The Fire of Your Heart

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Have you struggled with the will of God for your life?  Are you asking the hard question:  ” What is it You want me to do?”  I have spent much time asking this question and have found throughout the years the answer has been the same – I must speak about God.  I’ve felt this urge, this burning, from a very early age and it has only become stronger as I’ve become older.  Did I become a preacher?  Not in the traditional sense of the word, but I do preach throughout my day.  Wherever I am I find I’m talking about God.   It’s a burning within that I’ve never really understood, but I MUST talk about Jesus.

I was reading through my devotional based upon Max Lucado’s writings (thanks again, friend!) and this one spoke to me, of my burning within:

My God, I want to do what you want.  Your teachings are in my heart.  ~Psalm 40:8

Want to know God’s will for your life?  Then answer this question:  What ignites your heart?  Forgotten orphans?  Untouched nations?  The inner city?   The outer limits?

Heed the fire within!

Do you have a passion to sing?  Then sing!  Are you stirred to manage?  Then manage!  Do you ache for the ill?  Then treat them!  Do you hurt for the lost?  Then teach them!

As a young man I felt the call to preach.  Unsure if I was correct in my reading of God’s will for me, I sought the counsel of a minister I admired.  His counsel still rings true.  “Don’t preach,” he said, “unless you have to.”

As I pondered his words I found my answer:  “I have to.  If I don’t, the fire will consume me.”

What is the fire that consumes you?               

     ~taken from Lucado’s book, The Great House of God

My question is the same, what burns inside you?

 

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31 responses »

  1. “My question is the same, what burns inside you?” People, people, and people. Saved, unsaved, old, new, dirty, clean, past, no past, doesn’t matter people and praise…that’s me! Excellent post!!! As usual! Love ya…

  2. “My question is the same, what burns inside you?”

    My greatest passion is for my community to realize how to be a community and to become a working team (one with another). It’s my life goal to see this endeavor furthered and also to become someone that aids people (offering grace) instead of someone that burdens them…I think I am succeeding.

  3. Passion?

    Hmmmmmmm.

    I have only ever felt a burning passion for one thing…

    I have never figured out how it is able to be in service to either God or mankind! 😦

    I think my BIG problem here – is that where others have a Burning Fire – i have a cool calm Ocean – or a river – or a spring perhaps?

    Maybe one day my ‘Dam’ might break and a huge flood will destroy all in it’s path?

    Storms occasionally move over the water’s surface, mostly formed by Winds of Injustice and the Ignorance that seems never-ending amongst people i have now have to call ‘Brothers’ They die down more quickly recently.

    <B

  4. Good Morning, y’all…

    Debs – People…I completely understand. Jill Briscoe spoke at church a few months back and made the point: If you don’t like people then don’t try to help them – they’ll see right through you. She’s right…I’ve seen it…it’s wonderful when you can truly love people, all types and want their best good!

    Society – It’s great to hear you feel you’re making a difference. Can you share any details?? So many of us want to feel the same.

    Love – 😯 Am I following? No consuming fire these days? So instead of a burning you have a spring of living water that rises up? Where does this water desire to flow – is that the better question?

  5. Red: LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. drew and i are facing these questions as we face the final 20 months of seminary…. yeah. what burns in us? we’re chewing on that.

    and chewing.
    and chewing.

  6. “Society – It’s great to hear you feel you’re making a difference. Can you share any details?? So many of us want to feel the same” (Michelle)

    I am from an Aboriginal community in Canada (Saskatchewan to be exact) – Aboriginal meaning Indian/First Nation and Metis people(s). I live in a city and work at a college/university on behalf of my community (employment wise). I am also involved in 3 committees through-out the city that work with and within my Aboriginal community. I havew developed a huge bunch of people that share the same goal(s) – and we are in some senses – one (by that I mean unified).

