Setting Our Surroundings Ablaze
We are in the midst of one of the driest years that I can remember in my lifetime. Due to the drought conditions there have been numerous prairie fires within our state including the one that hit close to home to many of our New Life family in Beulah. These fires of course can be very destructive. But there's another fire that needs to start! A fire that will be both destructive and redemptive!
I have found myself so agitated over certain compromises I've seen in the church and in our nation. I even began feeling depressed for a time because I wondered why I felt so strong on the issues and started to wonder if I was just judgmental, wrong, or harsh in my thinking. Our nations moral values continue to sink to new lows and it seems so many believers are being pulled right along with it. Jesus predicted this very thing in Matthew 24:12 where He says, "Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold". I have spent all of my devotional time since the beginning of the year reading the New Testament over and over again. I've read the New Testament 4 times through so far this year. I've spent time reviewing the stories of the great revivalists of the past in the two volumes of "God's Generals". And through all of this I've come to one conclusion: we need to be set ablaze again so we can set a fire for God in our world.
We don't need to look like the world to attract the world into our churches or friendship, the world is looking for Jesus! Dean Niforatos says, "When spirituality wanes, man's complexities increase". Could that be why there seems to be so much cold indifference, division, hatred, and contempt around us? Could it be that as a believer I need to show the world something a little more tangible, something a little more real? Could it be that our world really is looking for a truly spiritual people? Could it be we have a nation bored to tears with the powerless gospel that has too often been lived and without realizing it are looking for the Jesus of the Bible to manifest through modern day believers?
Jesus said in Luke 12:49, "I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning"! I believe He speaks here of the baptism in the Holy Spirit that would result in an empowering and a burning fiery zeal of the believers to impact the world around us. He goes on in verses 50-53 to describe the price that will need to be paid to truly carry this fire. I don't care anymore! Some of what used to be so important to me are now a fading attraction. I have realized that I can't depend on someone else to be on fire just because I don't view myself as influential enough or capable. I can't wait for some fire to start somewhere else. I need to be set ablaze myself and through my life set a blaze for the glory of God! It's time for more than just casual Christianity. I need a Holy fire that brings a revival of Godly and Biblical love, zeal, and swiftness. I need my sluggish life burnt away and lit up with the Holy Spirit to cause me to glow again with earnestness, purifying my desire, and sharpening my convictions! I want to be quickly obedient and for my adoration of Jesus to always be greater than my need for man's approval.
How about you? Are you tired of business as usual in your walk with God? Are you tired of the increasing moral disasters we are witnessing? We need a visitation from God Himself once again. Don't wait for anyone else to get onboard. Ask God to burn in you again and then run! Run after Him!
If we're going to live for Jesus, then do it rad!
Marc P. Eidahl
Bismarck Campus Pastor
New Life Church