Have you ever been around a campfire that slowly dwindles and eventually burns out? It’s not much fun if extinguishing the flame was not the intent. The warmth and light once enjoyed and utilized suddenly leaves onlookers standing in the cold and dark. No one wants that in a campfire. Neither does Jesus want that in your relationship with Him! Your life with Jesus has always meant to be alive, active, warm, and illuminating.
Here are 10 Great Ways to Keep Your Heart on Fire for Jesus:
1. Seek to Know Jesus Himself (not just information about Him).
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
– Philippians 3:10-11
Learning historical and Biblical facts about Jesus is useful and good in our relationship with Him. However, knowing facts and truths about Jesus without knowing Jesus Himself is like gathering logs but never putting them on the fire. Knowledge doesn’t keep our heart ablaze, Jesus does. In Biblical terms, to know someone means to relate and encounter them intimately. Make knowing Jesus intimately your daily pursuit.
2. Keep Prayer Constant (not just when you need help).
“Pray continually.” – I Thessalonians 5:17
Ongoing communication with God keeps love alive! Many pray when they’re in a rut, in trouble, or in over their head. Those who walk and talk with God throughout their day (about the big things, the little things, and all the things in between) have deeper fellowship and connection with God. Their constant closeness with God becomes like a pilot light on a furnace that instantly ignites when needed. Those who pray sporadically often feel more distant from God. They become more like the person whose pilot light is out, frantically scrambling here and there for a way to light the fire when warmth and light is needed most. Keep your heart warm and ready—pray throughout your day!
3. Engage God’s Word (don’t just read and study it).
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” – Psalm 119:18
The Bible provides life-giving and life-saving instruction that blesses and benefits us. But that’s not the ultimate aim of God’s Word. The Bible is not primarily about being blessed or even being good. The Bible is about knowing God. Those who know God (there’s that up-close, intimate word again) increasingly are blessed and are good. Why? Because God gives blessing, and God is good. Getting to know, obey, serve, and love God through His Word helps us to become more like Him and more like the people He created us to be. It’s great to know Bible facts and stories. It’s beneficial to be moral, upright, and good. Seek God—His ways, His goodness, His plan, His power, His heart—in His Word, and you heart will be ablaze to do and be all God desires!
4. Exercise Your Faith (don’t just talk about it).
“For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” – James 2:26
Can you imagine standing around an unlit firepit on a freezing-cold day and talking about how toasty warm a fire would be? Talk is cheap, and it doesn’t get many things of value done. Action gets results and moves things along. Your faith—your ability to trust God in things you cannot see, do on your own, nor control—will grow as you activate it. Talking about trusting God and actually trusting God are two different things. Talking sounds good. But taking active steps to trust God (though riskier and often more costly) will be so much more rewarding and keep your heart blazing!
5. Practice Praise and Thanksgiving (don’t live like God owes you).
“… give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – I Thessalonians 5:18
Have you ever seen a sign that reads: “In case of fire, keep door closed”? Fire safety instructors will tell you it is because opening the door will allow oxygen in and accelerate the fire. A life of praise and thanksgiving are like opening the door of your heart and adding oxygen to the fire. When we praise God (acknowledge who He is) and thank God (recognize and appreciate what He does for us and others), it provides so much more “oxygen” than we can provide in our heart when we keep the doors closed. When it comes to praise and thanksgiving, don’t play it safe. Open wide the doors of your heart (daily, early, often!) and watch the fire of His love spread.
6. Make Time for Being (not just doing).
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” – John 15:9
Fires have rhythm. They aren’t all just burn, burn, burn. Fires also rest. Consider white coals. Their ashy appearance makes them seem like they aren’t doing much. Underneath the surface, however, exists the hottest portion of the fire. God created you for rhythm and rest too. Finding a balance of doing and being as a follower of Jesus is important so that you don’t burn out. It’s easy to fall into the trap of never stopping or resting. Jesus often got away from crowds and ministry, you should too. Regular practice of Sabbath, meditation, silence, and resting your body, mind, and spirit will go a long way in keeping the fire of your heart burning bright.
7. Live a Life of Worship (don’t just make it about Sundays).
“I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” – Psalm 34
Worship is an event and a lifestyle. Worshipping God—honoring, revering, and responding to God with your whole self—goes so far beyond a once-a-week occurrence. Can you imagine lighting a bond fire on a Saturday, walking away from it for a week, and expecting it to still be burning when you return? While weekly, church-body worship is mandated, needed, and often powerful—so is your daily lifestyle of worship. As you practice honoring and responding to God in your work, recreation, conversations, quiet times, thoughts, etc., throughout the week, your whole life will become an offering of worship to God that burns strong and true.
8. Love and Serve Beyond Yourself (don’t make your faith all about you).
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” – I John 4:12
While many singers, poets, and writers have expressed it, Jesus is the one who demonstrated it: “Love isn’t love until you give it away!” Love was never meant to be consumed, possessed, and protected. God’s love has always meant to be shared. If you’ve ever read about how forest fires start and spread so rapidly, you know it’s often by means of a “firebrand,” a tiny ember of fire that floats in the air from one area to another. If you want to keep your heart on fire and watch God’s love spread, simply share what you have beyond yourself. You’ll be amazed what God can do with you as a firebrand of His love and life!
9. Walk Daily with the Holy Spirit (not in your own wisdom and strength).
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25
Want to keep your heart on fire? Walk with the starter, maintainer, and spreader of spiritual fire—the Holy Spirit! Acts 2:3-4 tells us, “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…” Jesus promised that when He physically left the earth, we wouldn’t be left alone—void of God’s power, provision, direction, and presence. Walking step by step, moment by moment, day by day with the Holy Spirit will set, and keep, your heart on fire. God’s Holy Spirit is His promised gift to you. Simply ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit, and He will! As you walk and converse daily with the Holy Spirit, God will do amazing things in and through you.
10. Continue a Life of Growth (don’t be stagnant).
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:17-19
Fires that never expand eventually burn out. The fire of your heart is no different. Those who somehow believe they have all of God they want or need are not only mistaken, they also flame out. Continue to learn and grasp “how wide and long and high” God’s love is for you and others. Continue to be a student of life and love, of God and people. Most importantly, continue to see just how big God is and all He can do in your life and in His Kingdom. Being “rooted and established in love,” you need not fear stretching and growing. A lifeless, fireless heart is what’s frightening. A heart on fire is what you’re after, so grow and expand as God leads you.
Your intimate, heart on fire relationship with God is the greatest gift you can offer the world. Practicing these tips often will help you offer the best gift possible!