Why am I saying all this? The point I am trying to make is this: When you go through a shipwreck when something you held dear is destroyed or shattered, kindle the fire first before you do anything else!
A ship that carried Paul and others, while going through a storm was destroyed. Paul held on to just one plank and landed on the island of Malta. He was on his way to Rome to stand before the law makers. The first thing he thought of when he was shipwrecked was not that he needs to build another ship (so he could somehow get to Rome), but on that island, they actually kindled a fire.
In your life, when you go through a ship wreck (could be anything that you build or held on to and believed in), could be your finance, business, family, ministry, relationships, what do you do? The priority is not to do something to replace that or rebuild that, the priority should be to first kindle a fire! May be someone broke your heart and abandoned you, the priority is not to find new love soon after but to kindle fire!
The main thing is that you need to kindle the fire! The fire of the Holy Spirit. Paul did not try to build a ship, he kindled the fire. When your life and career is pulled down, remember to kindle the fire.
Build An Altar!
We often hear people advise- “build your career, build your future, build your finances etc.” and we are so focused on that! That is the culture we are living in. But as a Christian and believer the first thing you do is to kindle the fire of the Holy Spirit. Build an altar.
In Genesis 12 and 13 chapters, we read that Abraham, wherever he went, pitched a tent. And the second thing he did was he built and altar. A tent is temporary. What you build is permanent and what you pitch is temporary. If it were us, we would have first built a house and then the altar. Abraham was the father of faith, he was the richest man and most well connected in those times but his priority was the Lord.
We build our brand or our name. we are focused on building our name. That’s the undoing of this generation.
Take Note Of These Points!
1. You will only live in the fire of God till you are willing to overcome the excuses of the flesh.
You will only build an altar when you overcome the of the flesh. Most of the people have a yo-yo life. Some people say, I don’t think I have the gift of the prayer. I don’t think I can wake up in the night and pray, I don’t think I can lead a holy life. You are only making excuses. David, Benny Hinn and any pastor have the same flesh that you have.
Three things we see in the passage of scripture we read:
1. They went through a storm
2. It was raining
3. The ship was destroyed.
The storm represents the things you ask God to deliver you and He doesn’t. He might not have delivered you from the storm but he will deliver you through the storm.
The Holy Spirit is saying to the church- God will deliver you and watch over you through the midst of the storm.
Some thoughts that people go through: “Why did I get this disease even after praying for protection? Why did I get this cancer? I believed that He would part the sea for me, but He didn’t. Pastor, I left the church, I got baptized, I stood for God, but why did this still happen? Why did that sister die? If God really loves me, why did this happen in my life?”
The storm is this—the question “WHY DIDN’T GOD?” or “Where is God in all this?” or “why did this happen?”
These questions represent the storm. Often, when you go through this storm, you end up getting offended. You get upset with God. You don’t say it out loud out but it is burning inside of you. That offense is what causes you to make excuses. “I prayed and still had to face this difficulty, why should I pray? Pastor prayed by applying oil over me, still look at what happened?”
There are any things in my life that I still don’t understand but in the midst of that I still declare that God is good. “Lord, I will still trust you and I will still build an altar for You.”
God doesn’t owe you an explanation for anything. Many of you think that you are entitled to an explanation from God. It is when you go through that storm and you are offended, that the devil comes with questions and throws seeds of doubt- “why do you need to pray? What is the point”.
The devil wants you to lead a normal average Christian life. Praying just about enough, giving you tithe and smiling at pastor once in a way! The devil is happy with that. But kindling the fire?! Many say, “all that is not for me.” Don’t say that, It IS for you!
God will do a miracle for you. He will deliver you through the storm. If you are willing to overcome your offense, God will light you up again and He will show Himself faithful to you! You have had bad experiences, you lost your job, maybe you lost a dear one and you feel that you are afraid of trusting in the Lord. Don’t be afraid of the ship or the fire.
Job says, “Lord though you slay me, yet I will trust in You”.
The ship that carried you might have shipwrecked. All that is left is the anchor and now throw that anchor into the Presence of God.
The stock market that you trusted let you down, the one you loved abandoned you and all the drama and trauma that followed in your life has broken you.
