Have you ever felt like a sparkler? You know, those things you buy on the 4th of July that you light and then they burn real bright and sparkly and then burn-out almost as fast.? At times, the life of a Christian resembles one of these sparklers. Some people may call it "back-sliding", but what I am referring to is not someone who has turned their back on Jesus all together as if He never existed, but about someone who sincerely accepted the Lord but has now found themselves to be seemingly very far away.
I make the reference to a sparkler because, like us, they start out burning bright and then fade to nothingness. Lots of us have started out our new life in Christ, totally excited, amazed at the forgiveness of God, in awe of the person of Christ, and totally in love with Him. But….in time we lose a little of our need of Him, our desire to spend time with Him, and find time to "fit" Him into our schedules.
Personally, since I was a kid, sparklers were always one of my favorite fireworks. I love how they light everything up, and I am always sad when they burn out. I wish they made super huge ones that would last a good, long while! The thing about sparklers is that when one burns out all you have to do is light another. All you need to enjoy a sparkler, is a light, ignition!!
The same is also true of us, all we need is a light. This may seem like a weird analogy, but if God wants us to burn brightly again, He just gives us a light. He doesn't have to try and light the "old" burned up sparkler, He just gets a new one and gives it a light. See, everyday in the Lord is a new day, His mercies are new every morning. We are new creatures in Christ. God doesn't ever work with the old, only the new.
So why do we have to burn out at all? Why aren't we in the same place we were before? How come what used to be effortless seems impossible now? How do we get back to where we were? Scripture says we have lost our first love. But not for good, just in temporary condition. The spirit in us will always love the Lord and follow after Him, but somewhere in our minds we have distanced ourselves from Him. By nature, we are excited about things when they are new, and as time passes, we become less excited. But what we are passionate about, what comforts us, what brings us relief and rest, those are the things we go back to. The problem lies in the "old".
We also have a tendency to return to the familiar. As Christians, we start out depending on God and then slowly, start to bring in our own strengths and our old ways of coping. We rely on all of our old ways to bring us comfort and happiness. We don't acknowledge Him as much any more, unless one of our ways isn't working too good and then we will ask Him for help. Why do we do this? Is it because we are failures? No we are not failures, because God is not a failure. We are just looking in the wrong direction, barking up the wrong tree, or looking for love in all the wrong places!
We forget that we cannot burn brightly for Him unless we are paying attention to Him. He is what makes us like Him, and when we spend time in Him, that happens naturally. We try to light the old burned up sparklers of our life instead of going to Him in newness and dependence on Him to accomplish the impossible.
So, dear ones…just turn to Him. If you can't or don't feel like it, ask Him to cause you to do so. Just like the branch cannot bear fruit unless it is attached to the vine, neither can we. We can't be Christ-like with out Christ. He is the source! So if you feel like you are too far gone, remember you are not. You can't go anywhere that God can't come get you and draw you back home. Get with Him in His presence, through the Word, prayer and fellowship, and you'll get "lit" for sure. Just be patient with His timing in it. Remember He loves you, at all times, not just when you are being "good". The goal is not perfection or performance but knowing Him. And it takes time, and He's patient and has more time than an eternity.