Dave Nealon - Heat (Without and Within) - Parma, Idaho - 2005

Hymn 216, "Thy Perfect Love"

 

I count it a privilege to speak in this meeting this afternoon.  There are some of you here who would remember 16 years ago when Lowell and I had some meetings just a couple stones' throws away from here.  Those are good memories and it's nice to share another meeting together again.  I have been thinking about the heat without and the heat within and how they both can help us to grow in the kingdom of God.

 

In I Peter 4:12, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."  There will be experiences that we face that are like this heat from without, the fiery trials, and Peter said don't be surprised when those kind of experiences come, don't think it strange when we face the heat of the battle or the heat of desert stretches.  The heat of fiery trials.  Don't think it is anything usual, because the purpose of those experiences is to produce the glory of Christ in our lives.  The heat from without has a purpose.  I was thinking about people who faced some of the heat from without and we read about Job facing the fiery trials and he said he knew that when it was over, he would come forth as gold.  When gold is tried in the fire the worth of the gold isn't lost, only the dross is what is lost and maybe the volume decreases, but the value increases when gold is tried in the fire.  Job says, "I know when I have faced the heat from without, I shall come forth as gold." 

 

In Daniel 3, we read about the Hebrew children who faced the experience in the fiery furnace.  They were cast into that fire and it says that the fire had no power over them and it had no effect upon them.  There were no burns on their body, not even the smell of smoke from facing that heat.  It tells us they were cast bound into that fiery experience but, before long, the king saw them walking loose.  All that the fiery experience did was release the bonds and destroy those restrictions that limited them, things that were holding them back.  It consumed their bondage and gave more liberty - the heat from without.

 

In Deuteronomy 4, we read about the experience of the children of Israel being in Egypt being like an iron furnace.  The people of Israel in bondage in Egypt - it was like an iron furnace, a place where iron was separated from the ore, where the worthless was separated from that of real, true worth and down there in Egypt it tells us that those children of Israel were in the heat of that iron furnace, they had taskmasters that afflicted them with burdens that were heavy to be born, but it says the more they afflicted them the more they multiplied and grew, because the heat of affliction is like that:  it helps us to grow, the more they were afflicted and the more they multiplied and grew and perhaps it was that lesson that helped Moses a number of years later, by faith make the choice to face affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, because he saw it pays off, it really pays - the heat from without.

In Mark 4, we read about the seed that fell onto the stony ground.  It says that the sun came up and it was scorched and because it had no root it withered away.  So here was something that faced the heat from without and all that happened, was it scorched and withered and died.  Now isn't it interesting that the very same heat from without caused some to multiply and grow, caused this seed to wither and die.  Do you know what the difference is?  It is because the one had a root system.  The people of God have roots that are deep, and we are drawing from living water and they didn't lack for moisture, and so when the heat was on, they had something that would keep them and help them to live and grow and flourish.  If we have that kind of a secret life, then the heat from without will only help us to grow. 

Now the heat within.  Luke 24:32 where two of the disciples said, one to another, "Did not our hearts burn within us, while He walked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scripture?"  A burning on the inside.  They had a heat within.  They were inspired by fellowship with their master and they were enthused because the scriptures had been opened to them, and if we are faithful in searching the scriptures and in fellowship with the Lord and there will be a burning zeal within - a heat within, that it is also going to motivate us and help us to go on in this way of God - it's the heat within.

 

In Revelations 3, the one church was warned about losing that heat within.  The Lord said to them, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot.  I would that thou were cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, I will spue thee out of My mouth."  Whatever our place within the kingdom of God, the Lord wants us to be hearty in, whether it is being hot or being cold, do it heartily, but don't be lukewarm.  It's kind of like tea.  You know if you want a hot cup of tea, you want it really hot.  The British won't settle for less than boiling water being poured into the teapot, really hot.  But if it is cold tea you want, and the southerners want it really cold, with lots of ice and lots of sugar.  So either real hot or real cold, but lukewarm in neither case is good at all.  The Lord wants something burning inside of us, a heat within, a fervency.

 

We read in the Bible about being fervent in spirit.  I thought of three verses that tell us about how to be fervent in spirit.  II Corinthians 7:7 tells us of some who had a fervent mind towards Paul and I think they just thought warm thoughts towards him in his need and he appreciated their fervent mind. 

 

In James 5:16, we read about a fervent prayer, and it says, "The fervent prayer of a righteous man is effective and availeth much."  I Peter 4:8, it says, "Above all, have fervent charity among yourselves."  Above everything else, a fervent love.  If we have a fervent mind and a fervent prayer life and a fervent love, we will be among the fervent in spirit, like Apollos was, a man that it says was fervent in spirit.  I think one of the most fervent people I have met was Uncle Howard Mooney and I will always remember the verse that was spoken at his funeral so appropriately, "Your zeal hath provoked very many."  Or your fervent, burning, enthusiasm has inspired very many.  The heat within, the very inspiration to the soul.  There's one of our hymns that just says, "...and put within a burning deep ambition," and I feel this afternoon that I would like to have the Lord accomplish that in me, to put within a burning deep ambition so we can go forth from here with a fresh glowing ardor and the heat that's without and the heat that's within, will only help us to go on and grow on.