Set a Fire!

Most times when you hear about a fire being set, this is the image that comes up in your mind.

But today, I want to talk about a different kind of fire. This is the fire of God that burns in our heart when we are born again.

Jeremiah 20:9 describes it this way
" But if I say I'll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his
word burns in my heart like a fire. It's like a fire in my bones. I'm worn
out trying to hold it in! I can't do it!"


There are times when I can sense that fire so deep in my heart. Times I want to tell the world about what Jesus has done for me! But let’s be honest. The times when the fire inside can be sporadic and minimal for long seasons at a time.

So what do you do when you feel the fire has died down to an ember, or even more so, has died completely? What do you do when you don’t feel that passion for God. Going through the motions… you love God with all your heart, but the mundane and the every day life has taken over.

When I began writing this blog, I wanted to be an encouragement to others in their pursuit of the Father. That is still my goal! But sometimes I have to stop and encourage myself. I have to stir myself up.

"Therefore I remind you that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you 
by the laying on of my hands."
2 Timothy 1:6

So how do you “stir” up what is inside of you? One translation says to fan the flame. What does it take to fan a flame? It takes air or breath. So I would say that to fan the flame, or stir myself up requires me to experience the breath of God. And that is impossible unless you are very close to his face.

So I would say the first way to set a fire in your heart would be to get in the presence of God. For me, this means getting alone with no distractions, putting some meaningful worship music on, and being still before Him.

Every person has their own way to get in His presence, but everyone has to make time for Him and make the Father a priority.

The next way to fan the flame would be to put a guard on our lips. Watch not only what comes out of your mouth, but what you put into your heart. Also the words that you speak contain the power of life or death. Again, for me, proclaiming the Word out loud over my life by personalizing the scriptures fans those embers in my heart. His Word is alive and powerful! His Word never returns void!

We will talk about more ways to set a fire in your heart in future blogs. But for now, I would encourage you to seek the fire of God. Seek the passion that can burn out all the impurities in our lives and also flow out to others!

Here is a song that may help you!

Chasing God

Renae

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Music and the Pursuit of God

I have been thinking lately how much music influences my pursuit of God. For me personally, music is woven into the fabric of my very being. I began playing the piano when I was around 8 years old and was immersed in worship from the time I was introduced to church. (Which was very early, considering my grandfather was a pastor!)

Music has a way of moving you and influencing your life for the good or for the bad. I think we would all agree on how music could negatively influence your life, but let’s talk about how music can positively affect your life- specifically- your pursuit of God!

What I am sharing with you is what I have found that helps me. I do realize everyone is at a different place in their walk with God. Personally, I have found that my pursuit of God is most persistent when I do not listen to any other types of music other than Christian. Can I be honest with you? Even when I have the Christian radio station playing all the time, I have still longed for more.  There is definitely a time for upbeat music that will get your fingers tapping on your steering wheel and singing to the top of your lungs along with Toby Mac! But there is a time in your day where you quiet your heart and allow God to whisper in your ears. 

So in my longing, I have found that songs full of worship to the Father (talking to Him and not just about Him) fill my heart the most. I put these songs on repeat and pull up the lyrics and allow them to soak down into my spirit. Most mornings, I wake up with a song already playing in my head and usually it is one that will speak to me so deeply for the day. 

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness” Maya Angelou

Worship music has become a refuge to me! I encourage you today to make worship music part of your daily pursuit of God. Maybe it is a song they are singing at your church. Maybe it is a song on your local Christian radio station, or maybe it is a new song that has never been written yet!

Here is an excerpt of the lyrics of a song that has drawn me to the Father’s heartbeat this past week.


I’m caught up in Your presence
I just want to sit here at Your feet
I’m caught up in this holy moment
I never want to leave
Oh, I’m not here for blessings
Jesus, You don’t owe me anything
More than anything that You can do
I just want You

Cody Carnes- Nothing Else

Feel free to comment below on what song is ministering to you this week. If you need some suggestions, send me a message! Let’s pursue Him together!

Chasing God

Renae

No New Year’s Resolutions!

