What is shut up within you that God desires to stir up and set ablaze for the purpose of bringing Him glory & blessing others? Or is there even any passion, desire or fire in you for anything?
The winds are Your messengers, and flames of fire are Your servants. (Psalm 104:4) #thisfollowerisonfire Is this true of me?
Are am I a fiery follower or a fickle one?
Have you ever considered that God placed the passions and desires within your heart for His purpose in your life? However, without fully surrendering our heart and our will to the God who first placed the desires, passions, and gifts within us, all of them will either become perverted, derailed, squelched or completely buried. Perversion, derailment, squelching, or total destruction of our God-given passions and gifts is one of the strategies of the enemy of our soul who is roaming about like a lion seeking to devour. And if the enemy of your soul isn’t successful in this endeavor, many of our cultural influences likely will be. This is why an unsurrendered and an unguarded heart is so vulnerable. Everything begins in our hearts. This all ties back to the first and greatest commandment to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (that covers it all).
Through loving and worshiping the Lord, passion, gifts, and callings are not only awakened, but set on fire.
God desires to do more through us than we can ask, think or imagine, but if we are not willing to give Him MORE of us, all the more He desires to do will never shine through.
Have you ever felt as though some particular desire, goal, dream or vision from God continually keeps stirring or burning with your heart? Has it ever felt like fire shut up in your bones? If not, have you ever asked yourself why not?
But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in His name, His word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!
(Jeremiah 20:9). Okay, so this is the voice of Jeremiah the prophet, who finally agreed to refrain from speaking the truth God had prompted him to speak (at least temporarily), and this truth was a word of judgment against the city and the temple for their idolatry, their unfaithfulness, and disobedience. No, Jeremiah was not sent to bring comforting words of encouragement, nor the uplifting and positive words of affirmation that the majority of today’s modern disciples only long to hear. Nevertheless, the prophet Jeremiah was obedient to his call as a prophet. As a result, he was arrested by Pashhur, the chief priest and governor of the temple. Not only was he arrested, but he was beaten and placed in the stockade for speaking the prophetic words burning in his heart. No wonder Jeremiah was called the “weeping prophet” (no, that wasn’t why – but that would make me weep!). Okay, so you might be saying, well, I’m no prophet. Still, this principle of whatever the Lord is burning or stirring within our hearts applies to us. In the prophet Jeremiah’s case, this fire shut up in his bones led him to more prayer, praise, and pursuit of God’s presence, and, finally, to having to release the word of the Lord again. Ultimately this led to Jeremiah fulfilling God’s purpose. So, without the threat of being arrested or beaten or even anything close to such, what’s our excuse in all our creature comforts? First and foremost, living by our beliefs and convictions without even speaking should be our desire, and then, beyond that, speaking His truth in love, at least to those who are willing to listen. Unless, of course, we have never really had any beliefs and convictions burning within us. Perhaps, that’s the real culprit? All of us who desire to glorify our Heavenly Father should be energized and excited about using all the gifts, talents, and abilities God has placed within us (that is, if we truly believe God gave us those?).
So, where are all the fiery followers? Am I a fiery follower of Christ or am I a fickle one?
How can the Lord or the Holy Spirit ever stir up what He has planted within us if we are not first willing to seek Him with our whole hearts, fill our minds and spirits with His Word, and then follow His leading? Could the “more” that God desires to do through us be part of the “greater” works Jesus said we would do? But how can we do greater works, if we aren’t even doing any of the works He did. Instead of the former wwjd – “What would Jesus do?” question, perhaps, we should ponder, study, and ask ourselves wdjd – “What did Jesus do?” One answer can be found in Acts 10:38 which tells us He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed of the devil.
Am I doing good based on “good” as the Bible defines the term? Am I being used as a healer or one who wounds others? If someone followed me around, would they end up delivered or in further bondage?
Again, the question is: is there any fire in your bones? in your heart? Or has there ever been? Or has your fire been snuffed out? It appears that a little too much water of worldliness or the drenching of disappointments, detours, and discouragements has quenched the fiery zeal of many sons and daughters. Even so, we are all called to burn as a flame of light for His glory, irregardless of our giftings, our age, our position, or our circumstances.
What is shut up within you that God desires to stir up and set ablaze to fulfill His purpose in and through you?
A few other good questions to consider:*
- What am I truly passionate about?
- Is what I am most passionate about pleasing to the Lord?
- Is my passion for that thing, goal, dream or desire above my passion to know the Lord more deeply?
- Is there something the Lord keeps trying to stir up within me that I keep pushing down or pushing aside for various reasons or excuses, such as:
- What I do or don’t do doesn’t really matter or won’t make a difference.
- I would really like to use my gifts to honor the Lord, but I just don’t have time.
- I would really like to be serving the Lord by serving and helping others to know and grow in the Lord, but isn’t that really the job of pastors, leaders, and those who truly feel called to full-time ministry?
- Am I more stirred up about the problems within our culture, rather than being used as part of the solution?
- Am I a complainer or am I being used as a culture changer?
- Does my talk match my walk?
- Have I ever used any of my time, talents, or gifts solely to honor God and to bless others?
- Have I ever asked the Lord to consume me with His fire and stir up what He desires to awaken and stir up within me? (Hebrews 12:29)
- Have I ever sincerely meant it when I recited as part of The Lord’s prayer, “…Your will be done…”?
A good prayer (only if your ready for God to do MORE than you can ask or think or imagine!):
Lord, consume me with the fire of your Holy Spirit, and stir up within my heart all that You desire for me to be about for Your purpose to be fulfilled within my life. Stir up the desire for more of Your presence, Your truth, and Your power in my life. May every gift, passion, desire, dream, and calling that is of You be awakened and stirred up, and may everything that is not of You, nor a part of Your will for my life be burned away. May my life be used for Your glory and Your purpose, because of Your unfailing love and faithfulness (Psalm 115:1).
“Listen to me — there is something missing in all this. You long to be in a love affair, an adventure. You were made for something more. You know it.” (From John Eldredge’s book, The Sacred Romance)
*Note: The above questions do not apply to casual and compromising “believers” or those who are willing to associate with the label of “Christian”, but whose lifestyles are never or rarely ever associated with anything Christlike.
Scripture References (for those who care to know?):
I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12)
God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. (1 Peter 4:10)
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20)
Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Mark 7:6)
Also: 1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10; Romans 11:36; Proverbs 4:23; Mark 12:30; Ephesians 2:10