Echoes From the Campfire

The promised land is always a distant land, aglow with golden fire.  It is a land one never attains, for once attained one faces fulfillment and the knowledge that whatever a land may promise, it may also demand a payment of courage and strength.”
                   –Louis L’Amour  (Bendigo Shafter)

       “The Lord your God, He will thrust them out from before you and drive them from before you; and you will possess their land, just as the Lord your God promised you.”
                   –Joshua 23:5 (NASB)
         “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
                   –Matthew 5:14-16(NASB)

    My Mom would often recall in a somewhat complaining tone that her job at the house growing up was to trim all the wicks on the lamps.  She said she hated that job, I don’t know why, maybe her fingers would get smudged with black.  It was done so that the wick would burn evenly without any hot spots.  There would be a small, bright flame with a properly trimmed wick and no smoke.  Also the oil in the lamp would last longer with the wick properly trimmed.  
    Notice the importance of a trimmed wick.

         “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.”
                   –Matthew 25:6-7 (NASB)

Remember the story?  The ten virgins were waiting the coming of the bridegroom and fell asleep.  The shout came at midnight, and all immediately trimmed their lamps.  They took care of the wick so they would have a clean, bright flame.  But, no matter how well the wick was trimmed, if there is no oil it will only burn for a few seconds.
    If we get careless with our lives, compromise and involving ourselves in the world, the Holy Spirit will not be there when it is time to light the lamp.  The lamp still looks useable, the wick is trimmed and ready for the flame, but there is no fuel, the Holy Spirit has left, to fuel the wick.  As long as the Spirit is there, the wick will burn.  Don’t live such that the oil is no longer available.

         “A lamp produces light when it has oil and a trimmed wick.  One may light the wick without a supply of oil, but it will burn away and shadows will gradually come.  If a mouse attempts to eat the wick while it is still smoldering, the heat of the dying flame will turn it away.  When it knows fire is no longer in the wick, it knocks the lamp to the floor.  An earthenware lamp will be shattered, but a brass lamp you may repair.
         “If the soul is careless, the Holy Spirit will gradually depart, until it grows cold.  Then the enemy chews on the soul, and wickedness breaks it apart.  If a good person who truly loves God stumbles into brief carelessness, our merciful God will caution him to watch more carefully in the future.”

Don’t let the rats chew on your life.  Stay alert, make sure you are made of quality material, guard the truth, and keep oil in your lamp and the wick trimmed.  Remember the old Sunday School song, “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning…”