That is a pretty trite and sometimes overdone reference to the Holy Spirit or to our faith walk in general. At times I've kind of harrumped that statement (that word is actually not in dictionary.com but I believe it should be! I bet you know what it means too)!
This morning, that statement came to mind as I was attempting in vain to rekindle the fire in our fireplace. We have a wood stove insert and we keep the fire going just about all the time. The family room ceiling/upstairs hall floor have a 2'x2'vent and heat is distributed upstairs as well. My son's room stays tolerably warm, our bedroom and the downstairs rooms stay warm and our thermostat is set very low as a backup.
This plan is in part one of our frugal lifestyle components. My industrious husband is able to acquire much of our firewood each season for free or for very little money, so our heating costs are low in the winter. However, the house doesn't stay warm (and so the heat pump kicks in) if the fire goes out!
When I opened the door of the wood stove insert this morning, I saw embers. That's it. Embers. I decided I could rekindle that old fire if I put a couple of logs in there, stuffed some paper under the logs, lit them, and voila! Not so this morning. The embers were too far gone. Of course it took me 30 minutes before I resigned myself to this fact. And about 20 pieces of paper from the recycling bin.
No amount of prodding, paper stuffing, blowing on the embers or rearranging the logs got the fire going again. It will have to wait for my husband to tend to it.
Short story long, I know, but I thought some background would be helpful.
This morning I did make the analogy of my prayer life and my faith life with that dying fire. If we aren't attentive to our faith, we can burn down and even burn out! We must stay properly fueled and tended or the fire can go out. We need to stay focused on the source of our life, our witness and our testimony. We need to keep our eyes on the Cross.
That's the only way I know how to live. When I feel that fire starting to die down a bit, I know I need to get on my knees or go to my Bible. In other words I need to fan that flame within me. It's in you too! Fire is important to mankind and God uses fire to teach us many things.
And the angel of the Lord appeared to him [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. (Exodus 3:2)
And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way [on the way to the promised land], and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night; (Exodus 13:21)
For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. (Psalm 102:3)
They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us [after the ressurection on the road to Emmaus] on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?" (Luke 24:32)