"You cannot kindle a fire in any other heart until it is burning within your own." - Eleanor Doan
I posted this quote a few days ago on my fb page. My niece's response? "I don't get it." Sadly, I don't think she's the only one who doesn't get it. When did we lose our fire, our passion? When did we begin to surrender? We, as Christians, have begun, in my opinion, to surrender, to acquiese to satan. It begins very subtly. We become lazy in one aspect, one area of our lives, eg. exercise. Some will push back and say that has nothing to do with "spirituality" or faith. Bull! We need to begin to realize that Christ wants all aspects of our lives....ALL. When we don't strive to be what He has called us to be, we abdicate our responsibilities as Christ-followers.
I look to the word. God was constantly chipping away at great biblical heroes; to make them more, to train them. Moses was sent to the wilderness for forty years so that God could prepare him to lead the Jews to freedom. David reaped the consequences of his sin to be broken before Him, to be called 'a man after God's own heart'. Gideon's army was taken away from him so that he could face his own fear and learn that God provides. Peter denied Christ, yet Jesus declared, "On this rock I'll build my church". Paul, perhaps the greatest missionary of all time, was stoned, shipwrecked, locked up. Christ Himself asked the Father to "let this cup pass".
Why? Because His ways are not our ways. He is interested in our character, our heart, our passion and its development. That fire that should burn inside us comes from God but that doesn't mean that we just lay down and wait for Him to do something. Be proactive, be faithful in the small things of life.
Hear the words of Paul. "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us." - Phillipians 3:12-14
Paul says he presses on, he works to achieve. I personally believe this effort, this discipline, this fire applies to every aspect of our lives. If we call ourselves followers of Christ, the Bible says we should be striving for perfection. It doesn't say reach perfection, it says strive; we must press on, we must try. It's called discipline.
I read an article recently about Lance Armstrong. One of the things we know about him, along with his phenomenal physical abilities, is the strength of his will. This is a man who knows about striving, pressing on, fire in his soul. This iron in the soul, the fire in our belly...we owe it to Christ who came for us, who gave all for love. Imagine the will it took for Christ to go to the cross, to experience that anguish. He didn't have to do that. He chose to because of His love that could not be broken, His will that would not surrender.
If we are not pushing ourselves, stretching our soul, our minds, our bodies, our hearts...if we are not striving to be more, love more, then we have already surrendered who we were meant to be.