Last January I was out to lunch with a few girlfriends and our conversation to talking mostly about the presence of the Living God. My friend Sandy referenced one of Tozer’s books and said, “It’s all about the flame. We’re nothing – we’ve got nothing if we don’t have the presence of God in our midst.”
Then just recently, I called my mentor to hand the baton to her, and she and I ended up talking about the flame – the presence of the Living God – and then we spent time together in prayer, asking God to move in our midst. While we were praying I had this picture in my mind of a few of us leaders hovering around this little flame. We protected the flame from the winds of distraction; we fanned the flame with the breath of faith; we invited more people into our circle and slowly backed up as the flame burned brighter.
I shared my word-picture with my mentor and we discussed the importance of guarding the flame within us. We need to steward God’s presence in our lives. When He moves, we need to move with Him. When He speaks, we need to listen. When our choices cause Him to step back, we need to notice it right away, and get right with Him in a moment’s notice.
Please know that I’m not speaking of His omnipresence; He IS ever present – all around us. But Scripture clearly says that He draws near to the humble; He draws near to those who press in and draw near to Him. He steps back from the proud, and He won’t have any part of our self-serving, self ambitious ways. Do you notice it when your way upstages His way? What do you do when the spirit of worry quenches the awareness of God’s presence in your life?
What in your life quenches that flame within you?
I know for me, un-appointed busyness throws a wet blanket on my flame. Fear, doubt, worry, and anxiety are like tornadoes in my life. Wandering thoughts weaken me, and before I know it, I’m missing that strong sense of God’s presence in my life. But I’m much quicker to catch it these days.
If you know me, you know that my life verse is Psalm 116:9 ~ And so I walk in His presence as I live here on earth.
My life’s aim, especially in light of the times, is to nurture and protect the flame within me, that I might burn brightly for a world in need.