[This is not a biblical study of the fire of God, of which there is much to say, but rather a reference to a turn of phrase commonly used in Christian circles]
Christians are familiar with the expression: ‘On Fire for God’.
Certainly in my youth I would have seen myself as being ‘On Fire for God’ (and by God’s grace – I was).
This fire was accompanied by perceived necessary zeal that went with it.
There is no doubt we are more idealistic in our younger years.
So – fire + zeal + idealism – makes for a potent positive concoction.
I remember well, how we took to the streets to spread the gospel. Great days!
I pause, because years ago, we were told of the older generation reminiscing in spiritual nostalgia about the ‘good ol’ days’. ‘Things were better then etc.’… Followed by the question: “But what about now?”
Paul’s exhortation to “forget those things which are behind…” usually came in the midst of verbal advice to stop basking in the past and press towards the mark for the future prize.
“Don’t think of being ‘on fire’ in the past tense – make sure you are on fire now!”
Well – am I? Are we?
There is no doubt in my mind that there are seasons in God. And if I compare myself in this present season – with seasons of the past – I can drift into discouragement, as a result of reflecting too much on great former seasons of the manifest presence of God.
However I am reminded:
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Such a season is not necessarily of our own making. And v18 – tells us the response we should make.
As I sit writing this piece, I have the thought that there is nothing to add.
Honesty to the rescue!
I always try to be absolutely honest with The Lord in prayer.
7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:…
So with a heart that wants to be on fire, and zealous for the Lord, and hopes it still is. Here’s my prayer – [care to join me?]
“Lord I’m not the youthful ‘zealot’ anymore – but my heart still longs to please you. Forgive me for any shortcomings and let me burn with your fire…” Amen