Recently I finished studying Beth Moore’s ‘Entrusted’ series and as I watched the promos for her other studies at the end of the disc I became encouraged. I want that fire for the Lord that she has. I’m not envious of what she has; I’m only using her as a goal-setting example, something to strive for. Beth went all in with what the Lord had called her to do; she whole-heartedly trusted Him to lead her true and her love for Him has grown so much that when she speaks His name you can feel that love and see that fire.
I want to love Him that deeply, to have that fire that has me standing in front of someone declaring boldly ‘This is Jesus! These are the Scriptures of Living Water. This is God raw, real, and here!’ I’m itching to proclaim, ‘Yes, it’s tough. The world seems to be against us because the devil doesn’t like when God does something wonderfully good and gives us hope. We also have our flesh over here trying to distract us, but thankfully that’s why God changes us and gives us the strength to practice self-discipline. Sure, it’s one thing to write it all down for someone to read; that’s great so they can return to it later. However, the written word loses the fire one can hear in the voice of those who speak, the fire that encourages each other.
Imagine the difference between hearing Billy Graham preach in person compared to reading about it a couple of cities over. I want that fire that has me digging in with my heels, ready to chase after Jesus wherever He leads me. A fire that has me jumping out of my seat shouting, “Hallelujah, Lord! Let’s do it!” or “What’s the plan for today, Lord, because I’m ready no matter what! Bring on the mystery!”
This is how I picture Paul as he pens the end of 1 Corinthians 9. He was full of fire, willing to do whatever it took, through self-discipline and perseverance, to achieve what God was calling him to do:
“Do you not know that in the race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”1 Corinthians 9:24-27
I don’t want to go through life aimlessly, never striving for anything and being content with being in a rut. I’m willing to go through the training, I’m willing to run the race. The Lord has led us to this point in our lives, giving us the strength to endure the changes that have led to this moment in time. We are here for a reason, not to sit aside and let life pass us by. Do we not wish excitedly to see what happens next? Will we not regret not living life fully for the Lord when we get older and look back to see how far we’ve come?
Because, in all honesty, if we aren’t willing to run, we won’t be far from the starting line when we reach the age when our bodies won’t let us run any more. If we aren’t training to be that boxer in the ring, boxing the enemy’s attacks back with prayer and practice, we will continue to be knocked down again and again by life and the trials that come with it. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being bullied by the forces unseen.
There was a quote by C.S. Lewis that I came across a few weeks ago and it just added to the burning desire to get more into the word and do more for the kingdom:
So, Lord, I pray that You set a fire in my soul as well as in the souls of all who read this and want that too. Teaching us what we need to lay down as we train for tomorrow. Showing us where we need to place our steps. Leading us down the paths we are to travel to aid Your kingdom, Jesus. And with Your Holy Spirit give us the words to speak and the strength to boldly speak them. As Sheila Walsh says, “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes.” Lord, help us to do this; help us to help others who You love. All in Jesus’s name. Amen!
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”1 Timothy 6:12
Song recommendations: ‘Soul on Fire’ by Third Day; ‘Set a Fire’ by Jesus Culture; ‘Start a Fire’ by Unspoken