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Fueling the Fire

I was driving home for lunch today and as the price on the sign from the local gas station came into view I had to do a double take!

pretty expensive stuff!

Admittedly something went horribly wrong with their sign or did it?  We probably won’t hit these prices anytime soon but is this a sign for the future?  When I first started driving gas was about fifty cents a gallon.  I guess you can say I’m getting old.

In 1974 I got my first car!  It was a green 1968 Pontiac Lemans!  That car was a gas guzzler!  One problem that it had was a faulty carburetor.  I remember the car stalling many a time because it wasn’t getting enough gas.  I’m sure it needed a good tune up because when I first started the car it would be idling so fast that it would literally take off without any help from the gas pedal!  Bob, my friend next door used to ride with me to school my senior year in high school.  We had a lot of fun every morning in that car!  Kevin lived down the road and he drove his brother, sister and a couple of more people to school every day.  Although Kevin didn’t care, to Bob and I it was important to beat him every day to school!  Since both of us were usually leaving about the same time his car was always in view.  When we got in the car the first thing we wondered was did Kevin pass yet?  Usually he was just behind us or just ahead.  Normally we jumped on the highway especially if we were behind.  We never lost our race with Kevin.  I remember we had a can of starting fluid in the car in case we stopped and the car stalled.  I would have to jump out  and squirt the stuff down the carburetor to get the car to fire up again.  It was another daring chance I took along with driving way  too fast just to beat Kevin to school.  All the while my car got about ten miles per gallon.  It’s gas guzzling was made even worse by my speeding to school every morning.

Racing around wasting my fuel!

I had a friend named Steve that worked in the local gas station by my house.  We were friends from school and he was thrilled when I pulled my car in.  I remember one day I told Steve I wanted five dollars of gas.  He set the pump to automatic and got carried away in his conversation with me.  These days they set the pump inside and it stops at the dollar amount requested.  Back then I guess it was the job of the attendant to watch how much he pumped in.  It may sound crazy to my young readers but someone actually pumped the gas in our cars back then.  When Steve looked at the pump panic set in.  It had already pumped in over ten dollars before he could get the nozzle out!  When Steve came back to the car I handed him the five I had.  He went to the manager and told him what happened.  If you can believe it the manager actually came out and siphoned some of the gas out of my car!

Keith and I have been best friends since we were three or four.  One day at the little church around our house we met each other.  I am two and a half weeks older than Keith.  We figured out that we lived right down the road from each other!  After that we were inseparable.  When we were seven years old I hung around Keith as he did some work.  Keith  had a couple of work things he had to do to help out.   One was delivering the TV Guide to people that subscribed through him in our neighborhood.  The other chore I remember is that he regularly burned the papers in the barrel they had in the backyard.  One day as Keith and I were burning his papers Keith, with an excited voice stated, “I know how we can make this fire bigger!”  Not knowing what he was up to I followed him into his garage where he picked up a can of gasoline.

I know how we can make this fire bigger!

At that time I had seen gasoline used before as my dad poured it into the lawnmower.  It seems Keith had some advanced knowledge over me in the power of gasoline.  I followed him like a good soldier wondering what magic he was going to do to that fire with the gas.  Just as he started pouring the gas into the fire his mom came running out of the house screaming.  It caught us totally off guard and she grabbed Keith and told me to go home.  She then called my parents and told them what we were doing.  For years after that my dad told the story about how naive I was.  After he told me how dangerous it was to pour gasoline in a fire I  said “it wasn’t dangerous dad, it was just gasoline like you put in the lawnmower.”

When we are born again God puts a fire within us.  It isn’t a fire in the sense that it will burn or harm us.  It is a fire from his spirit to ours.  It is in the form of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us and leads us to all righteousness.  The gasoline in the story represents spiritual things! When we feed our spirit with spiritual things  our spiritual fire grows!  When this happens there is a difference in us that people notice!

Too often though, we waste the fuel that we need in our lives.  Sometimes we are coming and going so fast racing races that have no meaning.     Other times we squander our fuel because we get distracted and lose focus.   Instead of admitting our mistakes and asking God for forgiveness,  we tend to try to correct the wrongs ourselves .

