"Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master."
- Romans 12:11 MSG
I have been receiving prayer requests through my ministry for many years now, and one of the requests I get the most is for a renewed passion for God. People who were on fire for the Lord when they first gave their lives to Christ become bewildered and disillusioned when their enthusiasm for God wanes. When they describe their spiritual condition, they often use the words "dry," "stale" or "stagnant." They don't feel like their prayers have the power they used to, and reading Scripture doesn't excite them anymore. If this describes you today, let me assure you that you can get your spiritual fire back, if you want to. The Bible says: "Stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you..." (2 Timothy 1:6 AMP) When we have lost our fiery passion for the things of God, we have to remind ourselves that we have the ability - and the responsibility - to "rekindle" it.
The first thing we should do is to ask the Lord to fill us afresh with His Holy Spirit in such a way that we will notice a distinct, encouraging improvement. Then we should ask for godly wisdom. What was I doing at the beginning that I am not doing now? In the Book of Revelation, Jesus tells His followers: "I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. Repent...and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord]..." (Revelation 2:4,5 AMP) When the Lord showed me these verses recently, I immediately became convicted. I sought Him about what changes I could make that would help me to have a deeper walk with Him. He reminded me that since I bought an electric mug warmer for my home office, I had begun sitting at my computer answering email first thing each morning, instead of seeking Him in prayer and Bible reading at my kitchen table. I couldn't believe that a simple thing like wanting to keep my tea hot had caused me to drift away from God, but it was true. I sincerely repented for my actions, and I promptly bought another mug warmer to keep at my kitchen table. And I have been seeking the Lord first thing in the morning ever since. Has it made a difference in my life and my relationship with God? Unquestionably. And I am so thankful that I didn't settle for the lukewarmness that had begun to creep into my spiritual life.
As I learned from this experience, misplaced priorities can dampen and diminish the Holy Spirit's power in our lives. Scripture says, "Do not quench the Spirit." (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NASB) We quench the Spirit when we allow relationships with others to consume many of the precious moments that should be spent with God. Sometimes we even give more attention to our televisions and telephones than we do to our Savior. Then we wonder why we don't feel close to the Lord, or hear from Him the way we long to. Just like we need to spend time with our spouses, friends, and family members in order to have an intimate, meaningful relationship with them, we need to spend time with God. We can say that we want a deeper walk with the Lord, but if our actions say otherwise, we shouldn't be surprised if we experience frequent and prolonged spiritual "dry" times.
People often tell me, "I just can't discipline myself to spend regular time with God." I have to remind them that they have been given a spirit of "discipline and self-control." (2 Timothy 1:7 AMP) We've already got everything we need to live the Christian life with a passion for God. The Lord is more than willing to help us, but He expects us to do our part. Sometimes, only very small changes will need to be made. Other times, we will be asked to do something painful, such as forsake a cherished relationship, hobby, or job. In any case, when we make the decision to put God first in every way, we will have all the resources of heaven on our side. The Bible says: "Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame." (Romans 12:11 MSG) What are you willing to do today to rekindle your passion for God?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for settling for a lukewarm walk with You. Show me what I need to do right now to have more of Your presence and Your power in my life. Help me to restructure my priorities so that they will reflect Your plans and purposes for me. Thank You that as I fan into flame the inner fire that is in me, I will have a deeper walk with You than ever before!
- J. M. Farro