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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

Where Does it Burn?

 

 

"Take ten pieces for yourself…"

 

The man stared. Was this strange man standing before him a real prophet or was he just crazy? That was a brand new cloak he had just torn! Clothing was expensive! And now, he was handing ten remnants of this cloth to Jeroboam himself? What kind of prophecy was this?

 

After all, Jeroboam was a nobody. True, he headed up the labor force for King Solomon, but he had no "high standing" in the court. It's just that…he had been a good worker. He got along well with the "common man," something Solomon struggled with. But soon he would be king?!

 

As Jeroboam tucked the remnants inside his own cloak, next to his heart, he found the prophet's next words quite interesting…

 

"…but I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon's hand; I have
made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of David my servant…
…I will take the kingdom from his son's hand and give you ten tribes."


"I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me…"

 

"However, as for you…you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel…"


Though God had placed His own ten tribes of people next to Jeroboam's heart, to rule as he saw fit, it was Jeroboam's heart that was the problem. If you will pick up in I Kings 11 and continue reading, you will discover that Jeroboam was not a man "after God's own heart." His own heart was full of pride and conniving ways. Idol worship would become a "main course" among the ten tribes of Israel. Destruction was on its way…

 

But what of the remaining tribe -- a combination of Judah and Benjamin? God had said, "I will give one tribe…so that David my servant may always have a lamp…"

 

David was long dead at this time in history. But his lamp was still burning!? Really?!

 

Why would David's lamp be burning? After all, wasn't he a murderer? An adulterer? A liar and a deceiver? Wouldn't David's lamp be cold by now -- snuffed out by his own mistakes? Long overlooked because of his own sin and death?

 

Yet God described David as "my servant, whom I chose and who observed my commands and statutes." God hadn't forgotten David. God still hasn't forgotten David.

 

David's lamp still burned, and would continue to do so…through bloodshed, through captivity, through silence, through darkness…until years later, but at just the right time, a little Baby was born in a barn, a King for all people…

 

This same lamp would continue to burn in the hearts of the early Christians, through poverty, through cruel death and staggering loss. This lamp burned and burned, catching a flame again and again in the hearts of those across the world learning of Jesus' sacrifice, Jesus' gift, Jesus' salvation. Jesus, a descendant of David, the one who had a lamp before Him…

 

It is a fire that just will not go out, my friend. There will always be those who will choose to keep it lit, from generation to generation. There will be those who will choose persecution, loss, and sorrow over what the darkness wants. They are also choosing complete joy and peace, you know. They will not let the burning die because God will keep the fire going… It burns and burns and burns.

 

Does it burn in you?

 

I caught that flame many years ago as a nine year old. Though I didn't truly understand the meaning of its light then, I was sincerely attracted to its glow. Ever since I reached out to grasp that flame, I have understood that there was a burning inside of me, like tongues of fire burning through the depth of my soul. A burning I cannot forget; a burning I will not snuff out! When neglected, I am seared with the realization of my sin.

 

When my own self shines brighter than that Lamp inside of me, I am ashamed and disgusted.

 

Because I am a nobody -- the least of all and the worst of all. But God, through His amazing, perplexing grace and mercy, chose to put that light within me. Simply because I reached out and grabbed the flame.

 

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned…

Isaiah 9:2

 

A few years ago, when we were serving a church in a different city, Ken would go to the church each day in the early morning. He would spend those early hours before the Lord, committing his own "lamp burning" to God.

 

This was a tough church assignment! Many were the times we wanted to remove our own lamps from this place. Many were the times we would walk through the front doors of that church and into the darkness, startled by the brazenness of the enemy's work.

 

But even serving the Lord in the darkest and most depressing of all places is a privilege, don't you know? And it is a necessity.

 

So each morning as Ken would pray in that cold building, though we didn't know it for a long time, there was someone watching. Someone who was attracted to the flame. Someone who desperately needed the light.

 

As she drove by each morning, she looked for the light in that place. Ken was there, praying.

 

"As I looked for the light burning in that church every morning, I became curious, and then, I just had to come, to find out about that light…why is someone here so early every morning? What is so important to make that light be on…?"

 

It wasn't long before she understood. After she grabbed her own flame, she passed it on to the rest of her family.

 

"Even though I understand now," she told me, "I still look for that light. If there is a light burning in the church, then I know that my pastor is praying. All is well. I can continue through my day."

 

Her eyes were serious. "I always look for that light."

 

Do you have a light? How does it burn? Where does it burn?

 

Someone is watching. Someone is always watching, my friend. This is how the light continues-how it spreads from generation to generation.

 

In spite of our sin, in spite of our humanity, God has chosen us to spread his flame. We are the spark that ignites the lamp of the church! We are the light of our neighborhoods, of the darkness that is thickening day by day.

 

No, it is not always "fun." But even serving the Lord in the darkest and most depressing of all places is a privilege, don't you know?

 

And it is a necessity.

 

God has not forgotten David and his lamp. God has not forgotten you. How is your light?

 

Where does it burn…?




 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com




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