I know your works, you are neither hot nor cold, so because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I shall spew you out of my mouth
Strong words from Jesus! He def doesn't like His Body to be "lukewarm". Lukewarm is room temperature, tepid, but when used to describe people, lukewarm means lacking enthusiasm. In today's world it is easy to get caught up in day to day living! We have so many things going on, so much to take care of...our spouse, children, parents, job, church, and all the kids doings...dance, athletics, sleep overs, etc. . We work to live and if we lack enthusiasm for the things of the Lord, for His presence, if we are lukewarm for Him we not only work to live, we begin to live to work! Lukewarmness breeds complacency .Complacency is defined as self satisfied often without the awareness of pending trouble. If we are lukewarm about the things of God, we can fall into being satisfied with where we are at...naturally, and spiritually, and before you know it we find ourselves...."away"! Time to stir the fire up, you know.. that hunger we used to have for the Lord! We begin to pray for the fire. We ask God to send His fire. In church, we songs petitioning the Lord to "Stir up the flame!" "Set a fire in my soul, one I can't contain, one I control"
Why are we asking God to do that? He is the all consuming fire and His very Spirit dwells within us! The fire is already inside of us, it's up to us to fan it aflame!
2 Timothy 1: 6-7 (AMP)
"Stir up, rekindle the embers, fan the flame and keep burning.- the gracious gift of God, the inner fire"
He has already given us Himself, His Son, His Holy Spirit, how much more do we need? It's our job to keep the fire burning! Father has been speaking to my heart several ways to begin stirring up the flame, to stoke the fire of God within me. the more I keep my eyes on Him and on purpose begin to stir the embers, the more the complacency will fall away! I have to want to be hungry for His presence, I have to want to BURN! I have to enter into this quest for fire with intentionality, to do it "on purpose!"
1. Get in His Word
We gotta get in His Word, and begin to know Him! The more revelation we have of His goodness and His love for us, the more we want to know Him more!
Some mama birds feed their babies by chewing the food and then regurgitating for the nestlings to feed on....Many Christians are like these nestlings in that they depend on others to feed them the Word of God.! We read the most popular Christian authors, watch sermons and teachings on GOD channel and YouTube, go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and never read the Word of God for ourselves! It's time to grow up! God wants to reveal Hisself to us, through His Word and His Son, Jesus! The revelation of who He is and His plan for our lives is exciting and real. It produces thankfulness, and thankfulness and gratitude will begin to fan the embers!
2. Apply His Word
Learn scripture. Learn to stand on His Word. Let His word encourage and lift up! Say the following aloud with me-
"I can do all things through Christ Jesus who Strengthens me" " I am the head not the tail, above not beneath!" "I am more than a conquerer!" As I am speaking His Word over my life, I can feel the stirring in the deepest part of me! Do you? When we find ourselves in trials, situations and circumstances that are less than desireable, and sometimes extremely traumatic, instead of telling the Lord how we would like to see Him fix it all, let's try something new. Ask the Lord what He would have us learn from the situation and also how He wants to reveal Himself~ then join Him in it! Begin to apply His Word to the problem! Ask the Holy Spirit to show you His ways! Woot!
3. Lifestyle of Confession and Repentance
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness
Some might say "Well Jesus lived, was beaten and crucified, died and rose again so that I might be forgiven and have eternal life. He is the same yesterday, today and forver...so by the favor of God, by His grace I am forgiven forever! Why should I confess and repent?" my answer to that is because He says too! We all sin daily! The more we become sin conscious, the more we see the deep need for the blood of Christ! I am not saying to focus on our sins, but we can't ignore them either! Also if you hear yourself repeatedly confessing the same sin over, maybe it's time to get at the root of it and surrender it to the Fire of God that He may burn the chaff! When God is burning something up in us, it can often become uncomfortable and our tendency is to pull away! In the natural we are taught as little children to stay away from fire so that we wont be burned, but spiritually we must purposely and intentionally lean into His fire so that He can purify us!
4. Worship extravagantly
The Bible tells us that when we praise Him that He inhabits our praises, that word inhabits - to sit with to marry. When we praise Him, when we worship Him, He is here with us in intimacy! Get alone with the Lord and worship Him with the creativity He has given you! In the Old Testament, many different Hebrew concepts and words have been translated as "praise" - Ones that mean to shout, to sing, to spin, to dance, to play instruments, to lift our hands, to kneel before Him! The Lord is repeatedly celebrated with timbrels, dance, banners, songs, poetry and more. My point is when you are with Him alone, you are with Him alone! Adore Him in whatever way you desire! "Whatever way" means just that...many come to mind right now : Dancing, singing, shouting, flagging, painting, writing, use the gifts and desires He has given you to express your love for Him, pour out extravagantly!
5. Serve Him, Serve others
Time to get our eyes off of ourselves and on to Him! As we focus on Him and His goodness we will become less and less complacent, less focused on ourselves, less self centered...allowing the embers inside of us to get fresh wind, blowing them to flame! Look for ways to serve others, to prefer others over ourselves, to show them the love of Christ that He has shown us!
6. Eternal Life
Become aware, on purpose, of eternal life with Christ! Think about heaven and what it will be like to praise Him 24/7! Think about new bodies! (woohoo!) When we begin to think about eternal life, then it is so much easier to put our earthly lives into proper perspective!
James 4:14 Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow, for what is your life? It's even a vapor that appears for a little time then vanishes away.
When we allow ourselves to think about hanging with Jesus for a thousand years it helps us to realize how short our time is here on this earth and how much of that we waste on _______________ you fill in the blank. Pondering eternal life will make us look at our family, friends, and yes, even lost strangers in a different light! An urgency begins to burn in us, that will compel us to share the love of Christ with others, to witness, to testify, to preach the Gospel, so that none, not one will perish! Begin to ask the Lord to open your eyes to the divine appointments that He has set up for you with others! WOOOOT!
Thankfulness, gratitude, helps us to burn for Him! Remember where you came from! Remember what your life was like when He reached down and grabbed you from the pit! Remember all the times He has provided for you! Remember how He delivered you! Remember how He healed you! Remember how He saved you! Remember that He is alive and still doing these in you!
We all know that Jesus died on the cross and rose again for us, that we might have eternal life. We know it in our minds and we know it in our hearts. We pray in the name of Jesus, we even ask to be more like Him, but we must never forget.
We must never forget the price He paid for us! We must intentionally think of the agony He endured for us! We must keep His crucifixion in the forefront! We cannot become lukewarm about what He did for us and why! We must remember the Blood! We must remember Covenant! We must remember that His love for us is never ending and He paid for us with His life! When I find myself just saying the words, "Jesus lived, was crucified -died on the Cross- and rose again" without feeling the impact of what He has done, then I know it's time to revisit that place inside of me that is overwhelmed by this love for me! I will read about the crucifixion and sometimes will watch the Passion of the Christ so that what He did is fresh in my Spirit and not just words that I say....definitely stirs the fire!
Remember WHY.....LOVE! Yes Father God is the all consuming fire, but He is also LOVE! He not only loves, but He IS love! and that love is for us, you and me! WOW
When we begin to understand, to get it down in us, how huge His love for us...unconditional, never ending, how can we NOT burn for Him?
I know that this has been a long blog, but I felt He wanted it written. Right now ask the Lord what is hindering you from bursting into flame, from being one of the burning ones! He will bring those hindrances to light, so that we may surrender them to Him, and burn!