This past week I saw a video on the news of a man stepping outside with a boiling pot of water, tossing the water into the air and its instantaneously changing into snow. He was near the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire and it was thirty-five degrees below zero. My first reaction was, “Hey, that’s kind of cool.” Then I thought, “Wow, that’s really cold.” And finally, “That guy’s crazy going outside in that kind of weather.” Consider that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit; water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s so cold that the water cooled down 180+ degrees in less than a second. The water froze because of a failure to maintain the fire. What can we do to maintain our spiritual fire?
Lesson #1: Much energy was needed to warm the water; but very little was needed to cool it. In order to boil water one must have a significant energy source. It takes 398 BTUs to change frozen water to boiling water. Energy is required! To the contrary, however, to cool water down takes practically no energy at all. A flick of the wrist and the boiling water was frozen. This reminds me of Paul’s words to the church in Ephesus to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3). Paul also said to the Galatians (5:6) that what avails is faith working (the Greek word ENERGEO � energy!) through love. Even spiritually speaking, energy/effort/work is required in order to stay warm; but what is required to freeze? Just do nothing. Work, that is, the input of energy, is important to maintaining our spiritual fire.
Lesson #2: Together the water was warm; separated, it became cold. Those trillions of water molecules in that boiling pot stayed warm so long as they were in close proximity to each other; they kept warm off each other’s heat. However, once they dispersed they quickly cooled not having the company of their “brethren” to keep them warm. Ecclesiastes 4:11 says, “Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?” The story is told of the preacher who visits the un-attending member and, without a word, while sitting in front of the fireplace, merely pulls a coal out of the fire to watch it slowly die. Yet, putting it back in, the coal warms to a soft red glow again. We need to exhort one another daily and not forsake our assembling together! (Hebrews 3:13, 10:25) Togetherness is important to maintaining our spiritual fire.
Lesson #3: Someone “stirred” the pot. That water didn’t become snow without someone agitating the pot! If the pot had been left on the fire it would have stayed warm, but it was moved, stirred, agitated. This resulted in the decrease of heat and the increase of cold. Agitation in the church often has the same results. Paul told the church at Philippi, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings” (Philippians 2:14). He said in Colossians 3:13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Instead of murmuring and quarrelling we need to practice forgiveness to keep ourselves warm and lively. Forgiveness is important to maintaining our spiritual fire.
We all know what it means when a body has “assumed room temperature.” Warmth equals life. Cold equals death. Let us do all to avoid assuming room temperature and do everything in our power to maintain our spiritual fire!