ring on your finger.
If, like the prodigal, you are willing to offer a heart-felt message of repentance, your Father will answer you, “Hush, child. We have no time for that. There is no time for apologies because you will be late for the party. A banquet’s waiting for you at home.”
That is what we refer to as His amazing grace. Go ahead and ask people what they believe we have to do to return to Father, they will say, “Be good.” Bunk! This one story throws that belief out the window! All we have to do is cry, “Help! I am sorry, my Lord.” He will welcome home anyone who will have him and, in fact, has made the first move already. That, my friends, is what is so amazing about grace!
(I send out messages like each morning. If you are interested, let me know. However, you can also find these messages at: Thought For The Day)