The Joy of a Burning Soul - A Soul on Fire

Psalm 20 & a song (Soul on Fire. By Third Day)

I have been way to distracted away from my bible study and time with you Lord. Since Sunday service, the song, Soul on Fire, has been in my head because of one word in verse 1 of the song. And of course the verse had the word Joy (1:09):

Lord, restore the joy I hadSoul on Fire - Third Day
And I have wandered, bring me back
In this darkness, lead me through
Until all I see is You, yeah

Since that one moment in the service, that word and song has been running through my head. First question to self, just how many songs actually have the word joy in them? The other four songs in our service did not. And in the last three days, I have only heard it one other time. I find that I am actually a bit hyper sensitive to the word Joy. I guess that is the purpose of the One Word challenge.

Joy can be available to us in so many flavors and nuances. There are a LOT of Christian songs that I really love. And most do not have the word, joy, in their lyrics. And I find that it does not in any way diminish the grace and love that those songs are trying to impart. In fact, I find that most of the Christian songs are either a prayer to God, Praise of Jesus, Love and Faith of God. And while joy is definitely a part of almost all the songs, they don’t have to outright state it. It is implied. It is a part of the fabric of the song. Same as faith. In fact, I find the absence of the word, joy, in the lyrics makes me pay attention to what the songs are trying to say even more.

Soul on Fire. The single word, joy, in the song had me listening and studying this song a lot more. I have listened to it over a dozen times and each time, I get just a different nuance to mull over. As I write this paragraph, the thought that just came in, is people are always afraid of their soul burning in hell forever. Yet the writers (Matt Maher, Brenton Brown, David Carr, Mac Powell, Mark Lee, and Tai Anderson) have taken a fear that many have and turned it into a request from God. I LOVE that. It reinforces that God can take anything bad and turn it into a negative. He used their heart for God to request a burning of the soul. How awesome is that?

I Googled “soul on fire writer” because I wanted to know who wrote the song. And the third result is a blog post from Faithful Stewardship. Jorge, the writer, likes to review Christian songs for their lyrics and their relationship to sound Biblical Doctrine. While I don’t agree with his entire point regarding the song, he raised an interesting point in that the old testament had multiple references to living sacrifices and God accepting burning sacrifices that are pleasing to Him. In fact God consumes the sacrifice with His living fire. Interesting, but I don’t really see the song from that perspective.

I also found a short video of Third Day talking about why they wrote the lyrics. Basically they just want to recapture the fire they had when they first accepted Christ into their lives. It’s interesting. Some people have a huge conversion / ah-ha moment when they ask Christ into their lives. My own personal experience was not that way initially, but I have experienced it more than a few times since then. And I love that feeling. I can definitely see where they are coming from. I still like the thought of overwriting the ‘burning in hell’ analogy.

Wow. And now onto my actual Bible study for the day, Psalm 20. I did read that before I started writing today’s journal, but the joy from songs has really been in my thoughts the last three days. And . . . I love the first line of the Psalm, “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress.” We all will have moments of distress in our life. That’s usually when most people cry out to God.

When I read today’s Psalm, I feel that the writer is speaking to me. That he is saying the prayer to me, and about me and my struggles. Verse 3, “May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.” This is much more interesting after today’s Bible study and journaling. I now see this slightly different. I learned long ago that Jesus wants us to be a living sacrifice, and so the speaker is ‘reminding’ God (and me) of the sacrifice that I am supposed to be. Now add to that scripture the thought that maybe having a ‘soul on fire’ for God and Jesus could be a modern day burnt offering. Kind of like the burning bush that is never consumed by the flames (Exodus 3:2-7).

Is having the Holy Spirit inside of me, and wanting a fire in my soul for Jesus, that does not consume me, but is a ‘burnt offering’ for God, part of His desire for me? Today’s journey certainly has given me a lot of food for thought. As I continued to write, and re-read what I wrote, maybe Jorge, from the Faithful Stewardship is onto something. There can be a fire without what is burning being consumed. I think this is something that I will touch on again in a future post. It’s a lot to consider. The joy of a burning soul. A soul not consumed, but on fire for the Lord. I like that.

It’s amazing what the One Word journey is bringing into my Bible study.

Unspoken - Start a FireEven more amazing. . . As I am preparing to post today’s journal, the song “Start a Fire” by Unspoken starts to play. What is it about fire in my Bible study today? This is a great song asking God to “start a fire in my soul.” It’s worth noting that the word Joy is not in the lyrics, so I don’t think it would have come to my attention without today’s study. But it is a very timely reinforcement regarding fire in my spirit, my soul, my life. Plus, the lyrics video ended with a great bible quote,

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.  2 Timothy 1:6-7

I really am liking the fire references. I wonder where that will lead me in the future?

Here are links to various versions of “Soul On Fire” that I watched to try and get a better understanding of my thoughts.