“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24)
As a young boy, my desire had always been wanting to live passionately and on fire for Jesus. The one big question I always had during my teenage years and mid-twenties was: “How do I be ‘on fire’ for God?”
I’ve learnt that if we can articulate what this means, or how it actually looks like, we will be able to set the compass of our lives for our passion to burn consistently from the days of our youth to the day we become grey-haired.
I grew up hearing stories of men and women who gave their lives to missions, and testimonies of all their great exploits. My youth leaders inspired us with stories of revival and third heaven experiences. With these longings to experience what they had, I went on to read up on biographies of individuals who’d left a mark on Church history.
My heart was apprehended by what they did with their lives – in awe of what they had achieved in ministry. But it was precisely my focus on their exploits, experiences and the external that formed in me a misconception on what being “on fire” for God meant. I assumed that there was something that I had to do for God in order to get “on fire” for Him.
And this effort of trying to stay on fire for Jesus eventually came to an expected end, as the years of doing caused me to burnout instead of burning for Him.
In between 500 pages of exploits, experiences and external glories are 500,000 hidden pages of decisions and devotion lived in the secret place with God.
Reading stories of our fathers and mothers of the faith is a good thing because their journeys inspire ours. But what we don’t always realise is that when we read or hear about their lives, these examples are moments of their public victory – public victories that were won in their private life.
In between 500 pages of exploits, experiences and external glories are 500,000 hidden pages of decisions and devotion lived in the secret place with God, where no man can witness and only the angels in heaven keep a record of in God’s book (Revelations 20:12).
“All the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories, and its most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about, or can only dimly guess at.” (Hannah Hurnard, Hinds Feet on High Places)
In the words of Mike Bickle, “Radical Christianity is staying faithful for decades.” I have come to realise that being radical and on fire for God is not about doing something extreme for a moment, but being consistent in our daily living. It’s in the little choices that we make for love.
There will be seasons for the big and grand, but most of our lives will be made up of the little things and the mundane. And it is when we are faithful over little that God will set us over much.
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” (Matthew 25:23)
I believe these men and women whom we are deeply inspired by didn’t just live in the fantasy of a moment, but in the consistency of a movement in the secret place. I believe they gave their time to stand before God in secret more than they did standing before man in public; they only participated in God’s exploits in public because they’d witnessed God’s exploits in the secret.
These men and women learnt to be faithful in positioning themselves to be found by God in the secret – a God who is an all consuming fire burning with deep desire for them (Hebrews 12:29). And when you’re constantly with an all consuming fire, you become a man on fire.
The zeal, passion and desire of man can only take us so far because our strength is finite, but the zeal, passion and desire God possesses and gives us remain for all eternity because He is infinite.
After 14 years of my journey with God, I have found my answer to a life on fire in the lives of the men and women who left a legacy for the generations. The secret to a life “on fire” is to be found in the secret with the God on fire.
I don’t just want to live for God, I desire to live from Him.
This article was first published on Jason Chua’s blog, and is republished with permission.
Jason Chua will be speaking at The One Thing Gathering 2018, which will see hundreds of young adults unite with the International Houses of Prayer across the world to behold the majesty and beauty of Jesus.
Happening from July 19-21, 2018, for the first time in Asia, the gathering calls for young people who have purposed in their hearts to live with abandonment and devotion to Jesus, to do His work, be His voice and see His transformation in the nations.
To register your attendance, visit their page.