Earlier this month I feel in love with Will Reagan and United Pursuit Band’s song, “Set A Fire”. The song simply cries out over and over, “No place I’d rather be! No place I’d rather be! No place I’d rather be, than here in Your love! Here in Your love! So set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain, that I can’t contain control! I want more of You God! I want more of You God!” When I first heard it, stumbling across a video of it on Youtube and then buying it, I listened it to for literally five or six hours straight and then pretty often for the next few weeks in prayer and going about my day, singing it to God.
One day I was thinking about this song and it didn’t seem like a priority to ask God to set a fire in my soul when I was already on fire. Like I really love Jesus and, though not perfect, I really am walking with Him and committed to our relationship and His will for me. If you think about Revelations 3:15-16, ”I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth,” though God has certainly has been working on me for a while (with plenty of patience, grace, and mercy), I am pretty much on the hot side of the equation. But God spoke to me and very clearly said, “Just because you’re distinguishably hot (rather than lukewarm or cold) doesn’t mean you’re as hot as you can be, as hot as I want you to be!” It reminds me of how quickly those of us who are more “serious” or “mature” can get comfortable with where we are when, in actuality, there is ALWAYS a call for more, an expectation from God for progress in our lives. It is wonderful that we are at where we are in God but I just want to encourage you to wholeheartedly push for progress like never before regardless of where you are, whether completely cold or burning hot. There’s so much more for us and a greater work God wants to do in our lives. We can never become satisfied or complacent. We can’t just maintain the fire where it’s at now. We have to be desperate, even if we’ve been saved for twenty years and past the “little” stuff for a while, for more of God and extraordinarily committed to His will rather than church as usual, for our fire to grow. We act as if there is a limit, often based on what we see around us, but there is no limit! If ALL of us in the church were radically committed to our growth and God’s will, we would ever be moving forward, doing God’s work His way wherever He sends us. But because we’re not, things just keep going as usual when God truly has SO MUCH MORE (and actually isn’t pleased). May we be ever forward, ever higher, ever closer to Him! If you’re hot, it’s time to get HOTTER. May this song be our prayer to God. “Set the fire God! Increase our fire! Help us to tend to our fire and fan the flames! And with each day let us love and live more for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.” I’m determined to have more. And I’m excited for the more He’s going to give.
“I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power. I want to live in such a way that I am desperate for Him to come through.” -Francis Chan
If you want to look back one year from now and see spiritual progress, there are some things you have to do now. Like any good relationship, when you sow into your relationship with God, it will reap the benefits and prosper. If you seek Him consistently with your whole heart, you will find Him consistently. If you find Him consistently, you will know Him better. When you know Him better, you will love Him more. When you love Him more, you will obey Him, walking with Him more closely. When you obey Him, walking more closely, you will grow spiritually, hear Him better, and be wholly in the will of God. And that is the best place to be. But it all starts with regular investment.
TODAY we are choosing what spiritual regrets (if any) we will have one year from now. Think about that. By our actions — in our choice to invest or not in our spiritual growth and well-being — we decide whether or not we will look back and say, “Man. I wish I would’ve spent more time with God last year.” How do you want to be able to truthfully answer the question, “Are you better in God or closer to God or more mature spiritually now than you were a year ago?” Our actions are answering that question each day. None of us want to say, “Yeah, I actually am not that much better or farther along.” Perpetual spiritual immaturity is not okay! Let’s decide to not have regrets later by doing what we need to do now. We don’t want to be like a husband and wife or a parent with a child wondering what happened with a destroyed relationship with that spouse or child with whom they “wish they would have spent more time with” earlier. None of the time spent with God will be wasted or regretted. I am absolutely convinced you will not look back and say, “How I wish I would have spent less time with God in 2012 [or when I was younger].” Most people will sadly be saying the opposite. In community (because we cannot do this alone), let us do what it takes to avoid regrets and the “should’ve-would’ve-could’ves.” That does not have to be our story. Invest the time in your walk with God NOW and watch God bless your relationship with Him and your spiritual growth! There is grace (praise the Lord!) but God still wants more from us than we’re giving. We must strive each day to be consistently better. This is God’s work (Philippians 1:6) and He uses church leadership (Ephesians 4:11-16) but He wants to involve us. We have to make a choice. Progress is not automatic. Do what He wants (whether in prayer, study of the Word, fasting, church attendance, ministry, etc.) and watch God do the rest. And then we can look back and say with wonder, “Look at what God did in 2012!” I’m looking forward to seeing Him respond to our offering.