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Children Of The Burning Heart

March 11, 2013 in Bro. Heath's Blogs

burningheart1 “To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.” ~ A.W. Tozer

“And they said one to another, Didn’t our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

By the sheer mercies of God, a spark of divine spirit and truth rekindles within me now. What was once a smoldering ember, of a love, lost by worldly care, the spirit of God’s amazing grace now tenderly blows upon the faintest ash glow and a holy flame of love ignites within me once again. Thank you Jesus, for your tender mercies!

What rages in my breast at present is surely just a relighting of that first love when I first was rescued by my Savior and friend. I remember once before, I burned like this… but alas, I did not fan it, or let it consume me… but left it shut up in my bones, left it to die out…to my own hurt!
I have to confess: The fire was quenched by my heart filled with the fear of man and how others might think of me… I did not want to upset any apple carts or “offend” anyone with what they might perceive as an over zealousness or a “religious obsession”. I have felt like a lone voice crying out in the wilderness much of the time already. I surely did not want to alienate myself from anyone unduly or irrationally. So I took the water of compromise and poured it on my soul. I dampened my expressions of love for my Saviour by fitting into the “normal mode” of popular “ho-hum Christianity”. Truly the fear of man or caring about how others perceive you is a snare… much more than a snare… a fire extinguisher! So the enemy sowed thoughts into my brain saying, “Don’t share all your heart, tone down your message, you’re too emotionally charged, it might be perceived as “fluffy charisma”.

“Do you really want to be thought of as a fanatic, a religious lunatic, gone off the deep end?!” So I made revisions to sound less intense, less jolting, less enthusiastic. Inwardly, I prided myself as a reasonable, well adjusted and balanced sort of fellow. I dare not make waves or rock the boat anymore. I want the prestige of professionalism when I preach… and thus I lost the anointing that once brought whole churches to their knees. ”
I prayed, “I will speak your message Lord, but not with such consuming passion or urgency as you have given it to me. I will use the wisdom of logic and control. I will curb my enthusiasm as to not offend the lukewarm. I will be respectable in all eyes, in all ears.” But God was not pleased with my blemished offerings, my sacrifice of a lesser obedience. So He allowed my fire to smolder until the smoke of empty Christian activity is all that remained. No passion, no driving force, only the abundance of “going through the motions” to soothe my conscience -but deep within me I knew the fire of the Holy Spirit had been quenched by my compromise… and I became no profit to God and no prophet to men!
But not this time! I shall speak all of my heart in this message! I will utter with the unction within my breast and if it leaves me a lonely watchman on the wall, so be it. I will resist the temptation to water down and tone down for a people steeped in mediocrity and lukewarmness. If I stand alone, I am alone with the fiery Spirit of My God! I can no longer concern myself with those of you who are content with “church as normal”, content with passionless preaching and wonderless worship! I can not cater to seeker sensitive folks that have such a fragile faith and a ultra sensitive mind set that it shatters at the sound of the least bit of correction, rebuke or admonishment.
We all like sheep have gone astray…. We are all rebellious children and live in a stiff necked generation who can not take even a tidbit of correction without falling to pieces and getting offended! But we need to get tougher my friends and we need to get over being put off by men, but even more so by the Word of God, that no doubt brazens a sword that brings a swift fierce blow to all our pride and prejudices! Christians are being martyred in other countries for their faith and we complain when the preacher starts stepping on our toes, meddling in our lives and being too straightforward about our sins! Oh, God help us when we stand before the All Consuming, Holy God of Eternity! If you think a message like this may be too strong or forward, what are you going to do in the presence of a Holy Eternal God who is an all consuming fire? If you are weak and easily flustered by correction and rebuke, then I advise you to quit listening now because God has laid some pretty heavy burdens upon this word that I am sure will throw the weak-hearted into a tizzy fit. Okay, enough preliminary starter fluid… Light a match, let’s all burn for Jesus!

What is the rarest sort of people alive today? It is, no doubt, the “children of the burning heart”!

