“Who among you fears the LORD?
Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness
And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the LORD
And rely upon his God.
Look, all you who kindle a fire,
Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—
This you shall have from My hand:
You shall lie down in torment. (Isaiah 50:10-11 NKJV)
At one point in my life, while living in Kansas, I moved to a somewhat secluded rural home on some beautiful land in the country. Nearby there was a small white church that was sitting on the lonely corner of a soy bean field. There was not a tree in sight and it had a circle drive that was half weeds and half gravel. The only time I ever witnessed any traffic there was, of course, on Sunday morning. There would be the usual 8-10 cars and maybe 15 on a special holiday. Year after year it was the same. It was what had become known to some as a “Family Church”. All the offices of the church were held by men having the same last name; deacons, elders, clerk, and treasurer. The Church members were all relatives. When the office of Pastor became vacant they would all get together, form a family search committee, and set out to find their own special pastor. He would stay for awhile then move on. Never once did they invite me to a service even though I lived nearby. Here was a church that went through the motions of worship, but really, was “walking in the light of their own fire.”
One of the calls of God on our lives is to share our faith. How many times have you been turned away by others who have used the excuse, “I do not need to go to church to worship God;” or “I can have just as much fellowship with the creator on Sunday mornings sitting on the bank of my favorite fishing hole” or “I am not a bad person; why would I need church?” These are just some simple, off the cuff excuses, that I have seen over the years and they have come in many varieties and flavors. But they all have the same thing in common, “they are kindling sparks that lead to darkness.” Of those who practice such the Lord says, “…This you shall have from My hand: You shall lie down in torment.”
As a Christian, I have at times found myself to be so obstinate that I am not very tolerable to be around. I too, have lit my own fires and dwelt in the pseudo-warmth of the flame I kindled; all of it in vain; all the time forgetting that it is the Lord that builds the house. Whether, it is the house of my own life, my family, or the church it is still His power that accomplishes the mission. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be part of a church where all of the members lived by the principle of allowing themselves to be “Taught by God”? What if we were to all come to the same realization that being “Taught by God” meant fully surrendering to Him and His word in our daily lives? I am not talking of Sunday’s only, but every waking minute. Let me tell you a secret…If you want to see God at work in your life, church, and family then you must let Him have the reigns of your life. The dirty little secret that Satan does not want you to know is that standing upon God’s word and His promises is the only way you will reap the full desire God has for your life. Notice I did not say full benefit or full blessing? Sometimes the Lord’s desire for our life is to suffer in order that He may use us to comfort others with the same comfort that He Himself comforted us with.
“…who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Cor. 1:4)
What am I saying then? There are times we will receive blessing and there are times we will be in tribulation and there are times we will walk by our own sparks. These are all truths. But if we are ever to experience the true will of God in our lives, His power, His comfort, and our hearts desire concerning Him, then it will only be when we walk in His will which is shown to us by His light. His sparks are the true sparks and they do not end in us lying down in torment.