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A FLICKER TO A FLAME

They say confession is good for the soul. Though I believe it to be a very personal thing between God and man, it is also a benefit between man and his fellows. For our weaknesses is the same. Where I stumble and fall there is strength found in getting back up. Where I have stumbled and fell there is a witness to His power and mercy as I get back up. The defeat we most likely would rather keep secret but then do we not also hide the victory. For one’s struggle is a lesson to another’s journey. So then my confession is good for my soul, my relationship with Jesus and the Father, but it also is a witness to the work He is doing in me. I thought then that I should share my troubles lest anyone should think that walking with Jesus is easy. Lest anyone should think that acknowledging Him and omitting that we are sinners is the whole package. I do not judge salvation for this is not the privilege of man. It is I believe as written this simple, (John 3:16 KJV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” There are many blessings to receive long prior to the pearly gates of Heaven. For we are also promised a life abundant. For if we believe in Jesus then we shall willingly follow Jesus. If our life is to be Christian (Christ-like) then it is more than a prayer in the morning and evening and fellowship with believers on Sunday and Wednesday night. It is more than saying yes Lord I know you are real. It is more than doing goods works to those whom we meet and being polite in the face of men. It is a constant walk in communion with the Holy Spirit. As this is the meaning that God had planned from before the foundations of the world.

In the beginning God said, (Gen 1:26 KJV) “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” We were created to be like Him and able to have complete access and companionship with Our God. This was, of course, broken by our love of self; our desire of the flesh and what the entire world has to offer. Out of nothing God created the world. This is something that we should never forget, that the world is nothing. Yet today many of us place our hope and desires in the offerings of the world. Hopes and desires are founded upon nothing. Sense then a right relationship with our creator has been broken and still to this day. How far then can children of God stray from the vine before being devoured by the whims of the world? How long can the leaf live severed from the branch? God who is full of mercy, God who is Love, sent His Son to come down here amongst the nothingness of this world to restore us to His Father’s House. Left us here with His Holy Spirit to comfort us in our journey home. Still after this we stray, stumble, fall and allow ourselves to be defeated in a desire for self and the sin of this world. (Eph 2:1-2 NRSV) “I was dead through the trespasses and sins in which I once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.” (First Person Pronoun added) We are free of that yet allow ourselves to return for the greatest enemy is Satan who knows the weakness of man is himself.

Paul wrote in Ephesians, (Eph 2:10 KJV) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Again reminded that we are created in His image and that we are to be restored completely to our original state one day. (Eph 1:11 KJV) “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:” Being then created in the image of God’s likeness, broken by the transgression of sin, restored through the saving grace of Jesus and predestined to return to our first estate, what then in our knowledge of this miracle draws us away from the bond of the Christ? (Mark 7:21-23 KJV) “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” The power of self will.

I just can not escape me; I take me wherever I go. This presents a choice that must be made, neither in the morning when I awake nor in the evening when I retire, but constant and continually. Whom shall I follow this day, this hour, this moment, my own direction or that of the Master? There is but one throne belonging only unto one. Yet we are given choice as to who shall sit upon the throne and rule our life. Jesus can not sit upon the throne in the morning and give leave during the day to self and return at the evening of the day. He must rule upon the throne at all times. It is then every motion of our life that must be made through Him. For Jesus is the power and the glory of our lives that we may glorify the Father through Him. With out Him it is impossible to do His will for our lives. I am but a flicker which burst into flames at the beginning of the day, dimming as the challenges approach me, a strobe barely interrupting the darkness of this world, but burning my soul with self pride, dampened by the humility of defeat in the evening, but recharged in conference with the Father. A light hidden beneath the peck measure, salt which gives not its savor and under the conviction of His word. (Rev 3:16 KJV) “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

Should you, as I, be troubled in the spirit, flickering in the darkness, give thanks and praise to our Almighty God. For the stirring is but His calling that He first loved you. That it is not our love that saves us but His love for us. How many times can we return to the well? Oh how slow is our God to anger? I must continue to impoverish my spirit of self for what good is our faith least we work it? For Blessed is the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. God will fill an empty vessel for He is a good and faithful servant unto His people. How many times? (Mat 18:21-22 KJV) “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

Out of nothing God created this world. Marvel at what His has made from nothing. Try if you will for I can not, to comprehend the majesty and power of God that created all that there is from…nothing. Imagine then that if from nothing God created this world what can He then create in you. The answer can be found only when are flicker is a flame. When we depend fully upon the power of Him living through us, when we deny our self and place Jesus upon the throne of our life, we are in the power of He that created all. (Rom 8:31 KJV) “If God be for us, who can be against us?” What force could be greater? What greater hope could we have? What more is there to want? If only, only we deny self, as we are nothing also least He be living through us.

If your flame is dampened to a flicker by self-pride then where is your Joy? See that which you have done, is it what it could be, what it should be? Then let the flame of Jesus light up your life and discover all the treasures that He has for you. What greater thing can we do, we can not. But through Him all things are possible. To deny self is to gain all, as the thief upon the cross knows the Glory of Heaven, so shall we.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Plant City Church of God, January 2001

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