“Get on fire for God and men will come and see you burn.” ― John Wesley
For a large portion of my life I have lived and worked in snow country. It is only just recently that God has given me my heart's desire to live in a warm climate near the beach.
Only just the other week, it was a sunny 70 degrees here while it was -55 degrees with the wind chill where I last pastored. I have never been a cold weather guy.
Recently I have been thinking about what the Apostle Paul meant when He was talking about being fervent in spirit in Romans 12:11
not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
The Greek word for fervent is "zeo" which means to boil with heat. This means that we have a mandate to keep our fire for the Lord hot no matter what the spiritual climate is around us.
I am sure that all of you can remember the very pointed quote about being hot or cold in the book of Revelation.
15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!
None of us want to be distasteful to the Lord.
None of us want to make him sick.
None of us want to be viewed as tasting like lukewarm Coke that has lost it's fizz.
So what do we do to keep the flames of fire burning in our spirit?
Here are 9 ways that will help you keep those revival fires burning.
Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)
Now I am not talking about dutifully doing your daily devotion with sleep filled eyes every morning.
I am talking about hungrily searching the scriptures for the voice of the Lord within their pages.
Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus who had their hearts blaze when the scriptures were explained to them by Jesus, (Luke 24:32) you need to dig into the scriptures and allow the Lord to start explaining the scriptures to you as well.
There are 3 things you need to have a blazing fire. Fuel, oxygen and heat.
Prayer is the oxygen you use to stoke the flames high.
Spending time in prayer is spending time in the presence of God, and the presence of God is the air that our souls need to be on fire.
Oswald Chambers put it bluntly:
“Prayer is the vital breath of the Christian; not the thing that makes him alive, but the evidence that he is alive.”
When you pray, you are breathing. You are taking in the vital element that gives life to your soul.
One of the things that keeps a fire small is containment. You cannot have a big fire in a small metal box.
The way to break these walls of containment is to worship the Lord with extravagance. Go beyond your comfort zone.
Offer up sacrifices of praise with your lips in greater degrees than you are comfortable with. Make praise and worship a true sacrifice of your self-conscious and self-inhibitions.
Make a decision that you will praise God in a more vocal, uninhibited way this year than ever before.
If you need help praising God, play a recording by one of your favorite Christian artists and sing along.
Challenge yourself to learn how to raise your hands, bow on your knees in worship, and even get flat on your face.
These things will break down any walls of containment where you are keeping the fire in a small metal box.
The Apostle Paul gives us a very pointed exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.
Is there anything in your life that is hindering the Spirit's work?
Are you resisting doing something or giving up something that you know the Spirit is tapping you on the shoulder about?
Do you have mindsets or mentalities that are contrary to allowing the Holy Spirit to move?
Some of the greatest breakthroughs I have had in my life have been when I stopped telling the Holy Spirit how He can operate.
I am very good at setting up preconditions that the Holy Spirit has to fulfill before I will believe that it is Him. I may be good at setting those preconditions up, but I have found that the Holy Spirit will not jump through my hoops.
Those preconditions were stifling the Holy Spirit.
The Bible says that in the last days the love of many will grow cold. Many times this is caused by unforgiveness and bitterness taking hold and growing in your heart rather than love.
Take time to do a spring cleaning of your heart and let go of any unforgiveness you may hold towards someone and remove any roots of bitterness that might have sprung up.
Nothing puts out the flame of God’s love faster than bitterness. Don’t allow unforgiveness to freeze your soul.
Guard your heart and deal with offenses quickly.
Have you ever gone camping and had a raging fire at night. Many times in the morning there will still be coal embers that are in the fire pit.
If you want to build a new fire, the first thing you do is gather all the coals together.
This is why we should never live the Christian life in seclusion. God called us to be in community.
But make sure you are in a church that is on fire for God—because a dead church could put out what is left of your fire.
If your church compromises God’s Word or ignores the Great Commission, you should find a new church home.
Spiritual passion is ignited when it is being used to serve others. Start using the gifts and talents that God has given you to help others.
Every believer in Jesus has been given gifts and talents and you are no exception. You must face your fears and stretch your faith as you begin to step out, but soon you will find there is no greater joy than being an instrument of the Holy Spirit to bless people.
When you become obedient to stop burying your gifts and talents and start investing them into the lives of others, then you will be given even more to give. (Matthew 25:14)
Everyone has to learn how to make fire. We do not normally discover it naturally.
My dad showed me how to build a campfire. He taught me how to light a furnace. We need spiritual dads and moms to teach us how to light our spiritual fires.
I sometimes ask these firebrands to lay hands on me and pray.
Sometimes I make appointments with them so I can glean from their wisdom and experience.
You can be sure that when Elisha saw Elijah go to heaven in a fiery chariot, he was affected by the heat.
Get as close as possible to those who are burning for God, and you will be ignited.
The biggest thing you can do to raise your spiritual temperature and light the fire of God in your life is to spread your flame.
There is nothing more exciting, in my opinion, than leading a person to faith in Christ. Yet statistics show that 95 percent of Christians have never led one soul to salvation.
I guarantee if you step out of your timidity and share the gospel with a neighbor, a co-worker, a server at a restaurant or a stranger on the subway, your spiritual temperature will instantly rise 30 degrees—and you will want to share with someone else.
Just as John Wesley said that if you light yourself on fire that men will come for miles to watch you burn.
Part of that is spreading the flame to the spectators.
Challenge yourself this year to speak of your faith, share your testimony, and pray with people who need the reality of Jesus in their life.
Now go stoke those flames and get on fire for God.
Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos Ca. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.
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