By Kelly Shaw
Too many times people live their spiritual lives dry and weary and complacent to stay there. They read the Scriptures with little understanding and are content with believing that God will do something even though they don’t understand.
They pray without conviction that anything can change, without desperation that something must change in them or around them, without hope in a God who is mighty to save. They believe that God exists and one of His actions is to save, but they don’t really believe He will intervene in their circumstances.
We have lost the fervency in our devotion. Not only have we lost it but we don’t even know that it is missing.
The word fervent conjures up the picture of a blazing hot fire. Fire consumes everything that can be burned. The hotter the fire the more it can melt.
Raging wildfires have energy and they feed off of flammable materials in order to maintain their intensity. Raging wildfires consume thousands of acres until they can be stopped.
In the spiritual life, most believers have all of the necessary materials to create an environment for that fiery, fervent devotion. They read their Bible and spend time praying.
However, they do it in their own strength. They try to find understanding based on their limited knowledge.
In the book of Acts, Luke writes of a Jewish man named Apollos. Knowing only of the baptism of John, he accurately taught the things of the Lord. He took the little that he knew and began to share it with everyone that he met.
But how could he teach people knowing so little? His great understanding came from his being fervent in spirit. He was careful to study the Scriptures and knew them very well, but he didn’t stop with just that. His spirit was burning inside of him. (Acts 18:24-25)
This is the same man that Paul writes of in 1 Corinthians 1:12, “Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”
Apollos is put on the same level as Paul, Peter, and Christ. How did he come to attain such high regard by the people? Because of this fervent devotion.
Everyone has access to the same Scriptures. But what matters is listening to the Spirit inside of us, that as we read the Word the Spirit would change us, change the way we think, change the way we treat others, and change the way we see God.
The key to a fervent heart is found in dependence upon God and His Spirit to come and bring light and revelation to our hearts. The fire of our devotion and our zeal must come from the Holy Spirit burning within us.
Every believer has the Holy Spirit. But there is a difference between knowing salvation, and constantly yearning for more of God to be manifested in our lives.
The good news is that the road to fervency is not complicated. It only takes asking for that burning fire to come alive within us.
While the road is not complicated, it is not easy. We must ask every day. We must be diligent keep the fire burning within us.
Before we read the Bible, we must ask for the fire of the Holy Spirit to touch our minds and bring deeper understanding and revelation.
Before we pray, we must ask the Holy Spirit what He would have us pray and how He would have us pray. One of the keys to prayers that are effective is the fervent heart burning within us. (James 5:16)
The Spirit of God longs to burn within each one of us. He longs to help us see God’s Kingdom here on earth just as it is in heaven.