Keith’s mom acted wisely in stopping us from pouring the gas into the fire.  Physically we could have done ourselves great harm.  In the spiritual world adding the Holy Spirit as fuel to our fire will always benefit us.  Yet, when the fire is about to get too big for the comfort of some they tend to want to limit the power of God.  Instead of encouraging their brothers and sisters to add more fuel they would rather be set in Keeping everything the same!  Adding the Holy Spirit to our fire has the potential of waking up a dying world!  To some Christians the excitement that the Holy Spirit could generate in their life and ours would be too weird or would make them feel uncomfortable.  Spiritual water is often used instead of fuel to keep the fire “under control.”

Unlike the sign I saw for the price of gas, our spiritual fuel is priceless.  Saying it is priceless but it is free can only describe our gift from God.  Although the initial salvation experience is free, keeping that fire burning takes effort and dedication!  Our spiritual fire is either getting smaller or bigger.  It’s not enough just to get a quick fix in our spiritual carburetor! We can choose to keep our fire at a point where it could literally go out, or we can fuel the fire with prayer, study, and committing ourselves fully to the cause!  The secret formula isn’t secret at all.   It’s the constant desire within us to want more of God and less of us.  It will happen when we use what he has given to us smartly and fuel the fire within!  We can then use God’s fire to heat the spirits of others as they seek spiritual warmth in a cold hard world!

Fuel the Fire, by Sonicflood

Click below

play?p=fuel+the+fire+sonicflood+youtube&tnr=21&vid=e290488c818dd8c4673b90d8768b1fc7&tur

Fresh Fire Is Not Free

by Lewis Hamilton
from the book “The Gardener and My Garden” c1997

Fresh fire Lord,
That’s what I say
But how do I get it?
Show me the way

Give me the power,
give me the boldness,
give me the wisdom
to cut through their coldness

I waited expecting
that new fresh fire
Then came a voice,
Do you really desire?


The thing that you ask for,
it comes with a cost
It starts with a burden
to rescue the lost

You ask me to give you,
what will you give me?
This thing that you ask for,
it isn’t for free

The price of my daily
filling your cup
is for you to be humble,
your will give up

Give praise to your God,
walk in the light
for I have delivered you
from the cold, lonely night

Quit trying to take
a small part of me
Give up your own way,
then you will see

The power, the glory,
the victory too
The fruit of the Spirit,
that’s my will for you

Keep your heart open
throughout the day
I may be able
to use you some way

The thing that you ask for,
it is no short journey
You must open your heart
for continuous learning

Give me your whole life,
don’t hold anything back,
then the fire will fall
and you will not lack

Give me your quality
time when you pray
Learn how to trust me,
my commandments obey

Walk in the Spirit,
live always near it
Take hold of my hand
and I’ll let you stand

The Spirit-filled life is
my desire for you
so walk with me daily

and I’ll make all things new

Stay in the vine
all of the time,
then I can entrust you
with all that is mine

Can I make this commitment?
How can I dare?
Then out of my heart
came this beautiful prayer

Lord, thank you for showing me
your wisdom so true
and let me still ask for
fresh fire anew

Let me give you
my whole life and more,
then I will see victory
The heavens will pour

Blessings and love
down on me today,
If only I’ll learn
to trust and obey

Fresh fire Lord,
that’s what I say
I give you my all
come and fill me today.

Jesus replied “Love the Lord
your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with
all your might’…”

Matthew 12:37

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One thought on “Fueling the Fire

  1. When I was 16 (over 50 years ago) my Mom and I had the priveledge of listening to and meeting Reverend Billy Graham. It was a night when you could actually feel almost to the point of seeing The Holy Spirit glowing from and moving all around us. I don’t know if he still does, but at that time he had a mail order Bible study class. Mom & I anxiously awaited our first lesson. We enjoyed sharing the experience of completing it. Since that time I have found many ads in local papers for mail order studies. Every few years I do one from start to finish, not because I keep forgetting what The Bible says, but because I enjoy remembering how it excited me to learn some of the scripture for the first time. It’s like pouring gasoline on a fire. The Holy Spirit just has a field day with my memories and my heart. And my Mom’s always right beside me. Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!

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