How to Ignite a Fire in Your Soul
- Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of E. Glenn Wagner's new book, Fire in Your Bones: Ignite Your Life with Power, (LifeBridge Books, 2009).
Your faith is not for you alone; it's meant to be shared with others. But if you don't have a fire in your soul that burns with passion for God's purposes, you'll lack the power to proclaim the Gospel as He calls you to do.
Has your faith dwindled down to the embers of complacency or apathy when you encounter lost people? If so, it's time to ignite a fresh fire in your soul. Here's how:
Expect God to use your ordinary life in extraordinary ways. Realize that you don't need to depend on your own limited strength to reach lost people for Christ. All God asks is that you open yourself up to receive His Holy Spirit and follow where He leads you. When you do, the Spirit will empower you to share your faith in ways that will draw people to Christ. Rest assured that God will use your efforts to share the Gospel despite your own faults. You'll become a powerful force once the Holy Spirit burns inside your soul.
Place your confidence in God rather than your own abilities. Acknowledge that you simply can't produce any results of eternal significance on your own. No matter how much biblical knowledge you accumulate or how eloquent you are when sharing your faith, you're bound to fail if you're not trusting in the One who does have the power to change people's lives: God. While you should always strive for excellence in any task you undertake - whether it's sharing the Gospel, or doing something else - your motivation for doing your best should be to join God in His work, and your confidence should be in God rather than in your own efforts. Aim to cultivate a heart that relies completely on God each day. Pray for God to work through you to do much more than you ever could ask or imagine yourself, and expect Him to do so.
Get "down under" God. This means submitting every part of your life - not just your speaking, teaching, and preaching, but all of your day-to-day decisions, as well - to God's leadership. Develop some daily habits to help you make and keep your relationship with God at the center of your life: Bible reading, prayer, fasting, worship with others at church, etc. Ask God to anoint your life and aim to please Him by how you choose to live each day. Make it your top priority each day to invest in your relationship with God; don't devote more time and energy to anyone or anything else in your life than you do to God.
Embrace your true identity. Avoid the unhealthy extremes of being either too driven by your own ego or too self-deprecating. Instead, pray for God to help you see yourself as He sees you. When you have the humility to recognize that you must depend on God to do anything that matters, and when you have the confidence to recognize that God made you in His image for great purposes and deeply loves you, then you'll be free to live in ways fueled by a burning passion to follow where God leads you.
Experience Jesus' presence and help others encounter Him. When you head to a worship service, don't go out of mere obligation. Instead, anticipate being changed there through an actual encounter with Jesus. Pursue God's presence by seeking Him in prayer. Consider what people receive from you when you're trying to share your faith with them. Do they get religious information, or do they sense Jesus Himself at work in your life? Ask God to anoint your efforts to reach out to others by helping them see something of Him reflected in you.
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