First of all, it is so encouraging to read of your desire to serve the Lord. I am reminded of the attitude of Saul of Tarsus who said to his newfound Savior in Acts 22:10, “What shall I do?” He was ready to serve the Lord immediately and from that day forward he was used mightily in preaching the gospel to lost sinners and teaching the Word of God to those who were saved.

As we study the life of the apostle Paul it seems evident that he was “on fire for the Lord” from the moment of his conversion on the Damascus road until he was martyred for his faith in Christ some thirty years later. What was his secret? How did he “keep the flame going?” On the day that he was saved he was privileged to actually see the Lord Jesus glorified. In Acts 22:6-8 he testified that “a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting’” (NASB). Saul’s heart was won to Christ and though he never saw Christ again with his physical eyes, his “eye of faith” was constantly focused on Him. Twenty six years after Saul’s conversion he wrote these precious words in Philippians 3:8, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” In verse 10 he adds, “that I may know Him.” Though Paul had known the Savior all those years, HE WANTED TO KNOW HIM BETTER! In verses 13-14 he speaks of his intense desire to be with Christ in the glory and he uses the analogy of the race to illustrate this desire, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (NKJV).  In these words we learn the secret of Paul’s zeal and what it was that kept him “on fire for the Lord.” He NEVER took his eye off from the Lord. Like a runner in a race who keeps his eye on the finish line, Paul kept his eye on Christ in the glory and longed for the day when he would “cross the finish line” and be with Christ. To him, Christ was both the GOAL and the PRIZE!

I bring these verses before you to show that if you will keep your eye on Christ, with a desire to know Him better and to long for the day when you will actually be with Him in the glory, your zeal for the Lord will NOT diminish; you will not “cool down” but remain “on fire for the Lord.” You speak of your job as a hindrance in serving the Lord and His people, but remember that even the apostle Paul had a job and yet he served the Lord too. He wrote in 1 Thessalonians 2:9, “For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for laboring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.” He told the Ephesians in Acts 20:34, “Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.” We know from other verses that Paul was a tentmaker and is it not humbling to see that he not only worked to provide for his own needs, but for the needs of others as well? It was not beneath him to do this AND it did not hinder him from serving the Lord, for he still found time to preach the gospel.

This is NOT to say that no one should quit their job and serve the Lord full-time. The other apostles did indeed give up secular employment as we see in Acts 6:2 and 4, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tablesbut we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (NKJV). But it is not for me, or anyone else, to tell you to do this. You must wait upon the Lord and seek His direction in this. And if He is indeed calling you to serve Him in this capacity, He will make it known to you and give you the faith to heed His call.  But even if He doesn’t lead you out in full-time service, we have seen that YOU CAN STILL FOCUS ON THE LORD AND SERVE HIM.  (176.4)  (DO)