Burning Hearts

 "They said to each other, 'Didn't our hearts burn within us as He talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?' " Luke 24:32....."We need to learn the secret of the burning heart.....It is the dull, bald, dreary day, with commonplace duties and people that kills the burning heart unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus." Oswald Chambers

 

Regardless of what "title" we carry in the church, "Preacher, Teacher, Worship Leader, or Layman," we are confronted with a piercing question via Chambers. Have we learned the secret of the burning heart? Do our hearts burn with such a fire from His Holy Spirit that anyone who comes near, who hears us, interacts with us, is in real "danger" of having their own hearts ignited with His Holy Fire? Or have we "intellectualized" everything, become so afraid of things getting beyond our control, that we can only make "smoke?" In such cases, we may find smoke, but we will for sure find none of His fire.

I think much of what we're saying from our pulpits, lecterns, and platforms is sounding very much like the reading of the minutes from our last board meeting. It's not that what is being said is unimportant, but that it's being said devoid of Holy Spirit fire and emotion. Chambers words challenge us all very deeply. So many preachers and teachers seek some way to "get up for" the next preaching or teaching session. We look for a Scripture passage that we think can work. Would we really have to look if we were so absorbed in Him that He was able to speak His leading concerning this, and all things, to us all the time? James Robison said his life was transformed when he began to look at His Word not as a source of sermon material, but as the Source of his life. He learned, after years of preaching, the secret of abiding in Him. Have we?  In the oftentimes dreary, commonplace spots in life that Chambers speaks of, are we so consumed by the fire of His Spirit and Life that even in those unseen, unnoticed places, we burn with His Presence in our hearts? 

It was said of the disciples, especially after Pentecost, that they were recognized as "having been with Jesus." Do people recognize us in the same way? Can those we work with, live with, minister to, recognize that we have been, and continue to be, "with Jesus?" In our preaching, conversation, interaction, is this recognition real, valid? Or, do we have to inform them that we are His because there is so little in our lives that give the proof of it?

I remember so clearly what drew me to the fellowship I became a part of in my first year in Him. Nothing about the church was really right for a 20 something ex-hippie wannabe. Yet I kept coming for one great reason. Every time the pastor preached, I heard the voice of the Father, and sensed the fire and presence of His Holy Spirit. Whenever the doors opened, I was there. I needed life, and His Life was ministered to me in that place.

People everywhere are right now dying for that same life. Literally. I suppose that informal, Bible "chats" have their place, and a lot of what passes for preaching these days seems to be just that. But the darkness will not be extinguished by anything less than the fire and light of His Spirit. Hearts trapped in sin and captivity will, as Wesley's hymn says, see their dungeons become "inflamed with light." His light. Hearts once dead will then burn within. And it will come through the vessels that are those who have learned the secret of abiding in Him......I wish to know and grow ever deeper in that secret. How about you? No matter what your place in the Body of Christ, will you be among those whose hearts burn within them at the very Word of the King? And then go out carrying that fire to a world so desperate to be ignited by it?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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