Jesus is the great fire-starter who invites us to a place of warmth in the same way He invited His confused and exhausted disciples to an early morning campfire on the shores of Lake Galilee.
As they stood around the fire which Jesus had started and tended, several things happened. They were fed; they were affirmed; they were instructed and commissioned to ministry.
Since Christ is the ‘fire-starter’, the fire had to be first within Him. A study of His earthly life and ministry shows that He always tended first to the fire within Himself. In other words, He intimately communed with His own Heavenly Father. This was always Jesus’ first priority.
We need to keep close to the fire and keep it tended because although Christ starts the fire and invites a person to join Him, and is more than willing to keep the fire burning brightly for a while, a process is soon set into motion in which Jesus begins to hand over the responsibility of tending the fire to us. And if there is a continuing, tended fire, He’ll be with us and will continue that heavenly whisper of comfort and challenge, of gentle rebuke and affirmation.
So we need to disengage ourselves from the world to go to spend time with Christ. We need to consciously do this, to carve out time because there will never be a time when the noise of our world won’t compete relentlessly for our attention. These noises could get so loud that they would usually drown out the quiet invitations of Christ to join Him at His fire. We have to choose whether or not to make tending Christ’s fire a priority. We make a trip to Christ’s fire possible by choosing to do it. If we excuse ourselves by claiming that circumstances are too demanding we have set in motion a pattern that will provide excuses for the rest of our lives. If we are too busy, something in the schedule should be sacrificed – not the time with Christ. He Himself demonstrated that when He went to a fire that God made for Him others waited.
(Extract from HIGH CALL, HIGH PRIVILEGE by GAIL MACDONALD)