There are some lyrics to a song we sing at church that keep burning inside me. They say, “Set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain and I can’t control. I want more of you, God.” We had sang that song at church many times before, but on a balcony in Haiti, it became my prayer. As we were having a time of worship in Gonaives, we sang that song and I started listening to the words. I began to internalize what they meant. I began to sing the song with more of a passion than a compulsion.
What does that look like to have a fire set in your soul? What does that feel like to have it burn without being able to control it? What would happen to me if I truly wanted more of God in my life? Do I really, truly want that and what is the cost? We sing songs and read scriptures a lot without giving much thought to the words we are saying or reading. We rarely dig down deep and plant those words in our heart and mind.
A fire that burns uncontrollably takes out what it wants whereas a controlled burn only takes out what I want. Have I given God real control in my life to take out the things He wants to or do I have protected areas that I’ve not let Him touch because I’ve tried the control burn method? If I truly believe that my life is not my own, why do I try to control what God can and cannot do in my life? Why do I fight to keep the things I want instead of taking the things I need from Him?
It’s a struggle that many of us fight. We want to be used by God. We want to give Him our lives. We want to trust Him. Our actions show differently though. Our mouths say one thing, but our actions show something completely different. I don’t want that. I’m not content with that. I can’t be, not if I’m praying that He will set a fire in my soul. Not if I’m willing to let that fire burn out of my control. Not if I want more of Him. Not if He wants more of me.
God gives Himself to us to the extent that we allow room for Him. Too many Christians are like the inn keeper in Bethlehem. They have no room for Him, but they want Him, so they put Him in the stable of their lives. He doesn’t just want to be in your stable. He wants the entire inn of your life. He wants to come into every room you have locked up. He wants to fill you up, but He will go where you put Him. Are you only offering Him a room in the stable?
For me, I want more of Him than I have today. I want to give Him the keys to my inn. I want to kick out the guests of control, security, lack of faith and fear. I want to give Him those rooms in my life too. I want Him to set a fire in my life to burn the things He wants to burn. I want Him to use that fire to purify me, to cleanse me and to make me who He wants me to be. Will it hurt? Probably. Will it be easy to do? No. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!