Spark – How to build a fire
Although I grew up in a Christian home and was taught the truths of God’s Word from a very early age my public profession of faith in Christ was not until I was 18 — October 18, 1969 to be exact. Though slowly at first I can honestly say It was from that point on that my life truly began to change.
Eventually I became heavily involved in activities with Youth for Christ. I was a camp counselor with “pre-delinquent” youth, that is young boys from broken homes in low-rental housing units. We ran summer camps and a weekly “Lifeline” clubhouse. From there I went on to coffeehouse ministry to a downtown crowd of peer-aged teens and young adults. I played bass in a coffeehouse gospel group for a short while and later transferred the coffeehouse/clubhouse ideas to an outreach among the Ojibwa of northwestern Ontario.
From there the Lord led me to Bible College, to Saskatchewan and a ministry to the deaf in Saskatoon. Currently, and for the past third my lifetime now, we (I was married in 1984) have made our home in New Brunswick, Canada.
But I remember well those early days of faith. There was an unusual excitement in the air brought about by a special move of the Holy Spirit. It was the era of “The Jesus Movement” which made headlines among secular as well as religious press. Sadly though, the Truth of Jesus soon became a fad. Many souls truly came to Christ during that period but many others were only temporarily drawn along, good seed fallen on rocky places. They
“sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root” (Matt. 13:5-6).
Believers were afire for evangelism in those days, young, energetic, captivated and strong. We sang songs by the late Kurt Kaiser who died in January 2009 at age 83. Songs like Pass it On. “It only takes a spark to get a fire going… Once you’ve experienced it… You want to pass it on.”
Evangelism was simple then. And it should still be simple now. As D.T. Niles coined, “One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” That “spark” motivated us. We gave ourselves willingly and eagerly to catch that blaze, to “pass it on” to do our bit to set the World Aflame as Billy Graham entitled one of his books.
That true “spark” is still available today, but many have chosen flash paper sparks of human making. Isaiah warns:
“But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment.” (Isa. 50:11).
Now our society is ripe for a new change again. In fact, it has been forced upon us… lovingly forced upon us. God is giving society a shake and He is giving His people a nudge: go out there again. It still “only takes a spark,” His Holy Spirit spark. Receive that “spark” afresh again… Ignite…. Burn…. Set others ablaze too.