Count on it- it is those who have been forgiven much, who love much and with a fiery passion! They are the true zealots of the Kingdom. They are the true seekers of God and won’t relent until they find Him! They are what A.W. Tozer talked about. They are the children of the burning heart! It is not a special anointing or calling that these children possess. They simply have fallen head over heels in love with a beautiful God and with hearts consumed, they can not cease to speak His name. They speak with God so fluently and to men so fervently!
Jesus, Precious Jesus! Oh, just the mention of His name makes their hearts leap within their bosom! Their eyes sparkle when they talk of Him. Their countenance brightens at the thought of Him. Every subject of conversation is almost contemptible, every purpose and cause in life, vain and trivial, compared to the sweetness of His knowledge, His hope. They love Him and so they speak all the time about Him! Those who are madly and passionately in love with someone are known for their constant obsession with them. Call it fanaticism…. but truly the definition of Christian fanaticism is someone who loves Jesus more than you do! Oh how we need this kind of love toward our Redeemer King who died to set us free!

Children of the burning heart hunger and thirst for more of God’s presence, never satisfied with glimpses and glances. Momentary experiences are but tantalizing sprinkles of that heavenly hope. This lures them with an unquenchable chasing after the God of wonder they have come to know. All of life’s greatest joys pale in light of the rapturous joy we have in His salvation. Yet how many of us have a burning love for God like this? How many of us are yearning for more of Jesus, hungry and thirsty like this?
All the day and it’s issues are so trivial compared to the time these children of a burning heart spend with their beloved God! They can not wait to be in the presence of God!

They yearn for His presence to go before them, behind them, to be with them always! Their hearts continually cry out for Him, day and evening! They burn within them, like King David, a man after God’s own heart, “Where can I go, to steal away and be with my God! “Like the deer that pants for the water brook, so my heart yearns, burns, pants, thirsts for His presence!”
They are children who are tired of the lofty boasts about “having power in God” but never see a real demonstration of it! They are so discontented by so called “miracles of healing” that are never truly evident! Why is God healing so much back pain and headaches while the blind and lame among us stay crippled? Is He not the “same yesterday, today and forever?” Oh may God give His children a fire that is not satisfied until we have truly seen the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus in our lives and where lost men once again fears His name!

Children of the burning heart hear the fluff of these so called “revivals” where men and women are running after thrills and chills and are grieved that so many are deceived into believing that it is a genuine experience from God. Where is the revival of purity and passion for God? A revival where men and women leave the church consumed with God and committed to loving their family rightly and with winning the lost… instead of focused on how much they were blessed by “holy chillbumps”? How about you? Do you ever feel an overwhelming passion for God and to know Him much more than you do now? Do you chase after “holy goosebumps” or after the Holy Ghost? Do you yearn for God or do you love the trivial and vain so much that you spend your energy in pursuit of them, only to end up empty and miserable?

Children of the burning heart are children of the urgent heart!

Something deep inside of them hates the shallow and time wasting things of life! No longer are they so wrapped up in worldly care… obsessed with making sure their drapes match their carpet. Intrigued by trivial amusements and entertainments. They are ones who “redeem the time for they know the days are evil.” They feel eternity swiftly approaching, even upon their heels. They hear the thundering sound of judgement so near at hand and so many souls not ready! They are the ones who have a revelation of the true horror of Hell and quake within themselves with the fear of the Lord at the thought of anyone going to that damnable place and event! Their hands and their hearts often tremble and their eyes often weep for the lost! Have you my dear friend, ever wept with fervent tears for the lost and dying? Have you ever physically trembled because of the terror of the Lord that God placed within you? Have you ever felt faint with intense burden for the multitude of souls who have never heard the gospel of good news? Have you ever anguished with burden for loved ones still dead in their sins?

Children of the burning heart are children of the unbelonging heart!

