Monday, February 27, 2012

Extinguishing the Burn Factor

What puts out the Burn Factor?

These are my notes from my message to our youth group on Sunday, February 26, 2012.

What is the Burn Factor? - Pastor Dan says - “A passion to promote who and what you believe in. A willingness to set aside everything but the cross, the gospel, and the call...It’s that driving passion to follow, to serve, to give, to live, and if necessary, die for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Burn Factor is dying to self. The Burn Factor is saying [no] to your carnal self that says, you don’t really need to go to church today, you don’t really need to read your Bible, you don’t really need to tell someone about Jesus because that’s just not who you are...”

Do you have that burn factor? Do you truly have a passion to serve Jesus Christ? If we have the burn factor, then why don’t we always act like it? Why do we get excited at Friday Night Fire and then Saturday or Monday morning, act the same way we were before? Why do we quickly fall back into the luke-warm sleepy Christian stage when we were so pumped only hours or days before? What is it that puts out the burn factor in us?

Have you ever seen an oil or grease fire raging? It’s continues to burn with the oil as the fuel and consumes everything in it’s path. That’s what the burn factor is. When you fuel an oil fire with more oil it continues to burn.

Kuwait Oil Fire YouTube

These fires in Kuwait burned for nearly a year.

So if our burn factor is like a raging oil fire, then how does it get extinguished so easily?

Let’s look at it from an earthly, practical sense. How do you put out a fire? With water? Yeah, water will put out a regular fire. But what happens when you pour water on a oil fire?

Oil Fire Experiment YouTube Video

Science behind putting water on an oil fire -
Oil is lighter than water, which means that if you combine the two, the oil with float. So if you try to put out an oil fire with water, the burning oil with float on top of the water and spread. So it’s not water that puts out our “Burn Factor” in fact, if we pour water on our Burn Factor, (the living water of the Word of God), the fire will spread.

In Ephesians 5, Paul tells us how Jesus loves us (the Church) and how the water of the Word cleanses us. Ephesians 5:25,26

Water also symbolizes life (John 4:14) and (John 7:38)

John 4:14

The Message (MSG)
13-14Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life."

John 7:38

New King James Version (NKJV)
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

Water is vital to life and to your Spiritual life. The water of the Word of God will cleanse you and bring life. So it’s not water that puts out our Burn Factor. So if you truly have that “Burn Factor” that oil-fueled fire or anointing and passion, you have a fire that is not extinguishable by water.

How else can you put out a fire? How are you supposed to put out a grease fire? If we put water on the oil fire, it will spread. So to extinguish a oil fire, you have to smother the fire. How do you do that? There are a number of ways that you can put out a grease fire (as long as it is not water). You can use a pan lid, baking soda, a wet towel, fire extinguisher, or with dirt. You have to smother the fire so that it doesn’t have oxygen to continue burning. So if you put dirt on your oil fire, it will extinguish the burn factor. Since we’re not talking about literally getting dirty, what does that mean? How do you put dirt on your oil fire? Another way to link of dirt is to think of the carnal, human nature.

Definition of CARNAL
1a : relating to or given to crude bodily pleasures and appetitesb : marked by sexuality <carnal love>
2: bodily, corporeal <seen with carnal eyes>
3a : temporal <carnal weapons>b : worldly <a carnal mind>

When we feed our spirit the things of the WORLD, like MTV, secular music, instead of the Word of God and music and books that glorify Jesus, we are smothering our burn factor, essentially putting dirt on the Holy anointing and passion that all Christians should have. When we focus on mind on the things of this world and this short time we have here, our flesh and carnal mind smothers the oil. When we live for ourselves ans focus on what we need and what we can get, instead of what we can do for Jesus, instead of how we can love Him and glorify Him, we slowly smother our “Burn Factor.”

Now that we know how to extinguish the Burn Factor - let’s look at how to avoid this and fuel our fire. How do you fuel your oil fire “Burn Factor”? Well, first you can start by NOT SMOTHERING with dirt. You can stop doing the things that you know separate you from God. Like Crystal’s illustration, when there is stuff between you (things of this world) you are separated from God. You can be refilled with the oil of annointing, with fresh fire from Holy Spirit when you let things get between you and God. God hasn’t moved, but it seems like He has because the junk between us makes Him feel far away.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

You can feed your fire with the Word, worship, by spending time praying and LISTENING to the Holy Spirit. It’s so important to just sit and listen to what God wants to speak to you.

In Luke 4:18, Jesus quoted Isaiah, saying “18The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity].”

You are anointed to do great things, but they won’t be accomplished if you let your fire grow cold.

Revelation 3:16
So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.

So to keep that fire buring, to keep that passion fresh, that passion HOT, we’ve got to renew our minds daily, making sure that we are focusing on the right things. The things we think about, focus on, spend are time on, are what are going to fill our minds and our spirits.

Isaiah 60

1ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you--rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!(A)

Ephesians 4:23
And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude],

“The Anthem” Jake Hamilton

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Who Told You That Were Naked?

What dream or vision or mission have I aborted because of fear? Before I got married, my doctor told me that I would probably have trouble having children. Based on my medical history, she said that it was a high probability. That planted a terrible seed of fear in me that I would not be able to conceive. Though it turned out to be untrue, that fear was always nagging in the back of my mind. I could have allowed that fear to stop me from even trying to have children. 

I also think of a woman who has had miscarriages and then has several beautiful, perfect children. If she had allowed the miscarriages to rescind her dream of children, if she had allowed the
fear of another miscarriage, she would not have birthed the children she has now. 

If I allow fear of failure, fear of what others may think, fear of what I may have to give up, or fear that people will just not understand me - what purpose do I abort? What do I miss when I am immobile because of fear?

Think back to Adam and Eve in the Bible after they sinned and hid from God. When they told God they were hiding because they were naked and afraid, God asked them "Who told you that you were naked?" (Genesis 3:8-11). I think of my own life when fear has told me that I was naked and I allowed it to stop me from fulfilling my purpose. When we think of what it means to be naked, we automatically think about not having clothing, but it can also mean lacking confirmation or support, unarmed and defenseless. Many times in my life, I've
 allowed the idea that I was naked to tie my hands and my tongue. I feared I would be embarrassed because I thought I was naked and vulnerable. 

It's kind of like the nightmare you have of being in a public place (take high school for example) and you're naked and can't find your clothes. It's absurd that this would really happen (unless you are the victim of a cruel prank), but it's the
fear that it would happen that makes this dream so vivid. The feeling of vulnerability and embarrassment stays with you even when you wake up.

Who told me that I couldn't do the calling that God has placed in my heart? Who told me that I didn't have anything important to say or that I couldn't do anything that truly mattered? Who did I covenant with who supported and financed my aborted dream? 


Oh God, forgive me for covenanting with fear. 

"There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love." 1 John 1:18 (MSG) 

Satan specializes in aborted vision. God is the bringer of life, not death. God is not a man that He could lie. If God placed the dream in my heart, even when it seems impossible, He can fulfill that in me and through me.
"Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]--blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he." Proverbs 29:18 (AMP)

God will not leave us naked in the desert of impossibility. He will clothe us will His presence and bring us to the place we desire because He placed that desire in us in the first place. He will always clothe us with His provision. 

It's time to trust God when we feel naked and alone. It's time to believe what He says over what any person might say or has said. It's time to believe in the vision God has given us and not listen to voice of the enemy who tells us we are naked. God has not left us unarmed, defenseless, or without support.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)