Posted by: kathryngraves | January 19, 2015

Where’s the Fire?

Cold Calculation

In 1 Kings chapter one, David almost lost the kingdom to a coup–again! This time Absalom’s brother (you may remember that Absalom staged the first coup attempt and died in the process) decided he wanted to become king after David’s death. David was old and I’m sure everyone was counting down the days of his remaining life. But David had already said that Solomon should become his successor. However, he hadn’t done anything about it. He just assumed it would happen without any action on his part, I guess.

Cold, Drafty Palace

I think we approach our lives as Christians in much the same way as David did his role as king. We assume that as long as there is no great crisis, things will go along as they’re supposed to and everything will be fine. We, like David, fail to stay vigilant against possible threats. We become consumed with trying to stay comfortable. David’s issue was that he couldn’t get warm in his old age. It seems all the energy in the palace focused on his physical comfort.

Cold Coals

I have trouble staying warm in January and it has nothing to do with old age. It has everything to do with living in a cold climate. But while I don’t focus all my effort on staying warm, I do prefer comfort over any alternative. Don’t you? Don’t we expend most of our effort on reducing discomfort by working to earn money to provide a nice house with central heat and air conditioning? By shopping for clothes to keep the cold at bay, or to stay cool in the summer and look good while doing it? By preparing food that we even call “comfort food”? Don’t we like our relationships to be comfortable and without tension? Don’t we love the thought of vacations at the beach or in the mountains–anywhere far away from stress and discomfort?

I think we also avoid any uncomfortable conversations where we might need to talk openly about our faith and the power of Jesus Christ. We avoid the discomfort of personal disciplines including prayer and Bible study.

This avoidance has a name. It is called “sloth”. Sloth is something we don’t hear much about. It is the apathy of just living our lives and not paying attention to the voice of the Lord. It is getting stuck in routine, neglecting the things we know we should do to keep the fire of our devotion to God burning bright.

This easy-going life may seem good enough for a while. But it lacks passion. And it is a sinful way to live.

Light the Match

What can we do to change it? David listened to the counsel of Nathan the prophet. He changed his behavior and set his focus on doing what needed to be done to get Solomon installed as king. We also need to get our focus off of our personal comfort and on what needs to be done to further the kingdom of God. We need to listen to the godly counsel of our pastors and teachers. And we need to change our behavior so that we get busy doing.

We can start with personal discipline. Prayer and Bible study lead our hearts and minds in the right direction. Our actions will follow.

Burning Heart

Ask God what He wants you to do today to bring glory to His name. And don’t hold back on doing what you hear Him tell you. That’s why I’m writing this message today. It is my act of obedience. My way of getting the fire to burn again.




  1. So glad to have you back. Your words of wisdom are always exactly what I need. Stepping out into the new from the familiar and comfortable.

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