Sometimes the best things happen when you are tired. Some of those happened this Sunday. I came back from Brasilia exhausted after ten days of mission, 24 hours of travel and one lost suitcase, but God had put a message in my spirit while I was away that will take us on a journey for the next few weeks and I could not wait to get it out. I had missed the church, but hopefully they had learnt how little they need me and how much they love me and I was glad to come back with a message and not a sermon.
The message was hot, literally. The word ‘fervens’ means boiling, speaks of the state of something that is hot, very hot, incandescent, it speaks of passion, ardour, intensity of zeal; engagement of the heart. Romans 12.11 says ‘be fervent in spirit’, and that is what we will be chewing on over the next couple of weeks, spiritual fervour, what it is, how to get it, and how to keep it. You see we can’t just hope it will happen to us, God tells us to be it. And we can, we can be incandescent, boiling over, utterly and completely passionate all our lives.
I love passion; I am passionate about God, about the kingdom, about the Church, about the word of God. If it has God in it, it becomes sweet music and death to me would be to become passive, casual, blasé about the things of God. I have been there, life, people, you do things to you that can kill your passion, mutilate your heart and turn you into a spiritual zombie going through the motions, and that is where many are. So when God drew me into this Scripture and spoke to my heart to read, study, meditate, pray and preach it was as if He had handed me liquid gold.
So I preached passionately on passion and as I closed, I sensed the Lord was not done and wanted to minister to people individually so I called forward those whose hearts had been touched to make a change. It was holy ground. I am usually loud but there were times when I could not speak above a whisper as I ministered to people. Such an awesome consciousness of the presence of God. And God went deep within and touched lives. He came in power and delivered too and brought freedom. God is so available, it almost beggars belief.
And so we have begun another journey in the word, another adventure in Christ, another voyage of discovery and enterprise of growth. We are aboard the ship named fervour and we shall be studying, meditating, preaching, praying, and I believe that by the time we reach port we will be radically transformed. We have certainly got off to a good start. And He gave me a lovely homecoming too. Oh the riches of the goodness of God.