But it happens that many, from frequent hearing of the Gospel, are conscious of little longing for it, because they have not the spirit of Christ. But he who wishes fully and with relish to know the words of Christ, must be zealous to bring his whole life into conformity with him.Thomas a’ Kempis
It is vanity to hope for long life and to take little thought for a good life. It is vanity to attend only to the present life, and not look forward to things to come. It is vanity to love that which passes with all speed away, and not to be hastening thither where endless joy abides.
A farmer plows his field, sows his seed, and fertilizes and cultivates—all the while knowing that in the final analysis he is utterly dependent on forces outside of himself. He knows he cannot cause the seed to germinate, nor can he produce the rain and sunshine for growing and harvesting the crop. For the successful harvest, he is dependent on these things from God.Jerry Bridges
Yet the farmer knows that unless he diligently pursues his responsibilities to plow, plant, fertilize, and cultivate, he cannot expect a harvest at the end of the season. In a sense he is in partnership with God, and he will reap its benefits only when he has fulfilled his responsibilities.
Farming is a joint venture between God and the farmer. The farmer cannot do what God must do, and God will not do what the farmer should do.
We can say just as accurately that the pursuit of holiness is a joint venture between God and the Christian. No one can attain any degree of holiness without God working in his life, but just as surely no one will attain it without effort on his own part. God has made it possible for us to walk in holiness. But He has given to us the responsibility of doing the walking; He does not do that for us
Does your heart burn for God? Long for God? Do you long to know him better, to love him more fully, to follow him more faithfully, to trust him more completely? Do you deeply desire to live a God-centered life in which God is glorified and reflected in your daily thinking, speaking, and doing? If so, you already belong to the Fellowship of the Burning Heart.
Of course, no one, save the Lord Jesus Christ, can say that they fully desire any of those things, much less have arrived. The Apostle Paul himself didn’t presume to have arrived but knew he must continue to press toward the goal of such communion with God and conformity to the likeness of his Son, Jesus Christ.
Yet even the desire to desire God in such a way is a good thing.
There are some who have gone before us who have hungered and thirsted for God, (as well as for his Kingdom and righteousness), and they have shared a bit about their journey with those of us who would follow them down that path. That’s what these occasional posts, under “Burning Heart” will focus on. They will share snippets – bits and pieces – from those of the fellowship who’ve finished their pilgrimage to the Celestial City and now rest from their labor. What they have left behind for the rest of us is encouragement and wisdom to help us travel the same road. More importantly, they have exalted the King of that road and call upon us to do likewise.
This small effort will be nothing more than sharing brief devotional quotations and insights of the folks who have blessed me along my own journey. I’m quite certain ten different people could come up with ten completely differently lists. Those on my list may not all be your cup of tea, yet I do hope that you will find a little gold in the gravel. But if that is the case, then please find your own fellowship of the burning heart who can help encourage you and build you up for our journey.
“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
We all desire that far green country. Let’s walk the path of those who have successfully gone before us and left a trail of breadcrumbs behind them.