They do not feel at home anywhere in this world! They put no security or trust in this world or it’s systems. Many times they feel the emptiness of life, the hopelessness outside of Jesus and cling fervently to the hope of a better country, not made with human hands, that New Jerusalem where the light of God shines on our eternal dwelling. They dream of paradise often and wake up wanting to escape this world and it’s broken, suffering humanity. They are homesick for Heaven! They are homesick for Jesus! The groaning to be clothed with immortality burns within them! How about you? Do you feel a sense of unbelonging here? Do you feel like a stranger in a strange land? A foreigner in this world? Or do you feel at home here, a citizen of this evil age? Has the world so gripped your fascination that you are blind to the human carnage and suffering around you and can not see beyond your own happiness? We are not obsessed with eternal and heavenly things because we are obsessed with earthly, temporal things. May God change our desires to be consumed with eternity!

Children of the burning heart are children of the sacrificing heart!

They are giving first of themselves. These are true servants who do not make it their life’s cause to pad their own life with so much comfort and convenience, shielding themselves from the fellowship of human suffering. But on the contrary, they live to relieve the suffering of others… even to their own hurt many times! They are self denying souls stripped of their right to complain or question why. They are the true missionaries. They are not weighed down with selfish tendencies of materialism to accumulate and possess lot’s of money or things! They see the emptiness of it -the fleeting pleasures, when the newness wears off!

They see that they can not take one dime to Heaven and so they use their money on earth, investing in the work of the kingdom, into the souls of men, the eternal things! Although some of the children of the burning heart may be wealthy, they are modest enough that most would never know it. How about you, dear reader? Do you live basically to build up your own comfort and security? To shield yourself from suffering as much as you can? Or do you choose to serve others, to build them up and relieve their suffering, even to your own hurt? Are you charmed by the sparkle of money or possessed by possessions? May God help us lose all love for worldly cares and the corruption of mammon!

Children of the burning heart are children of the loyal heart!

Loyalty and integrity are anchors of their character formed by the fruit of His Spirit within them. They are steadfast and unwavering in their convictions and in their commitments. They are dependable and will keep their word to you. They are not given to slander, gossip, fault finding or divisive quarreling. They are not loud and belligerent. They are cautious with their words and have tamed their tongue to speak peaceful, encouraging words, blessing their hearers with grace and truth. They will not listen to vain or perverse talk. They will soundly rebuke the gossip who tries to tempt them to listen in. They are loyal to God and their brothers and sisters in Christ and will never allow them to be defamed or even slightly talked down upon without setting the record straight.

Are you like this? Or do you compromise your convictions in the face of inconvenience? Do you neglect or fail at your commitments to others? Have you tamed your tongue to speak only that which is pure and good? Have you tamed your ear to reject backbiting and gossip? Have you the the boldness to rebuke or put a stop to slander or even slight put downs when you hear them? This is loyalty. Do you have a loyal heart? God, gives us loyal hearts!

Children of the burning heart are children of the humble heart!

They are teachable, knowing how to take correction and even receive rebuke! They do not snub their noses or think themselves too sophisticated to stand in the presence of a smelly, sweaty, street person who is needing their help. They are compassionate people who can hug an untidy sinner and love them into repentance! They do not seek position, title or power but only to serve and help meet a need. They are humble enough to admit error, confess sin and change their ways.

How about you? Can you receive a hard or heavy message, a rebuke? A wise man embraces rebuke. Can you admit your faults and confess them to anyone that it is appropriate to do so? Can you endure the probing eye of truth, intruding on the hidden parts of your heart? Or do you bow up with a stiff neck at correction, responding like the pharisee, “Who do you think you are?” Pride will send more people to Hell than any other vice known to man. Are you so proud that you snub your nose at people because you think somehow you’re a better person than they are? I don’t care how long you’ve been saved or ‘sanctified’, your holiness or ‘separation from the world’ should never rise above the sinner. If it does than you are proud and your religion is more smelly than the sinner’s sin. As John Wesley once said, “if the devil can’t get you to take pleasure in your sin, he’ll get you to take pride in your virtue.” God have mercy on us if our virtue begins to blind us to the true nature of our hearts!

