Stoking our heart’s fire!

Scripture Reading for March 8: Judges 1-5

When I was younger, we heated our home on the farm with wood.  When it was extremely cold, we had a small bin of coal to help with the heat through the long winter nights in Iowa.  One of the jobs right before bed was to go down and stoke the fire.  More wood would be added and ashes removed so a good flow of air would cause the fire to heat up and blaze.  A scoop of coal would be tossed in too.  A short time later the damper was shut so all the coals and logs would glow with a steady fire all night.  If no one stoked the fire, it would go out and the house would quickly cool down.

Godly leaders stoke the fires with the wood of prayer and pour on the coals of God’s Word to keep zeal burning through the long night.  But when the leader is gone and the fire is not being stoked with fresh wood and coal, complacency sets in and our hearts cool. After the death of Joshua, the elders that knew him, kept the fire burning until they passed away. The next generation arose without a personal experience of God’s mighty miracles and deliverance.  Their hearts turned towards idols.

There are seven cycles of judges reflecting this pattern of broken covenant when no godly leader was present.  When the people cried out to the Lord, He would raise up another leader who would deliver them.  There would be a time of peace during the life of that leader (judge).  After the leader’s death, the cycle would begin again.  (Judges 2:10-19)  I see this same cycle also present in our culture today. 

Who was a godly leader or family member that stoked the fire of God’s love and presence in your life? How is God using you to stoke the fires of faith in your family, church or workplace? How would your rate your heart temperature? What can you do today to keep the fire burning during the long night?

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