Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 290 - Keeping the Fire Burning

So, how do you keep the fire burning when things are not going well. You get news that yhour investments have gone down the tubes, or you have a sick child or a loved one dies. Things happen. We live in a fallen world. I wish that the Kingdom of God reigned in every case, but it doesn’t, yet. So bad things do happen. They happen to both good and bad people. How should we respond? Better yet, how will I respond, or how will you respond? It’s easy when we keep it generic. It’s harder when the love of your life dies suddenly, or a child gets deathly ill. How do we respond?

I truly believe, after almost a years worth of experience, that you will respond on the basis of your core beliefs. If you are angry with God, or in any way think that He is out to judge you, you will blame Him. Why not, He’s an easy target. Surely you must have done something wrong. Is this His judgment? Why is He punishing me in this way? We here it all the time: “It must be His will, after all, all thing come through His hands.” I mean even the insurance agencies call tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes “an act of God”. So here is the real question: What is the nature of the God you believe in? Do you see Father God as a being standing with Lightning bolts coming out of his hands, and fire in His eyes waiting to judge you? Do you believe that He wants to judge you for your sins? If you do, then I can understand why you could believe that He caused your mother to get cancer so that your father would come to Christ.

I’m sorry, that is not the God that I believe in. That is not the God that I read about in the New Testament. I read of a loving father who sent His son Jesus to diei and spill His blood to cover all of my sins. I read about a God who wants me to come and sit at His right hand as a son, not to perform as a slave. My Father loves me, and wants to hang out with me. He would never do anything to hurt me. Sure. Things happen. We live in a fallen world. There are accidents, sickness and disease, but He brings healing and joy to counteract all of that. I am a child of the King, but it is a different Kingdom, and as much as I want, His Kingdom is not always in control here in earth. It will be sometimes, but for now, we have to fight to bring it into existence.

How do I keep my fire burning? First, I KNOW that He is good, and He wants good things for me. Secondly, I refuse to spend my time focusing on my lack. Lack could be anything. It might be a problem in my finances, or the need for a job. It could be the illness of a loved one, or the death of a spouse. What ever it is, I acknowledge it. It’s true that it is happening to me, but I refuse to let it be my focus. Instead, I make the choice to focus ho His love and His goodness. I know that He loves me! I know that He is good! I know that He will turn everything into good, and I have to believe Him and continue to press for the Kingdom of God to be released into the situation that I find myself in.

The fire in your heart will only burn as long as you keep providing the fuel. Knowing that God is Good, all the time helps keep the fuel moving into my heart. That keeps the fire burning. It’s not about what I see or don’t see in the natural; It’s about who I believe He is, and more importantly, what I believe about Him. Do I question why? Sure I do! Have I ever questioned Him about His goodness? No! He is good and His mercy endures forever. Maybe it’s na├»ve, but I don’t think so. I think it is knowing His heart and choosing to believe it. So the question of the night for you is this: Are you going to choose to keep the fire burning in your heart, or are you going to turn away from the very one that can save you?

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