I didn’t understand the concept of a spiritual fire until my second semester of college. After indulging my sinful nature, the entire first semester, inside I felt like the popular Foreigner song “As Cold as Ice.” Despite warnings from older Christian friends, I had my own prodigal son experience, chasing popularity and the party scene. When you live a lie for three months, I began to feel dead inside or as Pink Floyd once sang, “Comfortably Numb.”
And he [Abram] believed in (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness (right standing with God), Genesis 15:6.
After most of my floor funked out, there wasn’t as many distractions so I began to turn back to God. This spiritual U-Turn began at James Madison University during a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Retreat. My roommate for the weekend was the quarterback of Delaware’s football team. Despite his size and stature, Dave had a great heart and welcomed me with open arms. Following Friday nights Icebreaker, my heart was receptive to the people I met and speakers which followed.
For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [[d]full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). 4 By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature, 2 Peter 1:3-4.
Like a series of building blocks, each session tied together, sparking a sensation in my heart that I had never experienced before. As Saturday night led into early Sunday morning, students gathered in a conference room for an open mic. One by one, athletes shared about how God touched them, reflecting upon Bible studies and keynote speakers. Just as Abram experienced a spiritual turning point in his life, this was the moment I made Jesus the Lord of my life, Romans 10:9-11. The Holy Spirit ignited a fire inside my heart that still burns today, prompting a stutterer to face my fear of speaking in public. Before graduating college, this spiritual fire sparked a miracle, healing me from my stammering past. While I’m still a sinner, this spiritual fire is real and still burns.
by Jay Mankus