Hot coals are an essential to any fire. They can smolder for hours and light a flammable piece of fuel in seconds. When you throw gasoline on them, they explode with fire. Throw water on them, they turn black and smoke. Throw oil on them, they sit for a second then burst into flames.
However, coals can be overpowered. Throw oil on them when they aren’t hot enough or if they are too small will result in a bad smell, smoke and zero fire.
The same thing happens if you have a flame. You could have a decent-sized flame going but if you pour some oil on it, it will not light. In fact, more than likely it will douse the flame and put it out, resulting in more smoke and stink.
It must be a very hot coal for oil to be able to connect with it and burst into flames.
Many people think, and act, it is OK to be a flippant flame. They only occupy space here on earth, consuming just what is around them. Sure, they can roar up when gasoline comes (like all the “good” things in life), but, when any trial comes (they get teased, people ask hard questions, question their faith, etc.) these people act like the flame. The oil got poured on them and they went out, unable to connect with the oil and do anything.
These kind of people lose any energy they had awfully fast.
However, when a Christian is like a coal, the oil does not go against them, it goes with them. As soon as the oil hits, the coal starts transferring energy and heat to it. The energy and heat meet open air with a flammable liquid and the flames burst out.
The flames give heat, reassurance, energy, confidence and show the heat of the coal.
When a true Christian acts like a coal, the trials come, the hard questions get thrown, the teasing escapes every lip, yet the coal doesn’t go out. Actually, it roars to life. It answers the hard questions, turns the teasing to witnessing and lets God handle the trials. It bursts to life and is a witness to all of the heat the coal has: Jesus Christ.
So, without getting to devotional-like, think of this thought: when oil comes, are you a flippant flame, or a conquering coal?