Keepers of the Flame

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." - 1 Thessalonians 5:8

The memory came back to me just recently. Now that I think about it, it seems remarkable. But when I was growing up, it didn't seem remarkable at all.

Every time I ever saw my daddy take a drink of water, he paused to thank the Lord. He would fill a glass and then say, "I want to thank You for this water, in Jesus' Name, Amen."

Daddy was one who took I Thessalonians 5:18 literally. "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Over the years, I have become convinced that praise sets up a mantle of protection around the people of the Lord. Praise is an atmosphere through which the Adversary cannot move.

If you and I really entered into this truth, it would transform our lives. And it's not simply because praise can insulate or protect us. It's more than that. It is because He is worthy...worthy of the best of our praise, the depths of our thanksgiving. As you ask the Lord to teach you more and more about the tireless, ongoing spirit of praise, it will change your character, it will change your circumstances, it will change your countenance.

In the Old Testament, the Lord gave instructions to Moses about the "perpetual fire" that was to burn on the altar inside the Tent of Meeting.

"Command Aaron and his sons, saying, 'This is law of the burnt offering: The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it.'" (Leviticus 6:9)

The Lord went on to describe several matters about the changing of priestly clothes and the disposal of the ashes, concluding with this final reminder: "A perpetual fire shall burn on the altar; it shall never go out." (Leviticus 6:13)

The Lord was telling His priests, you're going to be doing your job day in and day out, and there will be all kinds of different things going on, such as changing your clothes and dumping ashes. But in the midst of it all, "keep the flame burning. Never let it go out."

The writer of Hebrews describes the only remaining sacrifice for New Testament believers when he states: "Therefore by Him [Jesus] let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." (Hebrews 13;15)

Notice the word continually. Keep the flame of praise burning in your life continually. Ceaselessly. In all circumstances. Now this doesn't mean we become some kind of recluse from society. I'm not suggesting that you get in some private cubical in a monastic corner of the universe where you repeat formula praises every waking hour.

I think the Lord is simply saying, "Whatever you do, whether you're changing your clothes or taking out the trash or driving along the freeway, keep the flame burning. Be a praiser. Keep in an attitude of praise. Never let the flame die out. Never let the fire be quenched."

When you think about the glory-worthiness of Jesus Christ, such glory-glowing doesn't seem too much to ask.

Light up. And keep burning.

Copyright 2005, 2014 by Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries