“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” These words from St. Catherine of Siena sear purpose into my heart. But since I’m a fireman’s daughter, setting the world on fire sounds pretty ominous. However, as a child of the King setting the world ablaze sounds pretty amazing.
When my faith in Christ burns brightly, good works can’t help but follow. A keen awareness of my Christ identity instills confidence wherever I go. And yet, when life hurts or hints at disappointment, faith’s flames may begin to die down.
As I cry out to God, He is faithful to stir up some things in me. How do you keep your faith fire burning?
There’s nothing like God’s word to add fuel to the fire of my faith. Here are three scriptural examples that help me fan the flames.
Repentance. Peter is often cited as being one of Christ’s most zealous disciples. According to John 18, as Jesus appeared before His accusers, Peter waited outside in the courtyard. When a woman asked Peter if he was with Jesus, he said, “I am not.” (vv. 17-18)
Because it was cold, the household servants and guards made a fire. They stood around it warming themselves. Peter stood there too. And two more times in the courtyard Peter denied Christ.
Life experiences can leave us feeling cold. And like Peter, I can look for the nearest fire. But if what warms my heart extinguishes my faith, I need to repent. It is a key way to light faith’s flame. Repentance involves confessing my wrongs to God, being confident of His forgiveness and committing to change by His grace. (See 1 John 1:9) After Peter repented, he led the early church’s efforts to ignite the world with the Gospel.
Reliance. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood out in a crowd. When everyone else bowed to the king’s gold statue, these boys said no way. Even when the king gave them an ultimatum — to bow or to burn — they chose fire. Here’s what they said:
“…we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God who we serve is able to save us…but even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-17)
That’s some bold stuff. These boys were loyal to God and they were dependent on Him too. I’ve been in some tough spots with my back against the wall. But I’ve never faced a fiery furnace. I could understand if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego became fearful and asked “What if he doesn’t?” But when faith is on fire in the soul “Even if he doesn’t” is declared instead.
Remembrance. David stood on the battlefield against a huge problem. At over nine feet tall, Goliath threatened to defeat the Israelites and make them the Philistines’ slaves. But before David fired-up his sling shot, he remembered the other times God gave him victory.
As a shepherd caring for his father’s sheep, David fought a lion and a bear. Apparently, he did his job well. However, when convincing Israel’s king he could beat Goliath, David didn’t tout his skills. He said, “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (See 1 Samuel 17)
Like David and other heroes of the faith, we can also grab hold of God’s purpose. I stoke the flames of faith each time I step out and trust God. If I trust Him when I fail, I repent of my wrongs. If I trust Him when I’m under pressure, I rely on who He is. If I trust Him with the biggest thing I’ve ever faced, I remember what He’s already done.
If you’re also looking to stir your faith’s flames, here’s some good news: Nothing is too hard for God. And nothing is too big or too small to entrust to His faithfulness and love. It is the warmest way to experience hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
“This good news tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” – Romans 1: 17 NLT