Proverbs 26:20 - Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. (New International Version 1984)
As I thought about this scripture today, I thought about different types of fire. A fire can either be useful or it can be destructive. It can either be our servant or our enemy. What sort of fires am I fueling?
Sometimes a fire within our heart is useful. It ignites our passion and drives us to study God's Word, spend time in prayer, reach out to others, stand firm against evil and so forth. This type of fire needs to be fueled continuously so that it will burn brightly. However there are sometimes fires that need to be quenched.
Take bitterness for example.While we may contemplate it silently for a season, we keep it alive by adding fuel to it. When the enemy points it out and expresses concern that our neglect of it may cause it to smolder, we rush right over to it and begin adding more fuel. We revisit how the fire started and convince ourselves it is important to keep it burning. Concerned that we might run out of fuel, we decide to get more by going to our neighbors and friends. Often times, we will find the sympathetic ear of someone who is only too happy to provide more fuel for us so we can keep that fire burning.
This is merely one example of a destructive fire burning in our lives. The more we add fuel to it, the hotter and brighter it will burn until eventually it will burn every beautiful and living thing within our hearts and even... consume us.
We can pour water on a fire all we want but unless we take the steps to cut off it's fuel supply, it is always in danger of re-igniting. We have to eliminate the source and we can only truly do that with the help of the Holy Spirit. Will we apply to Him for help or are we determined to keep adding fuel to the destructive fire burning within us?
It's time to put out some fires.
You remind me some fires not only need to be put out at the source but burn and aren't stopped with water (diesel engine fires in ships require foam and burn floating on the water). Guess that where I need the Holy Spirit to really step in on the ones I've "tried" but really need Him to quench.
Blessings in Him,