God is fire. He is not like fire…He is fire. The Word of God tells us in Hebrews 12:29 that “our God is a consuming fire.” To walk with God is to walk with One who is holy, good, passionate, pure, majestic and merciful in such intensity that He can only be described as fire.
The beauty of being in covenant with God is that the intensity and brightness of his nature can and will consume everything in us that is earthly, unspiritual or demonic. We only have to draw near enough to allow him to consume us!
You were made to burn. You were never made to burn out!
But in order to burn we must understand how to steward this flame that God has given us. Let’s look at Paul’s letter to Timothy to further understand our role in ensuring that our faith, that living flame of God on our hearts, does not burn out!
2 Timothy 1:5-7
5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Fanning this gift of God (the faith!) into flame will result in fear being
HOW DO WE FAN THIS GIFT OF GOD INTO FLAME?
LOOK TO JESUS BY READING HIS WORD (as opposed to looking to the world)
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” Practically, one of the simplest ways to “look at Jesus” is to read the Scriptures that speak of him! And as you learn to discern him through His word, you will begin to recognize that Christ can be found throughout the Bible. Looking to Jesus, through His word, will cause the flame of God to grow in your heart. Contrastingly, looking to the world (news cycles, social media or people) will cause our faith to suffer. If you feel as though your faith is suffering, there is a good chance you are spending more time looking at the world than you are Jesus!
LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD (as opposed to listening to the world)
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) The second way to fan into flame this gift of God is to regularly listen to the word of Christ. The best way to do this is read the Bible out loud or listen to the Bible app. Personally, I like to redeem the time that I’m in my car by listening to God’s word. On a short 20 minute commute I can often listen to 4-5 chapters in God’s word. This sets my mind on things above and gives me spiritual food that nourishes me as I go about my day. Be mindful about the voices you listen to! There is a temptation to exalt the professional opinion of others to the same level as God and his Word. This is a trap and will cause your faith to suffer.
SPEAK GOD’S WORD (as opposed to speaking the things of the world)
This is my secret weapon! Romans 10 speaks of the spirit of faith which we proclaim! For years I was content simply reading God’s word and listening to it. But it wasn’t until I began to speak His word, out loud, that I began to experience His word on another level. I could literally feel the flame of God on my heart grow in passion. One of my favorite things to do is to thank the Father for all the things that are true in my life because of what Christ has done. Try it with me. Pray these things out loud and notice what happens to your heart!
Father, thank you that I have been seated with Christ in heavenly places. Thank you that I do not have to live today with an earthly perspective. I have access to a divine perspective and divine resources sufficient for the problems I will face.
Thank you that my sins have been forgiven!
Thank you for your steadfast love that never fails!
Thank you that I am dead to sin and alive to you in every way!
Thank you that I have been born again to a living hope!
Thank you that you are with me and that I am never alone!
My hope is in you!
I trust you!