The Spirit and the fire-breathing cow – Lent day 10

spirit - day 10 - 1

There’s a pretty intense metaphor for God’s Spirit in Scripture.  Fire.  (Yeah, it would be amazeballs if it was a COW breathing fire.  Right?)

(Wait, on second thought, that’s probably too close to the old school fertility gods, so let’s scrap that idea.)

In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit comes upon the apostles looking like tongues of fire.  Hebrews describes God (who is Spirit) as a consuming fire.  Fire is cool, guys.  It’s in the Bible.

A lot of times, people talk about how they just don’t feel like God is near them anymore.  Like the fire has gone out.  So if we go with the metaphor of God’s Spirit living inside us is like a fire, this can make a lot of sense.  [I’m a big advocate that this means that there is absolutely nothing wrong with someone, by the way.  I’ve been there too many times to count.]  When a fire burns hot and bright, it gets intense.  You can feel it from far away.  When a fire burns low and smolders, it’s still there–just not as intense.  But there’s still a fire.  The trick is to keep it burning so that it doesn’t go completely out.

Without writing a book about all of the different caveats, when you don’t feel God’s Spirit moving within you, I want to list three different ways to keep fanning the flame of the Spirit.

1) Be in community.  When we are not, who is there to help us when we struggle?  We are all on this journey together and we need each other.  The Spirit resides in community, maybe even in a more potent way than when we’re just on our own.

2) Be serving others.  When we take the focus off of ourselves, our heart opens up to receive.  Serving others shifts our focus from our own selfish nature onto others and their needs.  The Spirit thrives on this.

3) (As annoying and beaten this is,) Be in Scripture and be in prayer. These are two pretty major ways that we have been given to connect to the Spirit.  When we ignore them, we ignore God.

All of this can be simplistic when talking about trying to rekindle the fire of God’s Spirit inside of us, but sometimes the fire fueled by the Spirit needs maintenance to keep burning.

Or a pyromaniac to keep poking at the fire!



About Brian Swanson

Christ follower. Screw up. Stained with grace. Ruined by Jesus.
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