Don’t blame the captain for the shipwreck. We find excuses so you can blame someone. But today, build your altar, build your fire, give up the excuses. If you do so, the Lord is faithful to build you.
The ship is not your life. The ship may be destroyed but you are still intact. Your family and finances may be destroyed but you are still alive. You are not that marriage, you are not that title. You are precious to God.
Your soul is the most important thing.
The Holy Spirit is saying to someone who has lost everything- rekindle and build your fire.
The Michal Analogy
Understanding this from Michal’s life: David had a wife, the daughter of a king, Michal. She was the daughter of the king; the wife of a king and she was destined to be a mother of a king. But something happened. A storm came. Father committed suicide, brothers died in battle and even her marriage had issues. So, she was looking through the window.
She was a window watcher. There are many people who go through storms and when they do, they just observe others and they just look through the window. Don’t be an observer.
When you go through a storm, you always want to see people and you forget to see the Presence of God. She forgot to see the Presence of God in that place and she only saw David dancing. We tend to become critical in such storms. Micah went through stuff, it wasn’t easy but all that she went through should not have been an excuse to not light the fire. Because she removed herself from the future of the king. She had no children.
You lost your past because of a shipwreck, don’t lose your future by not lighting the fire.
Yes, what she went through was tough, but don’t allow that wound and pain to remove you from your future. All you need is the Fire of the Holy Spirit.
You may be sitting there waiting for those who went against you to come and seek forgiveness. No! you get up, go and reconcile and then build a fire!
We have excuses for not praying, not worshipping- you say things like, this is my personality, I can’t clad and sing (I don’t believe that, your personality changes when you watch football.) If you are watching cooking class, you can stay up late at night, dance class, gym, all of these excite you. What about prayer? Now, you are tired to pray at night. You are that same person who went around watching second shows late at night in theatres!
Say this, “No more excuses. Lord, I need your fire!”
IGNITE YOUR FIRE!
When is the time to light the fire? When there is rain. That means even when there are challenges all around you. The challenge may not have ended, the storm may not have ended, but in the midst of that kindle the fire
Galatians 5:16- 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Where in the Bible does it say, fight the flesh? The Word only says, walk in the spirit. Build the fire! Some say, let this weakness in my flesh end and then I will kindle the fire. It’s the other way round— kindle the fire first and as a result of that, you can rule over your flesh.
The Word says, flee youthful lusts. You just need to run! No need to battle, just run. Run from that computer!
Some people feel guilty that you are struggling in your flesh. Everybody has got flesh to deal with. But consistently have an altar
Your job is to light the fire and it is God’s job to stop the rain.
When you scratch, you feel like you need to keep on scratching. It only gives you temporary feel good feeling, just like how you feel when people massage your feet or head but it doesn’t solve the problem. Kindling the fire will give you the power not to scratch. When the Spirit of God leads you, you will not fulfil the flesh.
Acts 28:1-2 And the natives[a] showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold.
Fire will always be kindled by someone but it cannot continue to burn by that someone. You need to ignite your own fire. Pastor cannot always keep kindling your fire for you. Someone else may have set the fire but you have to allow the fire to burn.
Impartation cannot sustain the fire. You need to bring your bundle of stick. Get ready to pray in the Holy Spirit. Then the fire will burn deeply. it is not just imparting you but to keep allowing that fire to burn.
Some people only want to experience the kindling. They jump from one conference to another, one YouTube channel to another and keep on sensing a fire kindling but that fire never sustains because they are not building that fire.
When God kindles a fire, you need to take it and keep on igniting it by throwing in sticks. Please don’t go for another kindling service!
In 1 Samuel 10, we see that Saul became a different person when the anointing came upon him, but when you read the Bible you see something.
1 Samuel 15:30- Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.”
He says, Lord your God. Still he had never experienced God as HIS Lord. He never had a personal relationship with God.
Jesus needs to become MY God. The Holy Spirit is MY comforter, MY helper, MY counselor. I have a relationship with HIM. I have an intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
The mantle never maintain itself. You have to put the bundle of sticks, no matter who places their hands on you and prays, you need to sustain that fire.
1 Corinthians 15:30- And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?