Today in praise and worship we were singing a song by Jesus Culture “Burning Ones.” It was as if I was hearing the song for the first time. God has been speaking to me about love – love for Him and love for others. At the end of the song it says:
We are Your burning ones
We are consumed by You
We set our lives apart
We are consumed by You
So let this love be like a fire
Let our life be like a flame
Fill our souls with Your desire
Let our passion bring You fame
As we sang those words, I felt my heart quicken as I thought about my love. I realize that there are times that my love is more like a lit matchstick than a consuming fire. I have been content with “This little light of mine.”
Although I never spoke the words to God, my attitude and willingness to submit speak louder. “Let me be a light, but let’s just keep it on the surface.” “Consume the tip of the match, but let’s not get to crazy.” Just enough to shed a little light for those around me, but certainly not enough to impact a city or region. Certainly not a passion that would bring God fame.
Yet, deep within me there is a desire to see this region transformed for God. A desire to see the collective body of Christ burn for Him. A desire to see Christian’s lives so transformed that the fire doesn’t just consume us, but it burns out the things in this region that never belonged here – the abuse, the addiction, the greed, the poverty, the perversion and the religious mindset. A desire to see people not only set free, but transformed into His image.
He has been showing me, that change will start with love. It is the love of God that will transform our lives. As we accept the love He has for us, as we begin to understand that love for us is His very nature and being, we will in turn want to give love back to Him. As we learn to love Him with our whole heart, soul and mind, only then are we able to truly love others. God knew that we would need to love Him before we could love our brothers and sisters and then extend that love to the world around us. His love is perfect, the love of those around us is not. We must learn to love a God whose love is perfect and receive His perfect love, before we can extend love to those who are less than perfect, and who at times will downright hate us.
I realized as I sang those words, I have to let love begin in me. I have to allow the love of God to burn brighter in me. If I am not completely consumed by God’s love for me, and in love with Him, the flame of my life will not do anything more than it always has. It may illuminate to others in my near vicinity, but it will never touch God’s passion. God’s passion is people. If my life is not filled with love for God, my soul will never be filled with a passion for hurting people. I may care about them, I may try to help them, but without passion I will eventually loose interest. I will quickly switch from one thing to the next as something more interesting comes along.
God is made famous by people who are consumed by Him. The people who had accepted God’s love for them, and who had developed His passion for people in their soul. People like Peter, Paul and John. Or more modern people like Mother Teresa, Smith Wigglesworth, John Wycliffe, Williams Tyndale, John Wesley, Billy Graham. These are all people who allowed their life to bring God fame, by allowing Him to fill their soul with His desires. They didn’t settle for a little light, they pressed in for His consuming fire. I will likely never reach the magnitude that those people did, but I can live fully consumed in love and with the passion in my soul that is God’s passion.
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