Practical Steps to Maintain God’s Fiery Presence in Your Life by Bob Sawvelle for Charisma
For the Christian, our first love is Jesus. When He is our first love, we influence the world around us. When you return to “first love,” God quickly honors your fresh commitment to Him.
You are responsible to pursue and walk with God—no one else can do this for you. But you must be intentional about your pursuit and relationship with God to keep your love for Jesus alive, fresh and fiery. True love is passionate—it is an unquenchable fire.
God’s love for you will never extinguish. However, you can quench the fiery presence of God and His love in your life. Your ability to maintain the fire of God’s love and presence in your life is vital. Your passion and intimacy with God are not automatic; you have a part to play in the process. His grace enables you to maintain the fire of his love and presence in your life.
The apostle Paul said to Timothy,
“This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you” (2 Tim. 1:6, NLT).
The pursuit of God’s presence positions you to fan into flames God’s passion and spiritual gifts.
John Wesley, a founder of the Methodist Church, instructed his disciples, “I remind thee of stirring up—literally, blowing up the coals into a flame—the gift of God—all the spiritual gifts, which the grace of God has given thee.” Wesley stated we have a part to play in maintaining the fire of God in our lives. The Holy Spirit ignites the flame at new birth; we must follow Jesus faithfully and allow the Spirit to burn bright within us.
The apostle Paul and John Wesley knew that it was not enough to have gifts imparted. The recipient had a responsibility to steward the presence of God, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.
Hot Fires Need Hot Coals
As a boy, I loved camping. Now that I am older, I prefer a nice hotel room, but I still enjoy getting out in nature and recharging on a nice walk or hike. Building campfires was one of my favorite tasks when camping—especially as a Boy Scout. Who doesn’t love a roaring campfire!
Our Scout leader decided one year to take us on a winter camping trip. We lived in Ohio, and winters there can be unpredictable and extremely cold at times. We arrived at the campsite on a mild winter afternoon with just a few patches of snow on the ground. We had three-sided lean-to structures furnished with cots to sleep in—I thought to myself, “This should be fun and easy.” All of us settled in and then proceeded to gather firewood for a campfire.