Allow me to be vulnerable for a moment. I have a love-hate relationship with church. It's not that I am critical, I just get tired of doing the same old thing which leads to the same old nothing all the time. I want to be a part of a church that loves the abandoned, heals the sick, and adopts the rebellious. I long to see the church step out of the box and do new and amazing things for God. I want to see the church reaching the unreachable and making a startling difference in the world. At times we get too caught up in ourselves. The church is meant to be the body of Christ, always reaching and serving the lost. But more often than not, we serve only ourselves. Almost everything in the church often seems geared for one purpose: to make the saints happy. It’s like we have forgotten that the church was never meant to be a resort for us.
So when I got into ministry I told God, “I don’t want to be ordinary. I don’t want to waste my life preaching sermons and preparing programs to make us happy. I want to do new and amazing things for you. I want to step out of my comfort zone where all my pet traditions and cherished customs lie and enter a new and unfamiliar world of impacting something other than myself – the world.”
So I prayed. I prayed a lot. I asked God to show me how to be scandalous for him. I wanted the secret. I wanted to discover the source of the flame that set the early church, the reformers, and the Adventist pioneers on fire. I wanted to tap into that fire so that I could do new, out of the ordinary, wild, and shocking things for God. To borrow Avril Lavigne's words, “I want to be anything but ordinary please”. So I prayed like crazy: “Lord, how can I be scandalous for you? Show me the source of the flame.”
And then one day, as I prayed he answered. And this is what he said. “If you want to do scandalous things for me, you must pursue a scandalous relationship with me.” And then it hit me. I was so dumb. There I was unsatisfied with doing the same old thing for God, and yet I was perfectly satisfied with having the same old relationship with Him. So God burst my bubble and put it to me straight. If you want to do amazing things for me, you must pursue an amazing relationship with me. These 10 minute prayers and 15 minute Bible studies may be OK if you are looking for ordinary; but if you want to go beyond ordinary, if you want to do wild things for me, you must go beyond ordinary in your relationship with me.
I discovered that the source of the flame that lights us up for him is the flame itself. The Bible tells us that God is a consuming fire. He is the flame. He is the source. And if you want to be on fire for him. If you are tired of a dead and dying church. If you want to do amazing things for God and lead the church you love toward a better tomorrow you must go to the source of the flame. It’s not in you. It’s not in your ideas. It’s not even in your efforts. The source of the flame is God – our consuming fire – the flame itself.