I was reminded this morning of a darling little song I learned as a child in Junior Church. The lyrics go like this:
“It’s bubbling. It’s bubbling.
It’s bubbling in my soul.
There’s singing and laughing,
Since Jesus made me whole.
Folks don’t understand it.
Nor can I keep it quiet.
It’s bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling,
Bubbling day and night.”1
This particular song came “bubbling” to the surface as I looked up the meaning of the word fervor as used in Romans 12:11:
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
I assure you, this was not the definition I was expecting: “to seethe, bubble, boil, from the sound of boiling water.”2 And I’ve been giggling ever since. Bubble? Really?
It just seems so utterly lighthearted. And perhaps that’s at least part of the point. What’s presently going on in my heart? Is it effervescent or weighed down with burdens?
Let me clarify: not for a second do I believe God intends us to flippantly skip our way through all life can dish out. But when our feet are stable on “the LORD…the Rock eternal.” (Isaiah 26:4), our hearts are freed up to do some bubbling.
Now the definition of fervor also mentioned boiling, which implies heat. So, keeping my spiritual fervor would entail keeping my heart ignited towards the Lord.
I have actually been asked twice in the last few weeks how to do this. How do we keep our hearts passionate for the Lord?
My answer isn’t flashy, but it’s got teeth: focus on God’s love toward you (1 John 4:19). How? Spending time with Him in His Word. Listen to what God says about you (1 John 3:1; Ps 139). Stop and look at the price He paid to bring you into His very own family (Rom 5). Ponder the reality of forgiveness, of relationship (Heb 10:11-25).
Because what happens to a fire that isn’t attended to? It rather quickly goes out. And our love for the Lord is something that requires attention. Fan this into flame.
I also daily ask God to help me love Him better:
to fix my heart and that of my kids so we can love Him fully (Deut 30:6);
to pour out His love in my heart through the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:5);
to give us the power to grasp His love (Eph 3:17-19).
Result? A heart that overflows with God’s very own love. And happens to look a lot like bubbling.
1.written by Godfrey Birtill. copyright 2010 Thankyou Music