Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brokenness Part 4

The smoking flax shall He not quench. Isaiah 42:3

When a lamp burned down to the end of the wick, it would only sputter and smoke without making any light. The word “smoking” means “dim, dull or faint.” Since such a smoldering wick was useless it was put out and thrown away. The smoking flax represent people whose lives are worn out, there is more smoke than light coming from them. Their testimony has become ineffective. How do we get in that shape? There are many answers to that question. Things like Sin, Sorrows, Struggles, Satan, and just the Sameness of life can all result in our becoming less than the Lord saved us to be. 

Perhaps you feel like a smoking flax. Has your light simmered down until it just smoke, almost gone out? Are you discouraged because your light does not shine brightly? The Light of the world (Jn. 8:12), the Lord Jesus declared, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick and it gives light unto all that are in the house” (Matthew 5:14, 15). Paul exhorted us to be blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world (Phil. 2:15). 

For some the light might only be flickering. Where once there was a bright testimony of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light was beaming out, now there may only be smoke. Smoke is really not helpful to anyone. It smells and gets the eyes, causing irritation. Do you think you will ever have another opportunity to burn bright for the Lord? 

Our failures never have to be final? John Mark was burning bright at one point, but began sputtered out. He left Paul and Barnabas while they were on their first missionary journey and returned home (Acts 13:13). But later Paul could write that Mark was profitable to him for the ministry (2 Tim. 4:11). Somewhere along the way John Mark had his lamp trimmed, perhaps by Barnabas. The Lord had compassion on a “smoking flax” named Peter (Matt. 26:69-75). The Lord had compassion on a “smoking flax” named Jonah and used him to bring revival to a large city, Jonah 1-4. How many times have we seen our light nearly extinguished? How many times have we been all smoke and no light, where our faith and our witness grown dim along life’s way? It would have been easy for the Lord to quench our feeble flame and simply snuff us out, but He is always willing to forgive us, restore us and rekindle us when we call on Him confessing our sins, 1 John 1:9.

He will never quench a smoking flax but will fan it into a flame The word “quench” means “to put out or to extinguish.” The Lord does not snuff out that smoldering wick. He does not finish it off without a care. Instead, He comes to trim and rekindle its weak flame. He comes to make us useful again. The Lord is able to fan your spark of faith into a flame for His glory!

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