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Happy New Year everyone!  Whether you had an awesome 2018 or if you are ready for the clock to countdown tonight so you can finally get to 2019,  the end of the year should be a time of reflection. 

I am not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. In the past, I have never discovered that motivation to follow through with them!  Kudos to all of you who can write down your goals for the new year and more importantly following through!  Goals really are a good thing!

With a new year comes new changes. Sometimes change is very difficult! But change can be good!

Scrolling through Facebook the other day,  I read a post from a friend.  With her permission I am including her quote.

“I could change just one area of my life and it would have a trickle down effect on lots of areas. So with that being said, 2019 will find me building up my relationship with God.”  Tara S.

And Tara is right, if we build up our relationship with God first and foremost, we will see a change in every area of our lives.

Yesterday at church, our associate pastor ministered on the “One Thing” we should focus on for 2019. That being, falling in love with Jesus more than we have ever before.

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Loving Jesus with all our hearts should mean that we give Him our all! It means we should pursue Him with our whole hearts.  If my pursuit of Him is my main thing, all the other areas that I need to work on will change. 

Sometimes we focus so much on trying to change ourselves, using our own methods and ideas.  We read self help books and renew our gym memberships. (these are all good things, don’t get me wrong!)  But if our focus will be on loving God with ALL our hearts, ALL of the time, we will most definitely see change in our lives. 

The sin that so easily drags us down can be overcome by loving God with all our heart. For when we love God, we want to obey Him! I am not saying we will see it all at one time, but over time, change will be evident. 

Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”  Matthew 22:37

I leave you with this. It’s perfectly fine to have goals and resolutions!  But let’s make our number ONE THING to be to fall in love with God more than we ever have before. Pursue Him and develop intimacy with Him!  I will share more in the future on what that actually looks like! 

Chasing God,

Renae


And Mary said…

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One of my favorite verses from the Christmas story is Luke 1:38

“And Mary said,  Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word. and the angel departed from her”

Most of us know the back story. Mary was a young teenager from Nazareth in Galilee who was engaged to Joseph, a carpenter.

Earlier in the chapter, we find that Mary’s cousins Elisabeth and John were expecting a baby which was really amazing since they were both up in years.  The angel Gabriel had appeared to John to make the announcement about their coming son.

It was no coincidence that this same angel,  Gabriel, appeared to Mary to unveil the details of another upcoming birth!  I can’t imagine how she must have felt to be in the presence of Gabriel and then hear the words he spoke to her!

Gabriel started out by saying she was blessed and highly favored by the Lord. That alone was a HUGE blessing! To be singled out by God Himself to be the mother of JESUS, our Savior and King! After encouraging her not to be afraid, he began to spell out the earth-shattering news that Mary would supernaturally conceive by the Holy Spirit.

Now I am positive that Mary wasn’t jumping up and down with joy over this news. She like any normal teen virgin girl would be deeply troubled and very afraid. I am sure her emotions were all over the place.

BUT….

Her next words were the exact reason why God chose this Jewish girl from Nazareth to be the life giving mother of the savior of the world. After trying to absorb what Gabriel had said to her, she replied “Be it unto me according to your word.”   WOW!  In that moment, Mary submitted her will, her reputation, her engagement to Joseph, her relationship with her parents, EVERYTHING- to God’s plan – his mission to bring His only begotten Son into this world, wrapped in an earth suit!

I believe that very moment when Mary uttered “Be it unto me” or in our words, “I am willing, let it be done”, that she conceived Jesus deep within her womb.  She became the catalyst for the world to be changed.

This Christmas, we also have the power to choose to say,  “Be it unto me according to the word of God.”  God sent His best for you.  Will you give your best for Him?

Chasing God

Renae

What if I am not hungry?

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Children often say, “I am not hungry.”  Sometimes it is because they have been snacking on other things so they really aren’t hungry at meal time. Other times, it is because they are having too much fun to stop what they are doing to eat!

For me, I know that I have gone through times of my life when I was not hungry for God. I was not pursuing Him on a daily basis. I was filling myself up on other things! I was distracted by the latest bells and whistles and didn’t acknowledge my hunger.

