Have you ever been in a church and found yourself thinking, “these folks are knowledgeable, they know the word and they are very solid, but there’s something missing; they are lifeless”? They are like logs that are set up ready for a fire but lack that spark of ignition. Perhaps you are that kind of Christian. You have studied the word diligently for years now. You have quite a thorough knowledge of the Bible and can rattle-off Scriptures in your sleep, but you lack the life of the Spirit.
Or perhaps you have been in a church where you think to yourself, “this place is full of life and activity, these guys know how to make things happen, there’s noise everywhere, tongues, people falling over, demons cast out, but… there’s something missing; when all is said and done they are shallow. Though they know considerable parts of Scripture, they major on their favourite verses and basically do what they like with them, but they are not solid”? They are like a fire fueled by a pile of papers that can only burn for so long. Are you that kind of Christian? You are “full of the Spirit” and “on fire”, but you are not what the Bible would call Sound in Doctrine. You know what the Bible says about being rich but you skip over what it says about not storing up treasure for yourself on this earth.
So which is it to be? Word or Spirit? What do you choose, logs without fire or fire without logs? I am sure you would agree that there is a better way – the logs on fire! Paul teaches us to live lives of worship. Romans 12:1says “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (NIV) This is 24/7. Jesus teaches us that this worship is to be done in spirit AND in truth! “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:24 (NIV).
I trust that stoke the fire will help you to keep your fire burning with a fruitful (Gal 5:22) and powerful (Acts 1:8) life in the Spirit in keeping with sound doctrine (2 Tim 4:1-4) that comes by correctly handling the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:15) which (by the way) is the Sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17).
As I have heard someone say: “Word only and you dry up. Spirit only and you blow up. Word and Spirit and you grow up!”