Fanning the Flames by Lisa Burkhardt Worley
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’” (Hebrews 12:29).
One of the first Christian songs I ever learned was Pass it On. It starts, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going…” That song came up for me this week as I thought about the fire that was kindled over eight years ago in Israel. In a store called Shorashim which means “roots,” the LORD told me that my Jewish father died but my Jewish roots never died. It has been an amazing journey since that word. It has led to a return to school to work on a Doctor of Ministry degree in Messianic Jewish studies and the production of two documentaries to fight antisemitism. Tomorrow I will be returning to Israel again with television friend, Destiny Yarbrough, to co-produce a documentary on Bridging the Gap in the Holy Land. It’s a look at how both traditional Jews, Christians and Messianic Jews are bridging the divide between each other.
However, jumping into the fire of a new calling has not been easy. Going back to Israel after having been there less than two months ago is somewhat overwhelming, especially since I fractured my arm there in January. Meanwhile, school is like a part-time job, in addition to other responsibilities. When the work seems mountainous and I am not sure I can make the climb, I ask, Am I really supposed to be doing this? That’s when ADONAI adds some fuel to the fire, and any doubt I have burns up.
G-d’s fire has been a repeat message for me over the past couple of weeks. I pay attention to patterns of three. It’s as if the LORD is saying “The fire of this calling I’ve placed on your life is growing and will be evident to others.” This week, I attended our in-person doctoral cohort. One of the classes I am taking this semester, as promised, is a lot of work. We have had hundreds of pages of reading and also had to prepare three oral presentations with PowerPoints for this week. However, the hard work was all worth it, and sitting in this class under the teaching of Messianic Jewish authority, Dr. David Rudolph, was an accelerant. The fire and passion toward my calling to Messianic Judaism was now a blaze. I could not get enough of the dialogue. It was as if G-d was confirming that school is where he has placed me in this season. As one classmate said, “It’s all coming together for you at this time.”
When the LORD spoke to Moses through a burning bush, it was the beginning of Moses’ true calling to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. As believers, the LORD has placed a calling on each of our lives. What fire has G-d ignited in you? Do you sometimes get discouraged when it gets too difficult? If you have received a spark toward a calling, ask the Lord to fan the flames and to consume you with his holy fire. It will be a bonfire seen from miles away.