Romans 12:10-11 (The Message) “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always.”
Have you ever walked back into the house from the cold outdoors looking forward to warming yourself by the roaring fire but instead found glowing embers? Left alone for too long, that blazing inferno you left in the fireplace has died down to smoldering embers. You get down on your knees, and steadily blow a stream of air watching as the red hot glow comes alive. Low and behold, they burst into flame again! Now you can stir up those coals, add some more wood and feed the fire. Although many have witnessed this very thing in the physical, the same thing can happen to us in our spiritual walk. Of course we must first be filled with the fire of God’s spirit. That infilling of fire will keep us for a time and creates in our spirit a bed of coals formed from the alter of personal devotion, church prayer and services, and daily Bible reading. We must be careful that we don’t get so smothered by life that we forget the Lord and allow our fire to burn out! We need to maintain the Spiritual glow—how? Blow the coals!
It takes three element to make fire burn:
- Oxygen= Holy Ghost
- Ignition= Word of God
- Fuel= Us
We may all be at different places in our spiritual walk, but many of us need to recover our spiritual passion. You could exchange the word passion for words like: fervor, desire, and zeal. I don’t care what we call it…I just know that we need it. When I say passion, I’m not talking about becoming spiritually hyper-active. I’m not calling for more religious motion. I know that we all lead busy lives where the demands are endless: family, work, church, and other obligations crowd our schedules. Romans 12:11 admonishes us to be “fervent in spirit”. This word fervent means to boil. A chemical reaction takes place when water boils and its very nature is changed from a liquid to a gas as steam rises. Energy is released.
Many of us have seen those who have had their passion evaporate into thin air. How does it happen? Place an open pan on the stove, fill it with water and turn the heat on high. The water warms, boils and then evaporates. It boils away. But, now, take the same heat…the same water…and put it inside the boiler of a steam engine. The power of the steam causes motion that can transport that engine around the country. The problem then is not the passion. The problem is the control. We need to be passionate under the control of the Spirit of Christ. The person who maintains their spiritual passion has a boiling on the inside that is released as energy on the outside.
So, how do we build our passion? First, everything you do, do unto the Lord. Don’t just work in the kingdom out of “duty” but let everything you do be for the glory of Christ Jesus. Although there may be some, accolades aren’t usually poured out on those who work in the church. Whether we are appreciated or not, we must learn to do our best for our brothers and sisters, loving them without jealousy. Jealousy kills passion. Second, we need to follow the example of Jesus. In John 2:17 it says of him, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” Jesus was a kind gentle shepherd yet He was consumed with a passion for His father’s business. We see that same passion in His first disciples. They burned with a steady, inward fire. When the religious rulers told them to stop preaching, their response was, “we cannot but speak the things that we have seen and heard”. They had that fervent spirit and energy was released witnessed by all around.
We also need to have that same passion for the things of God and I have found the secret to accomplish it. We should cultivate a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. That relationship generates spiritual fervor and zeal. We don’t need to live our lives interpreting passivity and lack of emotion as maturity. There is a place for that, but we must also fan the flames of revival in our own lives and ignite the passion it will take to reach the lost of this world. As Tony Campolo said, “Instead of praying, ‘If I should die before I wake,’ we should pray, ‘Lord wake me up before I die!”. Oh, God, make us people of passion!