Fanning The Flames of Your Heart
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Periodically we all go through dry seasons spiritually. Sometimes we know it and sometimes we aren’t aware of it until we are right in the middle of it. There are different reasons it can happen. Most of the time it’s our fault for allowing other things to come before our time with God and sometimes the enemy can try to pull us off the vine by baiting us with distraction. Whatever the case, God will use it to draw us back to Him or to get us to where we need to be. I know this spiritual dryness well.
Not long ago I had been praying for God to fan the flames of my heart spiritually as I have been going through a dry season. I still pray, read the bible (though not three times a day as I used too), but something had been missing…quiet time. I often think my quiet time button is broken because it can be hard for me to sit long without my mind wandering to things I have to do. Where I used to be able to sit for 2 or 3 hours of reading, praying and studying, it has now moved down to 30 min or so at times. I do find those longer times but not as often as I used to. Yet God is patient with me and continues to provide answers to my questions, calms my concerned heart, and provides for our every need.
The same day that I had been praying about fanning the flames of my heart, God ministered something to me that night. A few weeks prior to this, I put together a sourdough starter for the first time. It seemed like a lot of work and a long process but I was willing to give it a try, hoping I wouldn’t mess it up as you have to feed it twice a day with flour and water. Some days I can barely remember half the stuff I need to get done so this little starter may starve. Yet, every day I fed my starter twice a day, discarding half the starter once a day into another jar to be placed in the refrigerator and used in other recipes that do not need a rising yeast effect. Each day I’d look at my starter to see if it had bubbles which meant the little microorganisms were eating up the sugars in the flour and getting stronger and more active. I was excited to see the bubbles, looking forward to the time I could use this starter for sourdough bread. I had done the water test to see if my dough was strong enough to provide a yeast effect. If the little bit of starter dough I put into water floats, then it’s strong enough and mine floated! So, that night as I was tending to my starter and looking at the bubbles, a scripture came to my mind over and over, “Seek me and you will find me….seek me and you will find me”. So I put everything away and went and sat with the Lord.
As I sat, the Lord ministered, “Do you see the bubbles? How long did it take you feeding your starter before your starter became active?” I thought about it “about a week”. And then he replied “less than a week”. When I thought about it again, that was true as it was only a few days. He continued, “It only took a few days of feeding your starter twice a day for it to become active and now almost 2 weeks later it is strong enough to make bread with. Feed yourself my word twice a day for 2 weeks and watch what happens, once in the morning and once at night”. So that night I began feeding myself twice a day.
No one is beyond going through a dry season. It doesn’t mean you don’t love God, it simply means life got in the way and you’ve become distracted or you intentionally became distracted. Whatever the case, God is faithful and will try to get your attention, even if it’s with something as small as ministering to you through some flour and water. What’s important is if you listen or not. In recovery, it’s imperative to stay close to the Lord and spend time with Him because distraction can lead you right back to square one. The more we feed our spirit with the Word of God, the stronger we become. In time, our spirit becomes spiritually stronger and more able to endure temptations, negative words or actions from others, and we become more healed through God’s Word. As with the sourdough starter, we become active and strong. Our outlook on life changes because we are applying God’s Word and renewing our mind (Romans 12:2). It’s the same with physical exercise. In the beginning of our time working out, we aren’t immediately strong, but as we continue working out day by day, our bodies become stronger and in time we are able to handle more weight. It’s the same spiritually. Hebrews 4:12 states:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
God’s Word is able to heal and restore, and when we allow it to work deep inside of us, it will change our character and behavior. It lays us open, convicting us and then going to work on restoring us when we apply what the Word says. It is living and active.
Within those couple of weeks, I found I had an attitude adjustment and began looking at things differently. I felt better and spiritually stronger. It doesn’t mean I still won’t go through difficult times, but the difference is that I will be able to handle them better because I am walking through it with God and not try to bear the weight of it myself. Any negative thoughts can be taken down quickly. How do we do this? “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
If you’ve distanced yourself from God, repent and move closer. Start by feeding yourself twice a day on His Word. As time goes on, you will feel your heart and spirit become revived as the Word of God is both food and drink to the spirit and gives everlasting life:
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14)
“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:51)