    I see in them a concern for the community and it’s revitalization…so we all work towards it’s betterment…and we are all friends and companions (being so close in goals and culural identity). For me, what I want to see is this continue and grow and spawn the ideas that are needed to stop the poverty, crime, poor housing, violence (gangs), abuse, etc – from a grassroots level. But what is most important is a return to our roots in ‘community/.

    I know, you were thinking I was going to go ‘church’ with this idea – fact is – I haven’t forgotten the church (I include them also). They are part of the process for me – they have ‘good news’ to offer and enlightenment – and I am using the teachings of Jesus in my life…in the goals I have also. I try to include them wherever and whenever I can (I tried something with them – called Action Group) – that failed horribly…so I go back to the drawing board.

    But community is bigger than a few buildings and a few chosen people – actually I like to think we have been asked to go choosing people and inviting them in. For me, my life’s goals cannot be held by a church – it is usually too narrow and too codified to be able to truly move (I find them more stagnant in nature – which is to bad). I think that’s why I am outside the structure – I am helping people on a more meaningful scale (for me).

    This is my passion – to see true revitalization of a broken people(s) – and I spend my time where the healing is needed…I guess I just couldn’t ignore it anymore. I also enjoy it…so I thank God for this.

  7. Mandy – I’ll be praying for God to reveal His will for you. Remember, what burns within is a good measure of what you were created to do… 😉

    Society – This is awesome and I don’t at all feel we are to be only within the constructs of the established church to fulfill His will in our lives.

    I worked in the public school setting for a few years and felt I made a difference in the lives of my students by allowing them to see the Light shining through me to them…when they asked, I let them know why I loved them so much. Within our neighborhood we were the house where all the kids came to hang out – no lack of preaching under my own roof – and they loved it. Neighborhood Bible studies have also been wonderful…none of it based upon a church program. I believe this is what He meant when He said, “Go!”

    Thanks for sharing this, giving others ideas of how it can be done.

    BTW – one (by that I mean unified) – I believe that’s the meaning of the shema, but that discussion is for another day… 😉

  8. I long to know Him, learn from Him, write about Him, and tell stories about Him. I want to sing about what he’s done in my life. I’m learning to sing. I’m stepping up to the blog and the mic. For a long time I struggled with the self-promotion of it all but like Max, I have come to a point where I cannot not scream it. Last Saturday night was my first attempt at mixing song into a poetry slam. Scared and a little off but I could no longer not sing.

    Crashing Utopia capture this struggle inside me (and others too I’m finding)
    http://ricbooth.wordpress.com/2008/01/09/crashing-utopia/

  9. I love the way you scream it and can’t wait to hear how you sing it. 😉

    Crashing Utopia – love it!! EVERYONE, LINK TO RIC’S POEM!!!

  10. I love your question Michelle, and that you bring it to the forefront of our minds. There is so much to occupy us in this world, that it would be entirely too easy to go completely through life keeping busy, but never pursing the very passion burning inside of our own hearts.
    My passion? What burns inside of me? To be a reflection of the captivating and consuming Love of the Father. Through my actions, my friendships, my parenting, writing, singing, painting, preaching…whatever is flowing out of me. I had tried to package it all nicely inside of the four walls of our church, but on a rotating schedule with 10 other ministers between 3 churches….I was able to sprout out some lava about once a month. And felt like I was going to explode! Once I got it out of my brain that my gifts could only flow through me in church….talk about a relief!! I get to be me, wherever I am:)

  11. Wonderful post and right on time for me. Thank you 🙂

    My passion is to help people who are lost and suffering without hope. I worked in domestic violence for 4 years and then became the ED to my local homeless coalition. Unfortunately, the ED position isn’t what I expected it to be and I find myself stuck in this web of politics and back-biting more than working towards ending homelessness. I truly believe Luke 4:18 [set the captives/oppressed free] is my calling and passion but somehow I feel stuck in this current position and don’t feel like I am serving that calling/passion at all. I’ve only been in the position for 5 months so I am remaining still and knowing that He is God before I make any rash decisions but I truly just want to help people!

