The Power of Kingdom Sparks

January 5, 2024

At Scatter, we’re equipping you with the tools and resources you need to thrive in the ways God has uniquely designed you to contribute. We want to see you leverage your personality and passion, your talents and training to bring real and lasting impact to the world around you.

By 12 years old, movie director and film legend Steven Spielberg was already wowing his childhood friends and family with short, homemade western films. Even as a teenager, he knew that he had found his lane. His joy. His spark.

If you were to skim through the opening chapters of most modern biographies, you wouldn’t have to flip far before you found a similar moment of “spark discovery.” There is a point in most people’s lives where whatever gift, talent, or passion that has either been lying latent or has been casually explored suddenly sparks and catches flame. When things suddenly “just sort of clicked.”

But what are these sparks? How do you go about finding them, nurturing them into a blazing fire of joy and passion? 

If you haven’t found that spark yet, don’t be discouraged. There is no timeline that dictates when sparks have to be discovered. Don’t fall for the societal narrative that you have to know your spark by 22. In fact, most people who spark that early will end up flaming out as their joy and contentment in their passion dissipates.

When it comes to finding or growing your spark, the good news is that you have everything you need. Right now.

You aren’t lacking, you may just need a guiding hand to point out things like the right kindling, the right flint, and the right oxygen to keep your heart burning long into the days ahead.

The world needs your spark. Your friends, family, and neighborhood need your unique fire to burn bright and give heat and warmth to those in your vicinity. So lean in and come close. Your spark is hungry to be brought to life.

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This is the third piece in a series on How to Live A Worthy Life. I’ve mentored and counseled young leaders for almost a decade and I’ve seen over and over that they desperately want to matter. To make a difference. To contribute by living out their passion and purpose.

We started this series by defining what a worthy life truly is. Then we shifted to providing some practical tips on how to stand out - namely through showing up with excellence. This article, however, shows a different side of living a worthy life; the side of living aligned with your passion and gifting. Of leveraging that skill set and purpose for the glory of God and the good of those around you. Of making a tangible effort at bringing the kingdom of heaven to Earth in your sphere of influence.

All of us - regardless of race, financial status, background - all of us have been given a unique measure of God’s grace in our lives. That’s what Paul outlines in Romans 12:6a when he encourages, 

“Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them:”

That means that you, as you are, have a unique imprint on your life. An impression of skill, merit, grace, and desire that combines in a rare and beautiful combination to make up your passion. Some people might have multiple passions, or they might change slightly over time, but the point is this: what you have, no one else has. 

You have a spark of passion inside of your soul that is poised and ready to turn into flame.  A kingdom spark. You just have to draw it up and out. 

Here are four things to think through that will help you take your kingdom sparks and turn them into a blazing fire of potential.

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#1 - Find the Right Kindling

Think about your answer to this question: when was the last time you felt alive? That humming in your gut, the joy that you can’t seem to keep from bubbling over. Got a moment in your mind? Now, most people would jump straight to the question, “What were you doing?” But that’s not necessarily the best way to stoke your kingdom sparks. 

Rather, keeping that moment in mind, ask yourself this, “What was happening around me when I felt alive?” You might press in further by asking, “Who was there? What was the setting? What were the expectations of the room?”

When you go to start a fire, it’s often helpful and advantageous to have kindling; little sticks, twigs, or scraps that can burn easily and help catch the larger logs on fire.

When you think about something you enjoy doing - leading a work taskforce, taking care of those who are hurting, planning a beautiful meal - what are the things around you that are your kindling, your twigs or sticks that help your sparks catch and turn into flames?

Maybe it’s a certain person or group of people who really bring out your best? Maybe it’s a particular type of work environment? Or even a certain physical location? Some people come alive in a library. Some come alive outside. Some come alive in their home.

Examine your life and discern what happens around you when you feel deep joy and purpose. Those things are your kindling.

The more you can surround yourself intentionally with the things that stoke your sparks, the more you’ll see your flames grow.

