When I was just a boy growing up the Welsh Valleys, me and my mates always loved going out onto the Graig behind our houses. For those of you who have no idea what ‘the graig’ means, it was a piece of common land that went from my village of Aberbargoed across to the next village called New Tredegar. Every summer we would literally leave our homes after breakfast and not get back till the early evening was drawing in. It’s weird but the summers just felt so much better in those 80’s years (Ed – try the 70s).
One of the essential tools that we kept in our pockets was a magnifying glass, it meant that we could burn stuff whenever we wanted. It’s funny but not much has changed over the years, insomuch as every year I smile when I hear the chants of ‘burn him’ at The Gathering. As you can imagine, me and my mates started so many fires I would not be able to number them. Most of these fires we just about managed to contain, but just occasionally we would temporarily lose control and, man, how quickly those fires would gain strength and momentum.
Now, before I go any further please do not view me as a pyromaniac, but as followers of Jesus I believe we need to get much better at starting some fires.
So, in this series of blogs, where I am sharing the ten principles by which I am endeavouring to live, I now come to the fifth principle:
‘I will fan my passion and zeal for the Lord into a wild fire every day!’
As a guy coming from Wales, I find it incredibly easy to get very passionate over so many things. Whenever I talk to Ricky, the CVM guy up in Scotland we always talk about our passion, we joke about the Celtic fire but in reality, there is passion in all of us, no matter where we come from. In many ways, as men, we have lost the ability to focus our passion on the right things and this makes us either very angry or it makes us passive-aggressive. I genuinely believe that God created us in His image and part of that image contains a healthy passion that brings life and goodness not only to ourselves but to those around us too.
I know that when I walk closely with the Lord, my passion and zeal is channelled through the Him and it easily gets fanned into a wild fire. The funny thing about these moments is that I find myself worshipping God more, praying more, laughing with my wife and son more, dreaming more, planning more, doing more and living more.
Because I was created to live a life fully focussed and passionate for my God, and when He sees me living it large for Him, He just heaps blessing and favour into my life and into the lives of those around me.
This really couldn’t be simpler; it’s about an uninhibited relationship between the Father and his children. But we so need to be intentional about enjoying God with everything that we have!
In the New Testament it says: “It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you” (Galatians 4:18). In so many ways, we have lost our passion and zeal for the Lord as a nation, but God has never lost His passion and zeal for us. At CVM, we are building a movement of men who are committed to living well and to leading their mates to Jesus. You and I can lead that movement from the front!
But to do this, we need to be more and more intentional. So, ‘I will fan my passion and zeal for the Lord into a wild fire every day!’
Now feels like a good time to open the Bible, blast some worship music from YouTube (other providers are available) and just enjoy being with God.
Let’s do this!