Summary: The Olympic Flame has flickered out, but the theme, Light the Fire Within, should be burning in our hearts and lives forever.
The 2002 Winter Olympics draws to a close today. The Olympic Flame will be extinguished tonight, their theme stamped on the event signs throughout the Olympic venues, “Light the Fire Within”, taken down and put away. I am not ready to pack it away. In fact, as Christians, we ought to continually be lighting the fire within.
Today, God wants to speak to you. There is a stirring within your soul, coming from deep within, a fire that wants to breakout and fan across your world. God has called me to ignite that flame, that fire, to spark something within you today, that something being the power of the Holy Spirit, that will help you to reach out and lay hold of the prize of the victor. Who in the house is ready to be ignited for the cause greater than you, the cause of Christ? The cause of being a difference maker, sharing the love, sharing the acceptance, sharing the forgiveness of Jesus with those in your world?
The prophet Isaiah, For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. (Isaiah 62:1).
Isaiah said he could not keep quiet; there was a fire that burned from within. He was going to keep telling people about God until righteousness shined out, until salvation became a blazing torch in the land.
It has been said “evil triumphs when good people remain silent.” It is time to stir the fire within. We can no longer be silent. We must become agents of change. We must join hands with Isaiah and other men and women of the past, linked by our common bond in God, and in unison say, “It is time for the power and the glory of our God to come and bring His glory known in our day!”
How do we light the fire within? We do it with the flame of…
People have categorized our time in history has being a time without passion. There wrong. Bombarded by a multi-media experience of life, we are not passionless, we have been overloaded. But the fire within burns for the intimacy of relationship. To light the fire within, we need to have…
A Passion for God.
The Psalmist wrote of passion. Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk and live in Your truth; direct and unite my heart [solely, reverently] to fear and honor Your name I will confess and praise You, O Lord my God, with my whole (united) heart; and I will glorify Your name forevermore. (Psalm 86:11-12).
Just as the Olympic Flame comes from Athens Greece for each Olympics, the source for our fire within comes from God. We must first establish that vertical relationship. We need to cry out to God, teach me how to be more passionate for you by showing me the way you would have we walk through this life on earth. God direct my heart so that I will fear and honor you in all ways, in all things. And when we do, we stoke the flame until it burns within our soul and we cannot remain silent because we are passionate about our commitment.
Not only do we need to have a passion for God, we need to have:
A passion for others.
In Psalm 2:8, God gives us this information. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance. When we have a passion for God, we will have a passion to do the work of God, the work of seeing the world come to Christ. When you and I allow the fire of God to burn within, there comes a passionate heart cry for the lost people, both in our community and around the world. It is when we have the passionate heartbeat of God who sent His Son Jesus to pay the price of salvation for the world. How much less could you or I do in the same pursuit but to help show them the way to Jesus, our redeemer?
We need to have a passion to dream God’s dreams!!!
The truth is the value of our passion, like fire, will be judged finally by the amount of warmth and light it creates. Fanatics like foresting fires, burning bright but destroy all in their path that is tender and green. To be useful, fire must be controlled. To live passionately, we must develop discipline; to love powerfully we must forge bonds of commitment.
Not only do we need to have passion, we need to also have…
We need inspiration. Talk to people who have been successful in life, and you will find someone they can point to as the inspiration for their achievement.