Just like we should nourish our bodies with good food, we should also nourish our spiritual bodies as well with the Word and things of God.

So what if you are in that season right now where you are not really hungry for Him? You feel blah and maybe you go through the motions, but your heart isn’t engaged in what you are doing.

First, know that it is normal to go through times like this! It doesn’t mean you have failed as a believer. God isn’t mad at you!  When you condemn yourself over a dry season it causes you to pull even further away from God. (God never condemns us! He convicts, which is different! More on that later)

Second, acknowledge this and tell God how you are feeling. It’s ok to tell Him you don’t feel Him close by and you really aren’t pursing Him because you aren’t hungry for Him.  Honestly, He already knows this! 🙂

And just like if you go without natural food for an extended period and you just aren’t hungry, you have to begin to make yourself eat so you will gain strength. So it is in your walk with God.

Here are some ways that I have found to force feed myself when I just wasn’t hungry. 

  • Find a good Bible App that has devotions ( I recommend YouVersion) and commit to reading a devotion every day.
  • Read some verses each day in the Bible. (The gospels are a good place to start!)
  • Share with a trustworthy friend what you are feeling.
  • Find something good to do for someone else.
  • Journal your thoughts. Writing out how you feel helps to release these emotions. Most times, we base not being hungry for God out of our emotions or feelings. We don’t feel God near, etc. So pinpointing how you are feeling and writing them down helps to release them.
  • Most important is to spend some time each day talking to God. Notice I didn’t say you  must spend an hour praying every day. Sometimes we have this idea of praying that seems so formal and difficult. Praying is simply talking to God just as if He was right there beside of you (He really is right beside you!) and then listening for Him to speak back. He speaks in many ways and we will explore that later too.  Even if it is starting out with just a few minutes each day. Tell him, “God, I am just not hungry right now, but I want to be. Help me to desire to pursue you with all of my heart.”

Don’t give up my friend! This dry season will pass if you will on purpose pursue Him even when you don’t feel hungry for Him! 

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and maybe share some things that have been helpful for you.

Chasing God

Renae

Relentless Pursuit

What exactly does it mean to pursue God relentlessly?  Relentless means continuously, unceasing, and endless. Pursuit means to chase after or to follow after. When we come to know Jesus, we have a choice- to lightly serve him or dive into a relentless pursuit.

So many people casually serve Jesus. They say prayers at meal times and maybe show up for church most Sundays. They will even give in the offering. But when it comes time to roll up their sleeves and put their faith to action, they lack the motivation to do so.

Lightly serving Jesus may get us into heaven, but life here on this earth will be difficult with little evidence that we are different from the world.

But oh my friend, how satisfying is a full out- relentless, endless pursuit of God! What do I mean by that?  I mean believing the Word and setting your mind to obey what you discover.  It means laying down your life for others, loving others (even those who are unlovable!) Relentlessly pursuing God means that above everything else in life, we choose to serve Him and be totally devoted to walking a true Christian life. Giving Him all of you!

Does that mean we will be perfect?  NO!  Does that mean that we won’t have any issues or problems? DOUBLE NO!

The Word says this in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” 

We will have troubles and tribulations, but when we relentlessly pursue Him, we will find answers and solutions!

Don’t stop chasing after God! The more we seek Him, the more we will find HIM! The more we find Him, the more we will want of Him!

Join me in the upcoming weeks to find out more about this relentless pursuit!

Chasing God!

Renae

Why Pursue?

There is a longing in each of us to know God. That longing may be hidden so deep that you don’t even recognize it. Maybe you know something is missing, but you can’t quite figure out what it is.

Your spirit longs to connect to the Creator. You were designed to pursue God! Your longings are for HIM!

Stop trying to fill your tank with that which can never satisfy. Stop looking to people to fill you up.  Emotionally, mentally, spiritually… People and things cannot fill you up!  God has designed that space in each of us to be filled by Him and HIM alone.

STOP pursing dead-end roads! Pursue the Father and you will find value to your life. Pursue Him ALL OUT- not half-way, not just a little bit.

Give it all to Him, PURSUE HIM WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE! And He will give you the desires of your hear.

The Pursuit of God!