Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith: Part I
Lately, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night with a heavy heart, so I’ve started applying five ways to fan the flames of faith before my embers burn out.
Feelings must not be allowed to snuff out the fervor of our faith.
We’re either fanning the flames of our faith or we’re feeding on the fodder of fools—there’s no spiritual middle ground. Yes, moderation in all things is good; however, Scripture tells us plainly in Philippians 1:12 NIV:
“continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
We also need to fan the flames of faith to avoid being one of the statistics warned about in 1 Timothy 4:1 NIV:
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times
some will abandon the faith
and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”
Now that I’ve shown the why for fanning our faith, let’s get started on the how.
I’d like to introduce an acronym I’ve created to help me remember a minimum of five steps to fervent faith: F.A.I.T.H. (Today we’ll look at the first one.)
F for Forgive
The first step to fervent faith is to make sure we’re forgiven and walking in the Truth by trusting in Jesus and by turning away from anything we know God is asking us to leave behind. This draws us closer to Christ. Then we must remember to trust only in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as our ticket to Paradise (salvation is a gift that’s not acquired by good works). We are forgiven for our sins because we’ve believed and trusted on the One who made atonement for them. No one is good enough to burst through the gates of Heaven on their own power or merit, and no one is bad enough to be barred from entering. All that’s required is that we are born-again as it says in John Chapter 3:3 KJV:
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
And on that note—in case you’re interested in knowing more—here’s an excellent series John Piper has created on the topic of being born-again:
We’re also required to forgive others as we’ve been forgiven (this is one of the good work fruits that grow as a result of being saved). Jesus warned us that if we haven’t forgiven others—we’re not forgiven either. It’s a good idea to keep short accounts with God and others by asking for forgiveness for things we know we’ve done wrong.
A clean conscience is divine, and forgiving others brings peace of mind.
When we find ourselves mulling or musing over that which we’ve already been forgiven for, we must remember that, according to Psalm 103:12, Jesus removes our sins as far as the east is from the west—blessed!
One of the heavies hurting my heart is my journey towards fully forgiving someone whose harm I’ve recently discovered is much more than just a thorn from my past. Its tenacious tap-root affected much more than our shared patch of ground. Two years ago, I stumbled upon the why behind the abuse and uncovered way more than I realized was there. Thankfully, the source of this information encouraged me to have compassion towards the perpetrator, gave me the understanding it wasn’t my fault, and helped me realize this person doesn’t have the capacity to show love or empathy.
God showed me how to understand, how to heal–and finally–how to forgive while keeping myself at a healthy distance.
God gives us hope and healing
When we offer Him our sorrow
So we can forgive yesterday
And have a better tomorrow.
My most recent podcast on Walking with Hope with HopeStreamRadio.com goes well with today’s topic as I’m speaking about “Focusing on Beauty Instead of Brokenness.” I also blogged about it here on wendylmacdonald.com where I featured brokenness and the flowers that inspired me.
Blessings of Forgiveness ~ Wendy
Are you familiar with John Piper’s writing? What’s your favorite book or quote of his?
P.S. In a future post, I’ll share the second step in the “Five Ways to Fan the Flames of Faith.”