Every boy scout, avid camper or outdoors-man knows that if you want to light a fire, and have it continue to burn for more that a few seconds, there’s three things you’ll need. Those things are a spark of some type to ignite the fire (think matches, lighter, etc) oxygen to fan the flame (think…well…oxygen) , and of course a fuel source to keep it going (think sticks, leaves, your mortgage papers).
The same could be said of our spiritual journey (and it should be a journey, not a destination). We need a spark to ignite our fire. This comes in the form of our rebirth (our salvation) and the deposit of the Holy Spirit.
Oxygen to fan the flame often comes in the form of the corporate worship and teaching we participate in each week as we gather as a body of believers.
As far as the fuel to feed our flames, I would submit that it comes through our spiritual growth, our increase in Godly wisdom, our growing to look more and more like Jesus. In short, through our discipleship.
Biblical discipleship is best defined in Acts 2:42-47. This happens as we gather as smaller groups of believers. According to this scripture, this happens in homes as we study, pray, share each other’s burdens and break bread (or cake or chili dogs) together.
The spark of our salvation allows us to start the journey, though in and of itself, does not result in our looking like Jesus. The oxygen that’s breathed into us through worship and teaching honors God, expands our spiritual lungs, and prepares us to walk in a shipwrecked world…But these, only when combined with the fuel that’s poured into our tanks through true biblical community, results in our ability to actually look more like Jesus…to walk in, but not be of this shipwrecked world. Only then can we play a meaningful part in bringing His kingdom, a little bit closer to earth.
So if you’ve experienced the spark of rebirth, be sure to breath in the oxygen of worship and teaching…and then, be certain not to omit that critical fuel source of discipleship by gathering with small groups of fellow believers. As you do that, you’ll stand in awe as, when you look in the mirror, you’ll begin to see less of you and more of Him…And after all, isn’t that what He ultimately calls us to?