One of the hardest things in serving the Lord is keeping your own heart stirred about the work you have been given to do. We all struggle with it. It is called flesh. Flesh is weak. Flesh grows weary. You cannot trust the flesh.
It is not difficult to get stirred – it is difficult to stay stirred! Without a doubt, emotions will come and go. There is an ebb and flow to life and ministry. But the Lord’s laborers should work to stay enthused about the most important work in the world – God’s work.
Some people run from meeting to meeting always trying to find the formula. Others depend on some motivational speaker or leader to pump them up, prime them up, and pick them up every week. There has to be more to it than that.
The Apostle Peter wrote, “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance” (2 Peter 1:13). I thank the Lord for those God uses to stir me. A timely sermon. A rich book. A personal testimony. There are many messengers the Lord uses to stir my own soul.
Yet I have found that the secret to staying stirred is to learn to stir yourself. If you depend on others to do this for you, you will be sorely disappointed.
Listen to the Apostle Paul, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee…” (2 Timothy 1:6).
Stir yourself to serve the Lord.
Last night I had the opportunity to share this truth with a wonderful group of Sunday School teachers and church workers. Here are the 3 ways I have learned to stir myself up…
Believe that God can and will do big things in unlikely places and circumstances. A young man who went with me one night to a youth rally asked me one of the most thought-provoking questions I have ever been asked. “How do you stay as excited about preaching in a small setting to a few people as you do to a large crowd?”
Good question. Truthfully, in our flesh we all much prefer the energy of good circumstances. Never forget that Spurgeon was saved in the back of a nearly empty church auditorium. Moody was saved in the back of a shoe shop. God often does His greatest work behind the scenes.
Believe in the sufficiency of Scripture and the power of God. Meditate on this and you will stay stirred.
The cure for grumbling is gratitude. Stay thankful for the privilege of serving the God of the Universe. Rejoice that you get to work with Him in this world!
In both of the above Scriptures the word “remembrance” is found. Remember how the Lord saved you. Remember what He has allowed you to do. Remember the joy of your early service for Him.
Remember…and give Him thanks. This will keep your heart warm and tender. This will help you stay stirred.
3. Fresh communion.
Spend time alone with God in His Word. Gather fresh bread for your own soul. The joy of discovery and the thrill of hearing His voice will reignite your passion and stir your coldness.
The fire of the Spirit and the fire of the Scripture will start a blaze in you. Vance Havner said that God is just looking for some good “kindling wood.”
I am not advocating a fake excitement. G. Campbell Morgan said it best, “Painted fire never burns.” It is the fire of the Lord that is so needed!
Blow on the cooling embers of your soul and watch the flame grow again. Stir up yourself and you will learn the secret to staying stirred.
We have a brief video on this on our Youtube Channel.