Waking with the Word | Proverbs 26:20a
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out:
The immediate context of our portion of Scripture is speaking of strife and contention. When you remove a talebearer [gossiper] then the fires of strife and contention soon burnout. Although this is an idea that works with so many other spiritual truths. Where there is no wood the fire goeth out. Fire requires 3 things fuel, air, and source. Wood is most often the fuel, air causes the fire to grow brighter and hotter, the more air, the more fire and more fuel is required because the fuel is consumed at a quicker rate. Lastly there must be a source, a spark, a small flame to get it going, a match, a flint, fire borrowed from another source. Fire is impossible without these components.
Now we have all heard of being “on fire for God” meaning a person is consumed by the love of God, as a fire consumes, that person is a bright light for God, as a strong fire. That person gives heat to all who is around them, as a fire. Sometime people become so consumed and so bright a light and so fervently hot for the Lord that unconverted and backslidden people don’t care much for their being “on fire for God.” John chapter one tells us that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil and never a truer statement has been made. Not all will enjoy the warmth of God’s presence in your life, nor will they appreciate the light that your changed life sheds on their unchanged life. They would much rather you be consumed with the vanity that has consumed them, or the sin that is consuming them, but to see a man consumed by life, while they are so busy being consumed by death is irritating at best and torturous at worst. This discouragement or throwing water on our fire , if you will, has been enough to put out the flames of Love that once burned bright for our Lord. Sadly, many have been laughed out of the fire and now are leading cold lives for the Lord for fear of the crowd who hates the light and warmth and all consuming nature of our God.
We have those who have let the air be smothered out of their relationship with the Lord. Like a wet blanket thrown on a fire chokes the fire and fills the area with darkness, that is made worse by the smoke that clouds our view, harms our vision, and makes it hard to breath. They have quenched the Holy Ghost, the breath of God that lives with us. He said go, but we stayed, He said apologize but we didn’t, He said forgive and we held a grudge. For all the times we “quenched” Him, He has resorted to the backrooms of our lives, after all, we have proven he is not a welcome guest in his new house[us, as the Temple of the Holy Ghost] much less the ruler of the house. We wonder why the fire is going out and the house is growing cold and the house that once burned bright with the fires of His Spirit are now cold, dark and vision is to zero. How long will we sit in darkness while the current of air that could blow on the cold embers and reignite them into a flame again is shut away through our disobedience and quenching of Him?
The previous causes are common but not as near as common as this last. Most fires go out because there is no wood. The Lord provided the spark of fire the moment we were born again and it consumed us and we were careful not to choke out the fire and we loaded the fire with plenty of wood and it burned bright and hot but soon the fire got dimmer and dimmer until it smoldered out. What happened? A lack of wood, a lack of fuel. We got so comfortable by the fire that we became to lazy to go out into the cold a gather more wood, we did not stack our hearth full before night came and now it is midnight, the fire is gone, and we have woke up from our comfortable position to a dark, cold room. How many times has this happed in our life as a Christian? So many times, I am ashamed. So, what do we do? We get up and gather more wood. Go out into the cold, dark night; go while you are tired, go even though you are fighting sleep, go and gather some fuel for the fire. This was common for me as a boy. I would go out in the night gather the wood and I didn’t worry if there was any spark left in the fire. The bed of coals would look complete lifeless, but experience had taught me that just below that layer of cold dead ashes there were red hot embers that would serve as source and with a load of wood and a few good breaths of air we would have fire again. Warmth, light, comfort! Dear Christian, Has the fire gone out? Has your life become dark and cold and lifeless? I assure you that under the surface of your cold life lies the same spark that ignited you all those years ago. Why don’t you shake your self from where you are, run to the scriptures and gather the promises needed to fuel the fires of faith and love and peace and comfort in your life. Why don’t you bend down in prayer and with a few breaths of air, even if it’s just tears and weeping it will be enough, for if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us. The wind of God will come and blow again on the embers and reignite the fire. Then there will be light, and warmth and comfort again. You can be “on fire” again. Consumed with His love and joy and peace and now with your experience you will have learned to be more careful of choking the fire, or letting the wood be consumed. Don’t think yesterday’s wood will take you through today, go to the forest and gather truths and promises to fuel the fires of faith and be sure to gather enough for the night season, when you will need it most.
Where there is no wood the fire goeth out.