Is Your Torch Still Burning?

Leviticus 6:13 (NASB) says, “Fire shall be kept burning continually on the altar; it is not to go out.”

The Ancient Greeks held a “lampadedromia” (the Greek word for Torch Relay), where athletes competed by passing on the flame in a relay race to the finish line. Fire was ignited with the help of a concave mirror, which has the ability to concentrate the rays of the sun on a single spot. When the head priestess touched that point with the Torch, the Flame was lit. (link) The goal was to reach the finish line as fast as possible with the torch still burning. Although the Olympian games were filled with paganistic and idolatrous symbolism and festivities, I believe we can view this in much regards to the Christian faith because just as I mentioned earlier, Paul said that we are running a race, one that I would consider as, “The Faith Marathon.” In this faith race, it is not how you start, but how you finish. According to 2 Timothy 2:7, Paul was able to finish the course because he kept the faith. In his daily race, his whole mindset was to represent and reflect God and His glory in all things. Just as with the Olympians when they would hold up a concave mirror and allow the sun’s rays to kindle a flame, we are to start a fire by reflecting the light of the Son of God. He is the “sun of righteousness” as Malachi 4:2 states, the light of the world, and we are to keep our fire burning by reflecting His glory.

In this race, we cannot allow anything to distract, hinder or burden us from finishing. The enemy’s greatest desire is for your flame to be put out so that you can be disqualified from the race, but keep the fire burning and never let it go out. You are more than a conqueror if you finish the race with the flame still kindling! In other words, we are to run with a purpose. Many people in the body of Christ are racing without a purpose. This is a relay race, and in order to finish, we must pass the torch to the next runner. We must create a legacy that we must pass on to another person or a generation so that they can take that torch further than we have ever gone before. The problem in the church is that everyone is starting at the beginning with their own torch when torches are meant to be passed onto another person. There must be discipleship and growth, as older and mature Christians prepare a younger and future generation for more of God’s glory. We should never be rewinding, but always pressing forward!

So, my question to you today is, “Are you carrying the torch? Has your fire been put out?” Leviticus 6:13 says, “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” The fire burning in our torches, or altars of sacrifice, should never go out, but if so, it is time to reflect the Son and ignite a flame again. Even if you cross the finish line, what good does it do if you are carrying a flameless torch? We must keep the fire burning and initiate a legacy in which future generations will forever remember. Everyone will not know you, but those people who you forever mark and imprint will never forget!

There are 3 main things that a runner can do to be disqualified in a relay race: dropping the baton, not running in your lane and transferring the baton outside the designated zone. So many people in the Body of Christ are trying to run in this relay race without a baton. They go to church, sing in the choir, and even preach behind the pulpit, but there is no purpose or direction in their lives. They receive salvation, but they have not stepped in a realm of growth and discipleship. Salvation is not the finish line, but it is the initiation of the race. Salvation is the beginning of the race; sanctification and discipline is the endurance of the race; receiving our glorious crown of righteousness is the grand finale.

The baton is the figure that is needed to persevere in the race. You do not “tag” the next runner, but the transferring of the baton is what takes place. Many believe in the church that they can shake a pastor’s hand or be prayed for by a deacon in the church and think that their “little dab” will do them and keep them in a fresh anointing. You must be trained in this thing before a transferring can take place. You cannot win this race by always feasting off of someone else’s anointing and prayer life. You must develop your own relationship with God in order to “carry” an anointing rather than “temporarily live” good! If you have no discipleship or vision, you have no baton in your hand. That baton represents one’s very purpose and goals, the mantle they have picked up, the legacy they desire to leave behind, and the ability to push someone else greater than where they could ever go! You can be the fastest runner on the course, but if you have no direction or purpose, without the baton in your hand, you will be disqualified. It does not take speed, talent or ability to qualify in this faith marathon, but it takes grasping hold of vision and purpose for your life! Others in the Body of Christ have a baton, a mantle of purpose, but they are running in the wrong lane. In other words, instead of running without direction, they are running with misdirection. They cannot stay in their lane. They are running hard, but they have become distracted, regardless of whether that distraction is sin, a burden, or even service to God. They have pursued after a god who will only destroy them, from an addiction to television to a perverse relationship. They have forsaken a personal relationship with God, which is our greatest prized possession!

Finally, we must transfer the baton inside the designated zone. God desires for us to be brought to a designated place, a training ground for our future, a place where we can be discipled and receive a mantle of fresh anointing on our lives. When you leave that designated area to try to receive a baton of purpose, you will be disqualified. You cannot receive a spiritual baton of destiny and purpose when you leave your designated place. God is a God of position. He positions His children for certain seasons so that you can grow into a new level of anointing. However, when you leave that place that God has spoke you to be because of distraction or division, you will be disqualified. Many have left their designated place because someone in the church looked at them funny or one of their classmates tempted them to go to a party, and once you leave that place, you will be disqualified. Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still and refuse to leave prematurely from the covering of anointing that you are under. Then, when God says to move to the next step, leave your designated area. However, we cannot allow ourselves to leave without the baton in our hand. We can only move forward once the purpose of God has been established in our lives!