Thursday, January 30, 2014

LEGACYouth: Catching Fire

Recently, I was driving down the interstate on a cold midwinter’s day when a new song came on the radio. As I listened to what I expected to be another hollow pop song about compromising romance, the lyrics wasted little time in surprising me:

We, we don't have to worry ‘bout nothing
Cause we got the fire, and we're burning one hell of a something
They, they gonna see us from outer space, outer space
Light it up, like we're the stars of the human race, human race

When the lights turned down, they don't know what they heard
Strike the match, play it loud, giving love to the world
We'll be raising our hands, shining up to the sky
Cause we got the fire, fire, fire, yeah we got the fire fire fire

And we gonna let it burn burn burn burn



It soon dawned on me:

We’re a culture fascinated by fire.

I don’t care if it’s a Katniss Everdeen dress, a piano played by Mauro Ffortissimo or a rain only Adele could love, at the end of the day, we want something up in flames, smoldering in our quest to find something to believe in.

Have you ever wondered why fire is such a captivating visual? Is it simply the sensory effects of a chemical reaction, or is there further beauty hidden within the unseen?

Consider the etymology. Over time, the world has associated passion to fire, fire to wonder and wonder to meaning.  Apply a quick transitive property to the trio and suddenly you have fire smack-dab at the heart of identity. And since identity is everything, how amazing is it that it’s crafted with a fire unable to be separated from unconditional love and the passion flowing from it?

Think about it. Have you ever tried finding a word picture for passion that has nothing to do with fire? It’s not easy, is it? Why? Because fire is the purest emblem of sustaining desire, the logo of a desperate outcry to be for something or someone.

Thus, whether we’re lovin’ or whether we’re hatin’, we ain’t livin’ unless we’re fanning something into flame. Why? Because to live is to love and to love is to burn and one cannot burn without fire. It’s the most epic requisite of life. And if we see fire in the context of worship, then we can deduce the fact everyone is worshipping something. Even if the “something” is deemed “nothing”, it’s still something, since the “something” connects to a source of meaning and value.

So if everyone is worshipping something, if everyone is hoping to catch fire, the question is: “What fire are we after?”

For there are many elements capable of igniting an ember within, but only one can provide the everlasting spark we’re looking for. Only one entity in the entire universe can offer a resolute foundation worthy of building a life on.

"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” ~ Hebrew 12:28-29 (ESV)

Whether people realize it or not, many are in search for lasting stability. Some call it “the pursuit of happiness”, but what they’re really looking for is solid ground, complete with something not only real and tangible, but also honest and steadfast. Need evidence? Look no further than some of the loaded lyrics coming out of secular mainstream music these days (cue "Unconditionally" & "Roar" by Katy Perry, "Brave" by Sara Bareilles, "Burn" by Ellie Goulding, etc.) It's extremely humbling when you discover fire is not something God deposits solely into the spiritual elite. Everyone is carrying a torch within the deep places; everyone is looking for a light in the darkness to be a light in the darkness.

Unfortunately, where many find themselves is stuck between the rock of self and a hard place. And it’s here where the greatest deception and discouragement occurs. But with God’s fire, there is always a pathway in the direction of where He wants to take us. In some cases, this manifests through purification; in others, it’s rejoicing; in others, it’s overcoming strongholds*; for others, it’s knowing the word of God**.

Bottom line: Knowing how to burn with God’s fire is imperative amidst the distractions and deceptions of this age. Sometimes, the problem is we don't have a clue on what needs to create and sustain it. So in the coming weeks, we will thoroughly unpackage holy fire, its essential ingredients (i.e. a catalyst, contact, spark, fuel and protection), its purpose in our lives and how we can not only acquire it, but share it as we approach Acquire the Fire 2014. I don’t know about you, but I want more of God’s fire in my life. I don’t want to be an indifferent bystander, but rather a firestarter for Jesus. Life cannot be lived to the fullest unless we’re committed and attuned to the work and voice of the Holy Spirit.

*So I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre, and it shall devour her strongholds.” ~ Amos 1:10 (ESV)

** Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? ~ Jeremiah 23:29 (ESV)

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1 comment:

Ferguson Fam said...

great post! "Let my heart burn, let it burn for You..." Rick Pino.