    I also have a passion to help Christian marriages. I am going to grad school to get my license in Marriage and Family Therapy and want to be a Christian-based marriage counselor at some point. I don’t know when that will manifest but God has confirmed that as a calling and so I press on until He tells me I’m ready for it.

    [Thanks for your comment on my blog. I was so touched by it! I am so glad I am getting to know such wonderful and warm people through blogging. And yes I absolutely love Anne of Green Gables!!]

    Love and blessings.

  12. The fire that consumes me is writing

    There is so much more I could say about writing but it is actually very hard for me to accurately describe how it consumes my heart. I almost feel like I need to say something grand and profound but with things like this that are close to my heart I lose the words. The same thing happens when I try to describe what God has done for me and how He has changed me, I become unarticulate. And I get all choked up. It seems impossible to me to describe the fire that burns in me for writing, so I will just have to say that, yes, writing is the fire that burns in my heart when I ask God what He wants me to do.

  13. Hello, Kelly! That’s a well-loved name in our family.

    you said:
    Once I got it out of my brain that my gifts could only flow through me in church….talk about a relief!! I get to be me, wherever I am.

    I respond:
    AMEN!!!!!! Unfortunately church can be stifling at times. Years ago, when my husband was a young preacher-boy-in-training another minister told him, “You may be able to reach more people without the collar, it can be a stumbling block for some people.” He took that to heart and realized he could reach the ‘world’ better if he didn’t confine himself to the four walls of church. He’s had a remarkable lay ministry ever since. 😉

    gchyayles – I’m glad to see you here…tell me, how would I pronounce your name…I’m not able to discern the meaning. I think Marriage and Family Therapy is a wonderful way to go – my husband and I have been helped tremendously by good solid Christian counselors. I read your eanestness about trying to find a place to DO as He desires…sometimes it’s hard to stay where He has allowed us to be, until He speaks clearly. But, I’ve come to believe it’s best to wait upon Him before moving. He works in us through our trials – just a bit of advice – coming from a place of jumping too soon.

    Glad you ladies came over – please come back anytime. 😉

  14. Hello, Gothique Fae, haven’t seen you in a while. I hope the writing is going well. You have a gift that, I believe, is God-given. 😉

    Sometime, I ask, would you sign into wordpress before you submit a comment? I want to link to you and haven’t been able to do so easily…then I forget until I see your name again and don’t go looking for you in past posts.

    I would really appreciate it if you’d be OK with me adding you to my blogroll, it’s up to you…

  15. Michelle,
    Lately, aside from writing, my passion can be summed up in this song.
    http://www.danielamos.com/da/voxhumana/shesallheart.html

    But especially the part:
    “My longing:
    Not to be a god or hero, but to change
    Into a tree that grows for ages
    Hurting no one”

    Then as far as my passion for giving – at this point I’m in no position to do so – I’ll quote Dolly Levi. Yes, from the musical “Hello Dolly!”
    “Money is like manure. It should be spread around encouraging little things to grow.”

  16. “And I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name: but it was in my heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I became wearied with holding in, and I could not.” Jeremiah 20:9

    Does that sound like you, Michelle? I have been praying that for my life, that His word would become that to me more and more each day. Specifically the gospel as Paul preached, the crucified and risen Lord!

  17. Hey, Sam, hope you’re well…
    …Spiritually, few of us are where we were two decades past. Said another way, we’ve grown in our spiritual lives. We’ve moved beyond our spiritual roots and have branched into diverse trees. Some are massive oaks with graceful branches, some birches with pure white bark, others have grown into towering pines with prickly needles…

    I understand longing to be a tree.

    “Hello, Dolly!” My favorite musical for many years!!! 😆

    Writing and giving – kind of one and the same, huh?