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#2 - Some Resistance Required

Here’s something I’ve heard in the undertones of many conversations I’ve had with people looking to see their kingdom sparks grow: “I want to be a blazing fire for my community, for my friends, for God, but I don’t want it to be uncomfortable.”

Today, we do a lot to minimize feelings of discomfort. We opt for the shorter drive. We buy the frozen food over the fresh food. We disappear from a friendship instead of embracing the hard conversations. But if you are going to have any hope of seeing your kingdom sparks turn into flames of potential, you’re going to have to learn to embrace discomfort. Because with fire, as is the case in most areas of life, some resistance is required.

Since the beginning of mankind’s relationship with fire, we’ve by and large gotten sparks through the same two processes: friction and force. We’ve either slammed two stones against one other, a rock striking flint. Or we’ve used friction, sticks rubbing together at such a high speed that the pressure and heat create sparks.

Neither process sounds particularly enjoyable. But that’s the beauty of fire. There is always a cost, a resistance that was overcome to enjoy the warmth of the flames.

The same is true for your kingdom sparks. There’s going to need to be some resistance. Some perseverance. Some pushing past the levels of comfort and ease.

What might your flint look like? Maybe it’s a particular challenge at work that presses you into a new realm of possibility. Maybe it’s a friend who calls you up and into the better dreams God has for your life. Maybe it’s a season of suffering that releases your heart into new definitions of hope and joy.

Whatever it is for you, make sure to find your flint. Find your friction.

Lean into the discomfort and watch as your sparks start to really build.

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#3 - Keep Feeding the Flames

This one is fairly straightforward, but it’s shocking how many people don’t put this principle into practice. How do most fires die? They are starved. You stop adding logs to the flames. You stop feeding it.

So many of us step into a moment or opportunity that makes us come alive. We find that kingdom spark and we soak up the joy that comes from doing what we know we are meant to do. But then we let it fade away. We might get busy. Or life might get more complicated. We may feel like we can’t replicate the original success so we don’t even try to repeat the process.

All of these are simply methods of starving your kingdom sparks. Feed your flames! You worked far too hard to find and stoke your sparks; don’t let them die because it’s hard to keep the fire going. Press in. If you’re in a busy season, find different avenues to pursue your passion. If life is complicated, be transparent and ask for what you need to keep fanning your flames. If you are afraid of replicating success, know that stopping is a sure way towards failure whereas pushing ahead at least gives you a chance of succeeding again.

Keep feeding your sparks, because every fire dies without a constant source of oxygen.

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#4 - Know Your Boundaries

In recent years, we’ve seen far too many headlines about wildfires to underestimate the danger of a fire that has not been contained. 

It can be easy to spend so much of your time trying to find and spark your passion that you fail to remember the protection measures you need to be putting into place as your sparks continue to grow.

Are you rooted in the Scripture? Are you surrounded by a community that prioritizes accountability? Are you led by intentional mentors who want you to last and not just burn bright for a season before fizzling out?

Fires that are not controlled and contained are dangerous. It runs the risk of consuming everything and everyone around it. 

I want every one of you to find your spark and to see it fanned into massive flames of potential for your good and God’s glory. But this must be done with wisdom. Because passion, like fire, is not something to take trivially.

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You Only Need One Spark

It’s easy to overlook the simple truth that it only takes one spark, one small pocket of fire, to set ablaze a whole forest.

That’s what James was talking about in his letter to the Jewish believers spread out across the Decapolis. He wrote, “How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!” While he was talking about the power of gossip, the principle stands.

Every big fire started from a small spark. 

If you are interested in maximizing your passion, in living a worthy life, you don’t have to start by blazing brighter than anyone who’s come before you. You only have to find a single spark and then focus on coaxing that spark into a flame. The size of the fire will take care of itself, freeing you to really hone in on what makes you come alive and what God has put you on this Earth to do.

Read part one and part two here!

Article by Jake Daghe, writer and director of discipleship at Passion City Church