I was recently challenged by a thought, you know-the kind of thought that makes you dig really deep and nags at you until you do. Bombarding your thoughts until you go through the process of figuring out just why it keeps creeping back into your mind (thank you Holy Spirit). The kind of thought that not only makes you think through the why but the how. Because obviously now that you were brought to the answer, you have to act on it. You have to live it out.
Can you lose your fire for Jesus? What causes your fire to go out?
This question has been mulling around in my mind nonstop. Finally while driving the other day, I just talked it all out with the Lord. He’s the best soundboard. Plus, He can make sense of the randomness of my thoughts and help me to gain understanding through His Spirit. This is where the Spirit has lead me….
What does it mean for one to lose their fire for the Lord and how does it happen? Is it when we become complacent in our faith or we no longer find joy in serving or giving? When we no longer desire to worship God or read His Word? Maybe sin has crept in our lives and caused us to try to hide from God or we have been so busy that we begin to slowly drift away. Could it be that we think our church doesn’t meet our needs; the sermons have been lacking or the music wasn’t just right? Maybe we’ve been discouraged over and over and are just too weary. Maybe it’s a combination of these or even others that I failed to list. They all just pile up and the next thing we know, our fire is snuffed out and we are left wondering how it happened. How did we get here?
Thinking about how my fire could be put out caused me to think about what it is that keeps my fire going in the first place. What is it that makes my soul on fire and gives me the desire to want to please God and follow Him? Simply put; God. I know, I’m probably just realizing what many of you already know, but wow. In this short car ride, God laid this revelation on me and I needed it.
He is the one that makes me want Him more. The more time that I spend with Him, in His Word and in prayer, the more I want to know Him. As I worship Him, He works on transforming my heart and I am filled with joy. His Spirit challenges me to want to live in obedience to Him. When He speaks to me, I want to listen intently. When I follow Him in obedience, He shows me glimpses of His will for my life. When I praise and thank Him, even in the most trying circumstances, I can see His hand in everything. At just the right moments, He sends people into my life with a purpose. And when all of these things are flowing together, my fire for the Lord is fierce. It causes my soul to ignite and I become passionate about His plans, His purposes, and His people.
My conclusion: if I am spending personal time with the Lord-through His Word, in prayer, and in obedience to Him- and I am allowing Him to use me for His glory, there is no reason that my fire should ever be put out.
Do I allow man or circumstance to extinguish a flame that was lit by Heaven?
I’ve decided that my flame is valuable. I must protect it! Satan would like nothing more than for it to be quenched. After all, isn’t that the goal of the enemy? To annihilate us? If it were, how effective would I be for the Kingdom of God? But if it burns passionately for God-I have limitless potential for His Kingdom and to bring Him glory. I will crave to know Him, serve Him, and love His people!
If I’m honest, I can say that there have been times in my faith race that my fire or passion for the Lord has only been a flicker. And if I take that honesty to the next level, I can say that it was not because my church wasn’t holding a bible study, or because I missed a Sunday, or because I was in a trying circumstance. It was because I allowed myself to get comfortable. I allowed myself to think that because things were going good in my life, I could let my guard down. I became complacent. I wasn’t connecting with my Creator like I should have been. The sad part is, by the time I snapped out of it and realized what was happening, I felt like I was in a pit and satan was at the top laughing. He likes to do that you know. He’d of liked it more if he could have kept me there-instead I cried out to the Lord-and He extended His hand.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I wonder, has anyone else ever been here? And if so, what would it look like if we gave the control of our spiritual flame back to God? And we set our eyes on the One who can sustain our flame? Jesus!
“Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?”” -Luke 24:32 MSG
Just talking with Jesus and opening Scriptures with Him made the disciples on fire. They knew in their hearts who they were talking too.
I’ve often heard that only ‘new believers’ are on fire for the Lord, that as time goes on the fire slowly goes out. I refuse to accept that. I believe that it is up to US for our fire to stay burning and at what capacity. Just as a real fire needs fed to keep burning, so do our souls.
Our love for Jesus should be the fuel for our spiritual fire, the fuel for our souls.
Romans 12:11-13 (MSG) says, “Don’t be burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.” Another version says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11 NIV) Are we fervent (have an intense passion) in our walk with the Lord? Do we have zeal (great energy or are we enthusiastic in our pursuit of Him)?
It’s time that we examined ourselves; asking the hard questions and being honest about the answers we find. Questions like:
- How is my spiritual appetite? Am I hungry for God & His Word?
- Am I in connection with God (through prayer)?
- Am I active in my faith? Am I serving? Am I giving? Am I living it out?
- How is my energy? Am I building community? Am I encouraging and uplifting others? Do I make time for what matters?
- How is my thinking? Is it more like the world or God? How are my thought patterns? Am I always negative? Am I inward focused or outward?
- How is my spiritual attitude? Do I blame people or the church for what my relationship with God looks like? Or for the lack of fire that I have?
- Am I trusting God in ALL areas of my life?
- Do I rely on everything but God to fill me up?
In the times that my fire was only a flicker, these questions would have been good for me to reflect on and pray over. Sometimes, it’s when we reflect on where we’ve been, that God brings us the answers we needed. Reflecting on these questions made me realize that my passion-the fire in my soul-comes from the Lord and that my love for Jesus sustains it. The things that I thought set fire to my soul, (great books, a favorite speaker, bible study, church, worship, an encouraging word from someone, or uplifting songs), are actually only bits that add to my fire. They may spark or ignite something in me, but it’s usually because my source (God) has already put the seed of passion inside of me. They are a bonus to what God has already started in me.
Now understand this, I love reading a great book, I love bible study with women who help me to grow in my faith and who encourage me, and I love my church-all of these things are a huge part of my life-but I have to remember that they are only a bonus when it comes to setting fire to my soul. I am NOT saying we don’t need them-I’m saying that if we allow these things to feed us solely, we will be disappointed and never satisfied.
Can you imagine the impact it would have on our community, on the world, if we lived our lives on fire for Jesus? When the fire is in us, we can’t help but be a light leading others to His love. We can be the light in this dark world. Don’t you want it?
One of my favorite worship songs is Set a Fire by Jesus Culture. Now for anyone who has ever heard this song, there really isn’t a whole lot to the lyrics but y’all it speaks to my soul! Over the past two years it has become the anthem that I want to live my life by. Will you join me? Will you dig deep and ask God the hard questions? Will you examine the source for your fire?
Do you feel God calling you to rekindle your spiritual flame?