  18. Yes, Dan, I totally understand THAT verse – and the weeping part about Jeremiah. He’s the biblical character I relate to the best, but I sure don’t want to experience the type of tribulation he went through. Many times I’m very glad to be a woman, and that God desires His hardest tasks for the men…well, relatively speaking.

    He’s certainly using you in your life’s work and the blogging world – He’s put the fire within you – I can feel it!! 😉

  19. Hi ‘Chelle,

    I really don’t know where my fire has ever burned other than in one ‘place’ ( and that fire consumes me more than ignites others – there days it is but an ember)

    The water within? I want that to spring from the centre of who i am, come up flooding through me, washing me clean of my flotsam and bringing eternal life and then overflowing out to flood (spread out over) the entire world.

    Keep asking the important Questions!

    love you

    <B

  20. Ok this is wierd but I do sign in when I submit comments, hmm, strange silly technology that’s ruining our lives! *panting and eyeing computer threatening silently to chuck it out the window* Ok I’m cool, whew, anyway I would be fine, honored even, if you wanted to add me to your blogroll.
    G

    P.S. the writing goes about like the day, slow and steady sometimes and fast and furious other times

  21. Love, I’ll try…luv you, too. 😀

    G, I sent you an email with technical info…if my husband weren’t around, my laptop would have been destroyed by now!! 😉

  22. Ahhh Michelle! 😀

    Love this post, and have to confess, the part where you took from the book I was thinking that was “you” talking and when it said “as a young man” I got all 😯 HAHA! Whew!

    I have to say I am in Love’s boat here. I know what “burns within” but I don’t know how to turn that into something that would be pleasing to God or glorify Him and help others. It’s silly really. But it’s the one thing I LOVE doing (besides Mommy of course) and I do it well. I looooong to do it and I know I will one day again, but I don’t know how that can be something that turns into Gods. Am I making sense?

    Also, I love people (most of the time 😆 ) and I love to take care of them. Cook for them, help them, anything like that. Make them a cup of coffee. 😉

    Right now though, my babies are my fire. 😀

  23. Michelle,
    My son says his mom is feeling better. Thanks. Both he, precocious 10-year-old, and daughter, 6, creative artist, are watching me type this. They are the most lovable, smart helpers who always clean up and do as they are told like GOING TO BED RIGHT NOW! Lol.
    So thanks again. They want to watch cartoons with me on my ‘puter.
    -Sam

  24. Good to know, Sam!! Yes, Precocious One and Creative Artist, DO AS YOUR FATHER SAYS!! 😆 Have a great weekend, y’all! 😀

    Hey, Brandy! Since neither you nor Love will share the burning within ( 😕 ) I understand you express it in another way – helping others and taking care of littles (middles and oldies) is of upmost importance!! 😉

    And, hey, everyone (with any taste) loves a great cup of coffee served by a bubbly, beautiful redhead!! 😆

  25. Good morning, Bran! Your fire is not at all silly (now that I’ve read your email and have a clue 😀 ). I think it’s a perfect way to “let your little light shine.” ‘Course, I agree, the kiddos need to be raised first, you just might find out, if you choose to homeschool, you could have a great family business some day!!! Just a thought. 😉

  26. Thank you for this post in your blog… it ministers deeply to my heart. I am in a process of laying aside hte weights others put on me concerning my call, and seeing my call and purpose for what it is, what burns inside of me.

    What does burn inside of me? God’s great love….. lately…. I used to think so many other things. But what it all boils down to is helping people see His great love. 🙂 There is so much more, but I don’t want to go on and on. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this one with us all.

  27. You’re welcome, ASPAF. I don’t know who you are or how to find you, but please know I’ll be praying for His will in your life. He created you distinctly to fulfill whatever good works He ordained for you to do, and I betcha it has mostly to do with showing His great love. 😉

  28. My name is Anna, my blog is aspaf.wordpress.com

    Kelly is one of my closest friends ever, and through her blog I found your blog, which I have loved so much… 🙂

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