There is a fire that burns within some of the children of God, and these are those that our adversary notices. Within them is a passion not just to serve, not to be noticed, but to show others Jesus Christ, they have not forgotten the price that was paid for them. Most generally they are those who have been saved for quite some period of time, and understand full well what it means to be a lost sheep of their own accord, they have not just read the account of the prodigal son, they have been him.
The old saying stands true for these individuals, “Those who have been forgiven much, love much,” they have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, (Psalm 34:8) but they strayed, for all are weak. Our Lord is gracious to all, and His mercy endures forever, (1 Chr. 16:34) the call to serve with fervency and fire is available to all, but to those who have forgotten the price that was paid for them, the call is no more than a whisper, barely audible above the noise and prompting of the world and self. The general attitude towards Christ in their lives of many who profess Him is not one of servitude or thankfulness, not one of adoring praise, but instead is like a great gift that has become expected, not as endearing as the day it was given. What we possess over a period of time tends to lose its luster, the shine wears off, and indeed many times it is not replaced, but simply covered over, like grandmother’s table with a fresh tablecloth.
The Christian who does so has become lukewarm, a sort of callousness begins to encroach upon their lives, the gift of grace becomes expected, no matter the effort they give for the furtherance of the kingdom of God. Sadly, many follow this path, they become church attendees, the once-a-week Christian, reserving the rest of the week to simply cleaning the covering, not desiring to spend any serious time restoring the glow to that old table. The fire inside of them, the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, they begin to quench, and indeed have for quite some time, until it is barely noticeable, traditions take the place of worship, religious rituals replace praise and adoration, the world finds quite easily a way to fill the void where once the fire was. It is these that give us pause to wonder of their salvation, of the truth of the place that their hearts rest, for their works, that which we are known by, (James 2:20) are few if any, and their lives seem to point to the worldly, not the spiritual.
For some, the zeal will never return, they become comfortable here, they have built a home in this world and find it satisfactory, the lost are most generally left to their own accord when they are encountered, the sin in the world is no longer hated, but tolerated, and the Word of God is no longer the most popular, well-worn item on their bookshelf. They have indeed quenched the Spirit, referring to the activities surrounding the building they call a church more than to the Son of God. The price that was paid for them has become nothing more than a faded memory, appreciated, but not treasured. What is meant to be taken to the whole world, (Matt. 28:19) is now left within the confines of the building where the meetings are held once a week, where the occasional entertainment can be found, where feelings and emotions are held in higher regard than actions. They desire to sit at the table of the Lord, but give little thanks for the feast, they desire a crown of glory, but not one of shame and suffering. There is safety in the group known as apathy, yet there are others.
Those who have known the joy of the Lord, who have left His side willingly, have found when they returned a loving Father, accepting and understanding, and ready to allow His child to begin the work again. There is not enough time in the day for these individuals, no, not even enough time left in their lives if they were to live a thousand years, to speak of His wonderous glory. The call has been heard, the path has been made clear to them, they fully understand two of the most important words ever spoken, Sovereign and Submit. The things of the world begin to fade away, they hold value only in the ways that they can be used to glorify His Holy name, the cares of the world fall off their backs, for He is faithful who has promised to never leave them or forsake them, the happiness that the world offers is seen for what it truly is, a cheap and fleeting imitation of the joy of the Lord. The burdens that are placed on these who are on fire for Christ, the burdens that far too many in the church see as a deterrent to their lives, are received with joy by these individuals, indeed they relish every opportunity that He blesses them with. The days are long, but not nearly long enough.
There is a fire that we must all pass through, the fires of temptations, of trials and tribulations, of apathy, lust, envy, every possible item that will try to hinder our desires to be willing, loving, and obedient servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. Gold, silver, and precious stones are the building materials that the Lord God has chosen to use to build His kingdom, there is no value in wood, hay, and stubble, the fire will destroy them. “Quit you like men,” (1 Cor. 16:13) stand now and judge yourself, (1 Cor. 11:31) do you have a fire burning within you that cannot be quenched, that remembers full well the price that was paid for you. Almighty God is Sovereign, submit to His leading, those who have humbled themselves will be exalted, those whom the fire of God resides in can never be quenched, and they burn hotter than the fires of hell itself could ever imagine to be.