We all struggle with doubt. Never is that clearer to us than during periods of heavenly silence. Those times when we feel that God is so far away and our prayers feel futile. These usually occur after we have had a ‘mountain top experience.’ – when we get back to reality and no longer feel the euphoria we did when we were in His presence. We have a bad habit of looking for those emotions to carry us. We have the kindling of the power of Christ still in us – our burning hearts. But we can allow even that to vanish; then all we have left are stories.
When we learn to tap fresh and anew into what is already inside us and recognize that He is still there, and always will be, we can move on and fully be used to reach the world around us. Two disciples learned the hard way about the lingering presence of Christ. However, they let the moment get in the way of their mentor. But thankfully their blindness was only temporary.
Walking the Road to Emmaus
After Jesus was arrested, most of those who were following Him vanished. Those that vowed to stand beside Him in the face of any opposition fled. These two disciples were returning to a town called Emmaus. On their way there they are met, although they do not recognize Him, by Jesus. Sadness fills their hearts as they recount the events of the past few days.
We do that. We gain certain expectations of how God is going to act, and we expect Him to follow that model. When things do not go as our minds plan them, we become distraught.
Doubt – One of the main tools the devil uses is doubt. It began in the Garden of Eden with Eve, “Did God actually say…?” And that voice plagued these two disciples. That same voice resounds in our hearts today. We are faced with a plan that did not go as outlined, and we express our doubt. We know that God gave us instruction to do something; we believe we are supposed to go right, but the road curves left. And we doubt that we even heard God’s call in the first place.
Disillusionment – What brings on the doubt is our preconceived notions of how God is going to work. The two disciples on the road told ‘the stranger’ that they had hoped Jesus was going to be the one who would deliver Israel. We do the same thing. We feel that God has a plan for us, then when things go hinky, we give up. ‘Well, I thought God was going to bless me, let me keep this job, keep me healthy, save my loved one…” the list goes on and on. We put God in a box and expect Him to stay within the confines of how we believe He should act. But God knows better than we do.
Opening Our Eyes to the World Around Us
It is not until God chooses to reveal Himself that we see how He is moving in our hearts and lives. Just like the disciples in this story, we may be deliberately being kept in the dark. Perhaps our misconceptions are blinding us. When Jesus shows us through His Word, we can then see where we are going wrong. And when the truth of scripture is opened, it causes burning hearts.
Deal with Burning Hearts – We can hear the Word of God and feel the anticipation, the urge to act. Jesus was instructing the two disciples to what the Law and the Prophets taught in the Old Testament. Reference after reference, their eyes were opened to the truth, and it filled them with eagerness. Once that desire is built up, Jesus reveals Himself, and they were set free to go and fulfill God’s Will. But their hearts needed to be ignited. Without Jesus Himself fanning that flame, they, and we, sit in doubt and disillusionment; clueless.
But the revelation of Christ’s presence to burning hearts is like taking off the lid to a slow burning fire. The air that hits it sets it ablaze. The explosion forces movement. Just like the two disciples. They went that very hour. They did not wait until morning. Remember, it was late at night. They went immediately to share their experience with Jesus. That is what burning hearts will do when ignited; cause an immediate reaction.
Share Our Experience – So we have seen Jesus Christ. We felt lost and abandoned, but He was there, walking on the road next to us. He reasons with us, showing us what we missed. Yet, we still want to point out, “But this is how God should act. It is what I felt He should have done.” It’s no wonder that Jesus called the disciples foolish. But the blinders have now been removed. We see Jesus for who He really is. Now we can take that knowledge and deliver it to the world. Sharing with them our burning hearts experience.
Burning Hearts Final Thoughts
Now it is your turn. Has your heart fallen into doubt and disillusionment? Have you believed the lie of the devil? Let this message ignite your soul. I pray it will flow through each of you and cause burning hearts across the nation. Hearts that have realized the truth. Christ has always been there. We no longer have to look back and wonder why He did not do things the way we anticipated.
We must see Christ in a new light. The way He intended it to be. We may not fully understand why we had to go through the Heavenly silence period. But know that it should bring about trust by standing on His Word. We have it far better than these two disciples did. Jesus had just died three days before this Emmaus Road stroll. We have the benefit of their story. We have the benefit of the countless stories of men and women experiencing Christ.
Their stories should cause burning hearts in all of us. You can have your own personal experience. It does not have to be walking on a lonely road. You are not alone. He is there and always has been. Experiences like the Burning Hearts Conference change lives. You will hear scripture, listen to how God has impacted lives, and then with your own burning heart can see Christ for yourself, and fulfill what His Will is for your life. Then you, like the two disciples, can go and tell others what you have witnessed for yourself and help ignite burning hearts everywhere.
Written by Jeff S. Bray