Friday, September 28, 2012

"You Will Keep the Fires Burning . . ."


Exodus 3:1-3
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush.  Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.  So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight - why the bush does not burn up."

In her Sunday sermon, Pastor Emily throws down the gauntlet.

"What is God calling you to do?  What passion is He asking you to follow with all your heart, your mind, your strength?  Are you turning to look at God's burning bush?  Or, are you turning away?"

Emily recounts a time in her early twenties, fresh from college, when she and two of her close friends attend a small Methodist church in their community.  It belongs to a co-op of sorts with four other tiny churches.  Once a month, all the congregations gather in one place for worship, praise, and fellowship.

At one of these gatherings, Emily's pastor delivers a sermon about reaching out to young people for Christ.  The message hits her like a bolt of lightning.  She has an idea . . .

"Pastor Frank," she tells him at the dinner following the service, "I have a fantastic idea!  Why don't we combine the youth from the five churches and start a youth group?"

Pastor Frank is thoughtful for a moment.  "That sounds good to me.  When are you going to start it up?"

"Who, me?  Oh, no, no, no, not me!  You have the wrong person.  I know there's someone better out there to do the job."

Pastor Frank smiles at Emily.  "I don't think you understand, my dear.  When are you going to do this?"

Even though she doubts she has the time or the ability to lead a youth group, Emily accepts this challenge.  It makes all the difference in her life and in the lives of the young people she mentors.

"What I discover is this," Emily tells us.  "God can take the passion you didn't even know you had, and your pastors, your friends, your family can throw the gasoline of encouragement on your burning bush.  Don't think you have the time?  Don't think you have the capability?  Think again!

"If you're following the passion God has for you, He will give you the flame and the materials to accomplish it.  He'll give you what you need to stoke the fire.  You can be that burning bush setting the world ablaze with God's love.

"Are you, like Moses, willing to accept God's mission for you?  Or, are you looking the other way?

"If you follow the passion God has for you, you will burn brightly.  God will keep your fire burning.  And, you will never be consumed."
~
Are you "on fire" for the Lord?

Will you pray with me?

We know, Father, that You will keep our fires burning when we follow Your call to us.  May we accept Your challenges with passion.  May we set the world aflame with Your great love.  Amen.

16 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. It's sometimes so difficult to accept that we're the one being 'sent', isn't it? But knowing we are not alone makes it easier! Love the song, Martha. :)

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    1. Oh, Corinne, yes, it is! But, as you say here, we need to always remember that we are never alone. Never! And, in that knowledge, we can accept God's burning bush and let it shine forth without apology . . .
      So glad you found meaning in the song. I know I want to keep my fires burning! :)
      Blessings to you, dear friend!

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  3. Let the fire fall ;)It reminds me so much of Pentecost Martha.

    This is such and encouraging post. I wish my parish would do the same :) and find that person who'll lead the youth in our community.

    Oh another prayerlist coming up.

    I pray with you for audacious and generous hearts our parish community will form. Open our hearts Lord and keep it burning for You...

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    1. So glad you came by today, Melissa! Thanks!
      Yes! One can't help but think of Pentecost when we talk about setting the soul on fire for the Lord. Great image!
      And, I pray with you for your church that they might reach the young people in your community for Christ. I'll put this on my prayer list, too!
      Blessings to you!

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    2. Thanks so much Martha :* for the youth and kids :)

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  4. Thanks for the reminder Martha! I've found God only there for comfort and strength but for inspiration and motivation to pursue my dreams.

    Here, there was a message from the pastor. Many times in our lives, we don't get an outside message to follow our dreams or passions. But we feel it :) And we have to act upon these silent nudgings from God, no?

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    1. Thanks for coming by today, Vishnu!
      Yes, I agree, our "nudgings" are often from within, hearing the still, small voice urging us to follow our passion, our dream. God, of course, can be all the inspiration and motivation we need to commit to those dreams, but it never hurts to have others cheering us on and pointing us in the right direction. :)
      Blessings to you!

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  5. Sometimes I do think like Emily, Martha. And I wonder why God trusts me so much. I would even tell Him to just entrust it to someone who is smarter, braver, stronger, or even richer than me. But then I guess He wouldn't choose me to do it if He thinks I'm not capable, right? And I agree with Corinne. We should remember that we are not doing it alone. God is there to guide us.

    Thank you so much for blessing my Saturday morning with your reflections, Martha! A blessed weekend to you! <3 :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Irene!
      When I've thought I'm not good enough, smart enough, etc., for God to trust me with something, I remember how He so often chose "the least of these", like Moses and Gideon, to accomplish great and wondrous things. We all have gifts, and passions, and dreams, and He wants us to use them to the fullest as we serve Him here on earth.
      And, yes, God is ever with us; we are never alone!
      Blessings to you!

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  6. Beautifully put as always, Martha. I'm actually feeling this very strongly in my life right now, being led by God to follow my passion.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Adriene!
      Yes, after reading your latest post, I am certain God is calling you to follow your passion. It can only lead to greater opportunities to serve Him and grow in the Spirit!
      May your new journey be blessed!

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  7. Moses was reluctant to go because at one point earlier in his life he was too eager and pulled the trigger on his WMS (weapon of mass stupidity). Burned and scared, he hit the road to obscurity, convinced his opportunities were lost forever.

    The point is, some of us say no to God because one time earlier, we said yes to us and failed. Your post, friend, is a reminder that "failure" is a label we hang on ourselves, and that the calling of God isn't affected by our fears, our failures, or anything else that starts with "f" (or any other letter for that matter). It just takes somebody with a little faith and courage to say yes - not to us, but to Him.

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    1. Oh, yes, Andy, it is too easy to hang that overbearing placard around our necks, advertising our "F" for failure like the proverbial scarlet letter. All because we answered the "we" call, not God's. Been there, done that . . .
      The good news is, God never gives up on us, never stops whispering to us about our passion, urging us to follow His lead. We just have to be willing to listen and to heed.
      Blessings to you and thanks for such an insightful comment, my friend!

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  8. this has been what I have been praying...what do you want me to do? We talked about this at length last night at dinner....God did not bless us with all of what we have for us to just be happy by ourselves...our lives have got to reflect His...our Bible study started a new study this Friday..interpreting Scripture in our lives...i am loving what I am learning....
    keep planting your seeds

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Annmarie!
      Oh, you are so right-on here! Our gifts are meant to be shared. We are His hands and His feet in this hurting and broken world which needs to know the love of the Lord more than ever.
      Your new Bible study sounds fantastic! Hope you will post reflections about this on your blog. :)
      I will keep planting those seeds, my friend, and we will keep those fires burning!
      Blessings to you!

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