How to Burn without Burning out.

Many believers are exhausted, tired and feel burnt out but know that the fire of faith must keep burning.  I found this article by Gbile Akanni most useful to help understand Bible perspective on how to keep aglow – very different from other views which can relax our guard.

What does the Bible say on perpetual burning for God?

Lev 6:13 “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
it shall never go out.”

1Peter 4:7 “But the end of all things is at hand, be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

Leviticus 6:8-13 details the law of burnt offering unto the Lord, the procedure for keeping the altar aglow even through the dampness and coldness of night. These contain gleans of principles for my heart as I seek to keep the altar of my own heart aglow! These are the protocols of perpetual burning. Lord may you grant me peace of mind to keep strictly to these protocols of hosting the fire of heaven perpetually within my soul.

Four things stand out there for me to keep my light burning. Four things there are that I must do, if indeed I desire a perpetual burning! I must . . . .

1. Pack Out My Ashes!
First, the ashes of past burning must be packed out, else it will only serve to dampen my fresh burning. I must leave the past in the past, if I will ever keep my fire burning; past success, past achievement . . .  yet past failures and past weaknesses. That which is past is past. Focusing on the past will only stop me from fresh prospects in God.

Father, may I see no reason to be pre-occupied with the ashes of my past burning. Even if I’ve had exploits, it was by You. The elder, Paul chose to forget the things which are past, so as to press on to what lies ahead. I might have given You some fat offerings, or serious consecrations but those have already been burnt up. I need to face my current state. Only old men dream mere dreams, I will offer you something fresh while I am young. Memories of past wonderful encounters with You will only form idols in my mind now, and dampen my present quest for You. Oh teach me Lord, to pack my ashes aside!

2. Feed My Fire!
Next, some fire wood must be fed into fire chambers for the fire to be sustained. Fresh wood, daily set in order, to keep the flames ever fresh, ever current. Fresh logs of truth and twigs of understanding gained from spiritual insight into the word is the age long fuel that keeps God’s Candle burning. Oh that I may befriend my Bible and cherish the truths and principles hidden therein. It was the sweet psalmist of Israel that cried “O that my ways were directed to keep Thy law. Father, this I pray!

On the other side, the blowing and fanning of prayer and intercession has been known of old to spread the fire all over the heart and keep it warm and sizzling. Prayer, in spirit and in truth, blazing through my spirit in known and unknown tongues and cutting through the every debris and blanket cast by living in this evil and apostate twenty-first century is what my soul must have to keep a burning!

Father, I need help to watch unto prayer . . . In thanksgiving, worship, praises; the burning fuel from tons of supplications, petitions, intercessions and advocacy I must now be enabled to supply generously and consistently at your altar. So Lord, draw me nearer. For happy is the man whom Thou causeth to approach unto Your throne. Lord, hear my cry! Let the deep call to the deep and my soul be energised by tongs of fire from off Thine altar!

3. A fresh Sacrifice On My Altar!
Thirdly, the object of sacrifice – the burnt offering itself should be laid in order on top of the altar, to be consumed by the fire of sacrifice; thus yielding a sweet smell unto the Lord. Next, Lord, I see the need to present a new sacrifice upon Your altar. Every day demands fresh consecration and offering of myself, my time, my body, talents, money, my love; as a burning sacrifice upon your altar. I cannot appear at your altar empty – handed, with no sacrifice at all. What object will the fire consume then? Even some lusty idols I hold to in prayer, I must now release, in the faith that your will for me is better. Even at this junction, may my perpetual cry agree with the Hymn writer of old . . .

If Thou wouldst call me to resign
What most price I, it never was mine
I only yield Thee what is Thine
Thy will be done!

4. Be Sober And Be Watchful
Finally and most importantly, the fire upon the altar must never go out; night or day.
I must now be sober – clear-minded and self-controlled. Never permitting clouds upon my mind, nor ever allow myself be double-minded in the place of prayer. Earthly passions, anxiety and lack of focus will normally weigh a man down even where he seeks to please God. May my loins be girded and may my light forever burn! Amen!

Should I be enabled to follow these Your clear injunctions, should I fulfil these spiritual protocols for perpetual burning, then surely my fire will never go out.  Help me therefore to keep Thy law.

Originally Published as Protocols for Perpetual Burning by Gbile Akanni. Gbile Akanni posts articles regularly on living




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Financial advice for Christians in 2011

Many were bullish at early signs of recovery in 2010 … but these may only be a reflection of weaker prior years and conservative projections.  It is still to be seen if 2011 will see these jumps in incomes sustained …more likely there will be a flattening for the most cases. There will be a few winners.

The outlook is positive though fears of a future dip again into recession still persist and though companies are richer than in prior years – they will not be spending as generously as they used to.  The best tips for success could be as follows:

  1. Know/perfect what you are good at and remain in your area of strength – find where you excel/add value to others (where you can differentiate your product offering) and have developed cost advantages and continue to compete based on a lower cost excellent value strategy … moderation will remain the king of values in 2011. Frills will not sell.
  2. Stock prices are coming up … but these are yet to be proven as sustainable jumps.  Look beyond the numbers to understand why prices are coming up.  Well run companies with nimble structures that understand how to flex their costs to adjust to seasons are probably going to be winners.  Spot and stick to the winners and invest prudently.  Use simple investment plans you understand with a low-risk grow-rich-slowly vision.
  3. Many still project that real estate prices will still go further down before they rebound again. If you have spare cash you will not need in the medium term…it may be a good time to get an excellent deal on Real estate but be careful and get professional help.  Do not borrow to purchase real-estate …though banks will be more generous to target good credit customers.
  4. Online web-based creativity will continue to be rewarded although more charlatans will flock to this arena. Increase in expendable income will push a lot of expenditure into this space.  This is a no-brainer…web-based services are cheap and positioned for the mass-market with little barriers to entry and almost limitless reach even as infrastructure for the internet continues to improve globally.  The greatest gains in 2011 will perhaps be in this sector as a new army of internet entrepreneur warriors emerge.
  5. Maintain personal prudence –i.e.  Putting off purchases, eschew debt, save more…and watch your eating and physical habits to enhance health.  Spend much less than you earn.  Consolidate new financial habits and disciplines you imbibed in 2010…such as using a financial worksheet to project and plan expenditures and track net worth movements over the short/medium term.

Following are some of my favourite finance scriptures for meditation and some balance …so please be prayerful and watchful.

Psalm 37[16]  A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

Deuterenomy 28[12]  The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

Ecclesiastes 5[12]  The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. [13]  There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely , riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

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