Archive for January, 2019
General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, told those who worked with him: “The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart.”1 A fire left to itself usually goes out.
What a profound statement and challenge to every pastor: Watch the fire on the altar of your heart. Oftentimes we become so concerned about the fire of God upon the church, we neglect to evaluate the fire of God within our own heart.
Of All Things
When writing to his protégé Timothy, the apostle Paul, with a sense of urgency knowing that his days on this earth were coming to an end, challenged Timothy to do whatever it took to ensure he lived and ministered with the full flame of the Holy Spirit. Of all things Paul could have told Timothy to do, he told him to stir up the gift within him, to keep the Spirit of God blazing through his life and ministry.
Under the inspiration from the fire of God’s Spirit in his own life, Paul told Timothy, “Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7
Pastor, is the Spirit of God blazing through your life and ministry?
Grasp This Moment
Grasp this moment in history: Nero was reigning ruthlessly and violently against Christians, bringing their lives to an end in all kinds of ways. While this was happening, Paul told Timothy there was no need to fear, but to be filled with God’s power, motivated by God’s love, and to navigate through the future with sound judgment.
Paul was not rebuking Timothy but cautioning him. Watch the fire on the altar of your heart. He did not tell him he believed it was going out or had gone out, but Paul was reminding Timothy that if the fire of God is ever going out in your own heart, you are entering dangerous territory personally and in ministry leadership.
While we know the apostle Paul refers in his writings about the gifts of the Spirit, here he is referring to the gift of the Holy Spirit. Within the context of this text, we know that the power of the Spirit of God is the only One who can replace fearfulness with fearlessness, selfishness with sacrificial love, and disorder with discipline. Pastor, watch the fire on the altar of your heart.
3 Actions You Can Take to Watch the Fire on Your Heart
Action #1: Retreat Now to Be with the Lord
Each morning we need to go with the Lord on our own personal retreat. We need a time to hide away with God, evaluate our own life honestly, check the level of God’s fire in our heart, and then plead with God to set our heart on fire for our life and ministry. Never should this moment be minimized or compromised.
Action #2: Reset Your Own Life and Ministry
When we have practiced due diligence spiritually, God will reset our own life and ministry. His priorities will become our priorities. His mission will become our mission.
Action #3: Rekindle the Fire in Your Ministry
When we retreat with God and He resets our life and ministry to align with His priorities and mission, it is then that the blazing fire of God will empower us with His full flame. Then, through His powerful Spirit He has given to us, we will live, we will preach, we will serve, we will lead, we will pray, and we will love with the blazing fire of God.
Pastor, of all things, watch the fire on the altar of your heart. Remember, a fire left to itself usually goes out.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
I am excited to introduce the new magazine of the National Day of Prayer: Pray. This quarterly resource is just one tool we are using to mobilize unified public prayer for America. Through this resource, you can learn about how prayer impacts lives, find practical applications, and inspiration for your own prayer life.
From the editor:
In this issue, Dr. Ronnie Floyd writes about the wisest decision you can make: I will walk with God today. Getting our lives in order spiritually allows us to prioritize God’s work in our lives.
Dr. Tim Clinton invites us to pray through our relationships—the good, the bad, the ugly, and the questionable. When our relationships are in order, we will naturally be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading because our thoughts are not as consumed with turmoil. And Rachel Cruz points out ways to order our finances, avoiding financial disasters and stress that can distract us and cause our prayer lives to become ineffective for the Kingdom.
Here are some sneak peeks from this issue’s articles:
We face all kinds of distractions when we pray: sleep, our kids, our own racing thoughts. But I think some of the biggest hindrances to our prayer lives include intense, enduring struggles—especially in the area of finances…. It makes sense, then, that this stress over financial worries can also result in an ineffective prayer life. – “Praying Your Life into Order Financially” by Rachel Cruze
How you do—or don’t do—relationships can affect your prayer life for good and bad. And, in the same way, I believe the health of our prayer lives can affect our relationships. – “Praying Your Life into Order Relationally” by Dr. Tim Clinton
The wisest decision we can make each day is this: I will walk with God today. What the Bible says about Enoch has always challenged me. This statement is simple yet profound: “Enoch walked with God” (Gen. 5:24, esv). Could God write this about your life and mine today? If not, why not? What stands in our way? Who is standing in our way? – “Praying Your Life into Order Spiritually” by Dr. Ronnie Floyd
When I’m at my healthiest, I think and pray less about my own ailments. My mind has a higher capacity to think about other things, which allows me to pay more attention to other people, listen well, empathize, and even spend more time praying for other people. – “Praying Your Life into Order Physically” by Rachel McMichael
Days after our family’s personal loss, our nation faced a much greater tragedy. With my heart still fragile and bruised in my own pain, I watched the scene unfold on the afternoon news. Long lines of teens fled the school building in Parkland, FL, with arms raised to the sky as a gunman went on a rampage, devastating countless lives. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the horror. – “Six Biblical Prayers When Tragedy Strikes” by Stacey Pardoe
Now is the Time to Pray,
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email email@example.com.