September 9, 2015

Have you ever had the experience where you KNOW logically WHAT the problem is, you know what you need to do, but it’s just so hard? You pray through it, you confess your weakness and ask for help but you still feel like you’re going at it alone wondering WHY this problem still plagues you?

Today I was reminded again how God answers me. How do I hear His voice? I need His word. I love God’s word! By bringing my weakness to Him and then being open to His word, He laid a lesson on me. And I wasn’t even looking for verses to address this particular weakness.

I’ve been going through a little booklet to help me study the book of Leviticus. So I was just at my daily lesson, but of course, asking the Lord to guide me and show me things I need to know. At the same time, I was aware of my thoughts toward someone who has left scars on me. When bitter thoughts of them come rushing in, I know it’s my course to forgive and pray blessings, but it ain’t always easy. So the Lord used a simple verse in Leviticus 6:13 today to teach me more specifically how to pray.

‘Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out.’ (Leviticus 6:13)

This was instructions for the priests of the old covenant but relates to my prayer life under the new covenant. Christians are told not to “quench the fire” and to “fan into flame” the gift of God (2 Timothy 1:6)

When someone attacks the very gifts God has given you, it really makes it hard to use those gifts toward blessing them. This person’s words severely quenched my fire to pray for them and I’ve been AWARE of it, even was taught to pray against the “bucket of water” they used to douse my flame, but I was still struggling and asking the Lord why. I recalled years earlier someone had prophesied over me and said “watch out for the Smokey Bears who put out your fire.” And here I was knowing someone had done just that.

So there ya have it. I KNEW the problem. I KNEW the course of action to pray against it… but I needed something else to understand it more fully because none of this seemed to be working. I needed godly wisdom. That’s when the Holy Spirit began to teach me…

A bucket of water is used several ways. Water can refresh, water can cleanse. And yes, water can put out fires.

If I kept a vision of this person with their water bucket before me, I’d only learn to rebuke that water if I continually kept in mind the time it was used to quench my fire. My focus was on that scary water bucket.

It produced a trust issue in me toward them and any time they wanted to offer me water. But then, what if they wanted to offer me water to cleanse or refresh me? I’d miss out wouldn’t I?
I used to spend a lot of time in prayer blessing this person. When they doused my flame, I no longer could pray for them except in asking the Lord to help me forgive them. You might think fair play because it’s their own darn fault for shutting down my flame, now they don’t benefit from passionate prayers for them. But I missed those prayers. I felt the disconnect between me and God. And when I read Leviticus 6:13 today, the responsibility turned to me because I understood that I was the one who allowed the fire at the altar of prayer to go out. I wanted to fan into flame the gift of God in me but I couldn’t seem to get there while focusing on what they had done to me. You see, I am perplexed when people are mean. Seriously, I just don’t understand it. I spend too much time trying to psychoanalyze them, trying to figure out their hurtful words and actions. So I needed the Lord’s help to push that aside and listen for His wisdom. It’s one thing to identify a problem and resist it, but another to overcome it. In prayer, He gave me words to resist those buckets of water and then this nugget….

How does fire OVERCOME water?
If water hits oil mixed with fire, it fans it into flame, not douse it out. Therefore, when one approaches you with a bucket of water to quench your fire, don’t focus on the water, pray the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit upon you, it will only spread the fire — even dangerously so! Whoosh!

There will always be scoffers out there waiting to shut you down, ready with their buckets of water. It’s one thing to rebuke that water or avoid that person, etc. but quite another to let them splash you and watch the fire spread rather than go out. Let faith arise! Instead of praying against the water that doused my flame, I prayed the precious oil of Spirit to anoint me today. Whoosh! I can’t be shut up!!! I’m praying for my enemies! Thank you Jesus.

Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie