There is nothing like a fire in the fireplace.
I learned to build one at an early age because I realized this was an invaluable skill in making a house a home.
Fire needs three things: heat, O2 and something to consume.
Most people understand the need for ignition with heat and something to consume, but most fires go out because there is not enough O2.
Fanning the flame, providing the air, the wind, the gust of O2 is the work of the fire builder. Making sure there is enough room for the wind to blow through the ignited embers is key.
We have been created to be on fire, to be passionate for God. Most of us are wood piles waiting to be ignited.
Once ignited by the Holy Spirit fire, we need to be fanned regularly into flame.
Many in the church are lit coals who are just slowly burning away. We have not learned how to fan ourselves or each other into flame. We have not learned to build our fires with room for the breath of God, the Holy Spirit, to blow through us. The old ash blocks the air. We sit paralyzed hoping someone or something will re-ignite us.
Paul states to Timothy that it is his job to fan his own faith, and gives the instructions on how to do it:
Now I’m reminding you to fan that gift into flames. God didn’t give us a cowardly spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord...It is cowardice that keeps us cold and lifeless.
A recognition of the power, love and discernment at our fingertips along with the courage to tell others about our Lord keep the flames burning.
These spiritual exercises are the O2 for our faith.