Luke 12:35-38 (NLT)
“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.”
Is my lamp burning? Am I dressed for service? Am I waiting for the return of my master? Am I ready to open the door when Christ knocks? Does it really matter how I live? What I do? His Grace is sufficient for me right? I believe that if people really believed that Jesus Christ was real and God alive that we would all live differently. Consciousness of the reality of the Lord’s Return and the importance of faith would actually make a difference in the hearts and lives of humanity. This world is messed up. Justice is perverted. There is no real love here. But since this is the reality that people know, we choose to make the best of it. What if this is all that there is? Then what? Would passion for Christ still be worth it? Yes.
God is alive whether a single person chooses to believe it or not. Jesus Christ died for every single sin committed by the people that populate this planet even those who have been consumed by the most abased, vile evil imaginable. The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity given to all those who call on the Name of Jesus to begin the fire that is the all-consuming, devouring Love of God. Where is that “passion” for the House of God that David spoke of? (Psalm 69:9) God no longer inhabits the temple made of earthly materials. His Spirit now has made its home in the hearts of His People. (I Corinthians 6:19-20) We must feed the fire and fan the flames of faith in order to burn with passion for our Lord and Savior once again. Those who are not “on fire” will be burned up in the fire. It is simple science.
Exodus 3:1-3 (NLT)
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”
Here was Moses tending sheep in field. He started off in a palace ending up in a pasture. Sin put him on the run but God had other plans for His Guy. A bush began burning and caught his eye. The fact that as it burned it was not consumed drew Moses from the field to the fire. What an awesome God we serve? He is always trying to get our attention. The Lord draws us from the darkness into the Light. This Light is burning inside of us. It is the spark that begins when we call on the Name of Jesus Christ to save us and deliver us from our sin. What we do with it from then on is completely up to us? Will you fan this flame into a fiery passion for God? Or will you allow it to go out and return to the darkness of your old life and dying existence? Moses decided to follow the Light, fan the flame and step into right-standing with God that would one day lead to spending Eternity with Him. How about you? I am asking myself the same question today. Am I feeding the fire inside me?
Hebrews 12:27-29 (NLT)
This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.
Let’s talk about fire for a moment. You need three elements to start a fire and maintain it. Heat, fuel and air is what must be present to create a fire in the natural. We also need these three elements spiritually to develop passion for God that becomes faith leading to hope. The spiritual fire elements are desire, hunger, and the Holy Spirit. You will never be passionate about your relationship with God without them. Your faith will never grow. Hope will be elusive outside of becoming passionate about Jesus Christ and pursuing a relationship with Him. God is a devouring fire. Only those who can stand in His Presence not being consumed will make it into Eternity. There must be a fire in each of us to become one with our Father in Heaven or we will not make it.
I Corinthians 3:13-15 (NLT)
But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
This is not a message of gloom and doom. It is not a fear tactic like turn or burn. We must become worthy vessels fully prepared to encounter God one day. Fire exposes the structure. It removes all the temporary and superficial things leaving behind the foundation. God is looking for those who will go through the fire and faith will be exposed. Faith pleases God. It is impossible to get His Approval without it. We are going to go through fire. You will not have to wait until Judgment Day – most of us have just come out of one, are in the midst of one or there is one just around the corner. Fire is not punishment by God but rather reminds us of His Passion for us. His Love for us will not let go. He wants the best for us. The closer we move in the right direction the hotter the flames and the greater the rewards. The lesser things of life are removed along with every substitution and compromise as we become one with God’s Love. So what exactly do you need to have passion for the Lord?
Psalm 73:23-26 (NLT) – Desire
Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.
I desire you Lord more than anything in this world. These are just words until we do something about it. Do your attitudes and actions express a deep longing to be closer to Christ? Some may tell you that God requires our all or nothing at all. I don’t believe it. He will take what you give Him makes something out of it and in return you will give Him more. This has been my experience. Human beings do not have a trusting nature for the most part so why God would set forth an ultimatum? There would be would contradictory to grace. There would be no need for it. This life is all about taking the spark given when we discover His Love and allowing His Work to be completed in us at the working of His Hands. In order for this to work, we must want what He wants. We must want God. We must want His Son. We must want His Spirit. It must become a desire that drives us to pursue Him on a regular basis which creates a relationship. Like a marriage, I loved my husband when I married him more than a decade ago. But now that we have been together, I know that I truly love him more today than back then. I know that he loves me through his commitment to me. Do you belong to the Lord? Have you given your heart to Him? There must be desire, passion and longing in this association if you want passion for Christ.
Matthew 5:6 (NLT) Hunger
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice for they will be satisfied.
We must hunger and thirst for righteousness to attain the fuel necessary to maintain passion for the Lord. Hunger is fed with the Word of God. We must know the Truth to be set free. The world’s justice is perverted by self-gain and personal interest. God’s Truth is motivated by unconditional love, overwhelming grace and enduring hope. God blesses those who hunger and thirst to be in right-standing with Him. Misdirected zeal occurs when we try to go after God our way rather than His Way. (Romans 10:2-3) There is a staunch warning that people perish from a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6) Jesus told the woman at the well that true worshipers would do so in spirit and in truth. Truth is God’s Word. We must live on it. Ingesting it daily, allowing it to nourish our soul and discard the waste of the world from within us. The more we come to know the Lord and His Intentions the more passionate we will become.
2 Corinthians 5:4-5 (NLT) His Spirit
While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is essential in our pursuit of Jesus Christ. He is evidence that Jesus is alive and well. We need His Spirit to be passionate about Him. His Spirit helps us in our weakness. (Romans 8:26) The Spirit of God teaches us, instructs us and reminds us of God’s Will, Word and Way. (John 14:26) He is our guarantee that we can have all that the Lord has promised. The Holy Spirit takes the Word that we hunger for and writes it on our heart. He strengthens us to do God’s Will and see His Promises. He is our Partner here on the earth keeping us connected to the things of God. We need God’s Spirit to have passion for Christ. He solidifies God’s Love in our life.
I Peter 1:7-8 (NLT)
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.
When facing the fiery trials of life that are inevitable, it is our passion for Christ that sustains us. It carries us through to the other side. I find that after each one the collateral damage is nothing of worth. I find the wisdom of God’s Love discovered in such a time of undoing only convinces me more that His Love for me is passionate and unending. It is my desire to be His Partner in this love affair that Jesus offers. To do so, I must work to fan the flames of faith inside me and turn it to a flame that is unending. Burning love for the Lord begins with a spark that will quickly go out without desire, hunger and His Spirit. I need God’s Love. The passion that three Hebrew men had took them through a literal fire so that when they came out not a hair was singed nor did their clothes reek of fire. (Daniel 3:22-27) I want this kind of passion for the Lord. I want His Love to consume me so that all the world sees is its burning embers in my life. Lord, today feed the fire in me.
Luke 12:49 (NLT) “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!”