Children of the burning heart are sincere… but not perfect!

It is more godly to be sincerely wrong but humble enough to be corrected than to be perfectly right but filled with stubborn pride. God is not looking for perfection in the sense of “never missing the mark” in the performance of serving Him. The perfection God is looking for is in doing our best even though our best may fail or fall short. The children of the burning heart may be a man like Peter whose heart was more pure than his head. His intentions were sincere but his fallible flesh didn’t always live up to the true challenge. Like the parable that Jesus told about the two sons, the one who said, I will go, but then didn’t and the son that first refused to go, but then did. It is not in the initial appearance of someone who seems submissive and obedient but then misses the mark, rather than the one who seems to miss the mark but finally gets it right in the end.

I would rather fight along side a soldier who initially was cowardly but learned to be brave then to be with a brave man who finally lost his nerve. The children of the burning heart are men and women who though not always so pristine in the outward show, they are inwardly the most broken and sincere and therefore the most used by God. They may fall short, they may fall down, they may even on occasion fall into sin but they don’t ever stay short, stay down or stay in sin! The righteous man may fall seven times but he gets back up. There is a shame in falling no doubt… but the greater shame is giving up and staying down.

The man who stumbles may lose my respect for a moment but when he gets back up he gains it forever. The children of the burning heart are overcomers and victorious in the end! They are more than conquerors through Christ! They live in sincere repentance and their hearts aren’t constantly wavering and wandering in sin. They love the way of holiness and godliness. They allow the Holy Spirit to examine their hearts and to find any wicked way in them. They sincerely want Christ to be glorified in their bodies. Though they strive to walk uprightly in all their ways, if they miss the mark, they do not lose heart in the process but continue down the path of God. Putting no confidence in our flesh, we must allow the Holy Spirit to perfect that which is lacking in our blemished sacrifices by the atonement of the the precious lamb of God that offers up that perfection to make our sincere efforts an unblemished sacrifice before the Father. May we overcome with a sincere heart, trusting ultimately in Christ, like this.

In the end, I ask you my friends to lay bare your soul upon the altar of God’s probing. I ask you to invite the Holy Spirit to search your heart to see if there be any wicked way in you. If you are just a religious pretender then you have never burned with true passion and love for God. You may have offered up strange fire with a bubbly and charismatic personality but inwardly you have not known the love of God burning in your chest. Perhaps you have had momentary experiences of religious euphoria or bursts of emotions but you have never touched the fire of God where your heart became a flame of passion that pursued the Lord in intimate friendship.

Perhaps you have been infatuated with Christianity but never in love with the person of Christ… You can not rightly say that you could be counted among the children of the burning heart. But you can replace the ashes of religious pretense and outward conformity with the true flames of passion and love for the Savior. You can allow the true fire to consume the false fire.

Perhaps, you are like me, were once a child of God that scorched the world with your first love. You were truly in love with your Redeemer and King. You burned with excitement and delight for the Lord Jesus. But alas, because of the worldly cares and sinful age, you began to compromise. Little by little, you began to pull back until one morning you woke up without the urgency to seek the Lord in prayer and the devotion of His Word… until one day, there was only smoke and ash in your soul… but God says to you now, I will give you beauty for ashes, I will restore the flame of your first love, if you are but willing to see how far you’ve left it and truly repent for turning away from me.

Oh how God wants to answer by fire the sincere prayer of his estranged children. He wants to rekindle the children of embers and ash… and make them once again children of the burning heart! This my prayer for my own soul and for yours! May we be baptized by His Holy Spirit and Fire!

Make Me Thy Fuel

From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I would climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified.
From all that dims Thy Calvary
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire.
Let me not seek to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, oh Flame of God.

~ Amy Carmichael

*We make no apologies for the many scriptures and references in this article because it is┬ánecessary┬áthat you know that it is not our opinion but God’s Word that really matters in the end.


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