Episode | March 13, 2024

Transcript for Consumed by Fire’s the Walk Podcast

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Josh Ward: Life Audio. All right.

Jordan Ward: This is uh, Consumed by Fire.

Jordan Ward: I’m doing that for fun now. I just, I, I got. We’ll clap back. We’ll clap. Look here. You’ll get two of them.

Joshua Swanson: Welcome to another episode of The Walk, a podcast focused on devotionals and conversations Welcome to another episode of The Walk, a podcast focused on devotionals and conversations with the artist. Today, we find ourselves in the company of a remarkable trio. A band not only consumed by fire, but also by an unwavering devotion to spreading the grace of God through their music.

They are the Ward Brothers, Caleb, Jordan, and Josh. Collectively known as As consumed by fire. Before we dive in, I wanted to quickly thank our partners. First planning center is a set of software tools to help you organize, coordinate, and communicate with your church teams. I don’t think you can really call yourself organized as a church leader. Unless you have planning center, they’ve launched planning center university on their YouTube channel.

We’ll link to it in our show notes. It’s the place to go to ensure you’re taking full advantage of their powerful tool set. For those of you who don’t know what Planning Center is, I encourage you to visit them at planningcenter. com now, and you’ll walk away a lot more organized and prepared to serve your church.

I also want to give a nod to the Worship Leader Institute for partnering with us. In April, they launch another set of coaching groups led by a community of leaders who currently have over 15 years of experience. Experience and are serving in their local churches. Participants gather twice a month and are coached on developing skills like team building, shepherding a congregation, and creating a transformative worship experience.

Head to worship leader institute.com and join a bi-monthly coaching group. Okay, please welcome consumed by Fire Brothers, Caleb, Jordan, and Josh to the podcast. Our first question was about revival and the awakening happening on college campuses in the us.

Jordan Ward: When you look at what happened at Asbury, you’re, you’re very encouraged because you realize that there’s a hunger.

Those types of things only happen because of a hunger and a thirsting for the Spirit of God, for, for just more of Him, more of His presence, the fact that you would just sit and wait. You know, I’m reminded when Jesus was in the garden. And his disciples, he asked them to pray with him for an hour and they, he was like, they fell asleep.

He’s like, could you not pray with me for one hour? And when you see things like what happened at Asbury, you’re kind of going, wow, there is that hunger and there’s that thirst. There’s that determination to, Hey, I’m going to sit here and I’m not going to leave until I meet with God. You know, James said in chapter four, verse eight, you draw near to God and he draws near to you.

Amen. And when you look at the original text, it actually means you get up as close as you can to Him. And there’s an intentionality behind that. And I think when we get that intentional, God gets that intentional. And that’s actually what James 4, 8 says. You get intentional about getting close to God, He gets intentional about getting close to you.

And so, I feel like it is contagious. I feel like revival is contagious. And I loved watching other churches Um, there’s churches in our hometown, uh, near our hometown in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They said, we’re going to do that too. And we’re going to seek God. And then before you know it all over the country, it was like a wildfire.

And, and I don’t think that it’s died. What I see, um, is it sparked, it sparked a new thing. Within the hearts of a lot of folks and a lot of them been coming to our nights of worship in different different places We go and uh, I’m excited. I believe this most exciting time to be alive I think revival the greatest revival we’ve ever seen.

We’re on the right on the verge of it

Caleb Ward: But what it does is it brings a new level of expectation Yeah, and I think that’s what’s really special because if you’re if you have that expectation to see God move That’s the first step, you know, that’s the first step to seeing revival and seeing miracles take place and break out Because it’s it’s expectations. Yeah, they definitely had it and still do and I love

Josh Ward: it We need more of it. I think growing up in the church, too. We always were We would hear about, you know, these people saying, I just, I, we praying for revival, or we’re going to see this great revival. And it was always in the, in our minds, it was kind of like you would see some of the movements and some of the things historically where it’s like hundreds of thousands of people in one place.

Right. And after kind of post Asbury, you’ve kind of seen No, man. They’re taking this stuff back to their local areas. And I’m not to say that we’re not going to see hundreds of thousands of people gathered together, but it’s, it’s cool to see it breaking out at different campuses, different churches, different communities of churches coming together.

And we’ve been hearing a lot more. I feel like of that recently than anything else, which is encouraging in terms

Jordan Ward: of revival. We were always encouraged. You know, by our mom and daddy, they’ve been in ministry our whole lives and they’d always encouraged the people, everybody they’d pastor, Hey, revival starts in the home.

So when you look at something that happened at Asbury and across the country, Um, I believe that it was something the Holy Spirit started doing in the home. It had to be a place of, you know, we just want to surrender. We just want to seek you. And I think sometimes, There’s, there’s certain times in history we can look back and go like 1906 with the earthquake in San Francisco, a tragedy happened.

And then it was, was it William Seymour they met in his house and revival of Azusa Street, the famous Azusa Street revival happened after something that happened. The enemy meant to harm and destroy these people were brought to their knees in a way of going, we’re going to seek God instead of being, you know, it’s like when Paul said, we’re pressed, but you know, we’re not, we’re not destroyed.

We’re persecuted. We’re not abandoning any of those things that make you go. It’s the end. But it’s not, you know, God can meet you there. And I think we should all be inspired by that of going. It’s not the end. If we humble ourselves and pray, if we get back to the basics, if we just seek God, he’s going to meet us here at this place.

Josh Ward: I think we should all expect it. Yes. I think anytime at this point, you know, we’ve gone through. A lot as a family, um, even before COVID and before all of that with, with our family. And I feel like that is one thing that our dad has always kind of instilled and taught to us was that not everything is good, but in every circumstance, the more diligently you seek God and wisdom and the Holy Spirit, like you said, drawing closer to him, the more you’ll see how he can work every even negative situation where.

When you look back at your journey, you see how he brought it in and used it to make something beautiful, something good out of it. And I think at a point it’s like, that’s inspiring. And we should get to a point, I believe as believers where we should expect it. Yeah. You should always, I mean, if, and it’s, it’s not easy to do, but if we could just go, okay, I see this.

I’m going to get closer. I’m not going to ask the whys and all that stuff come sometimes whenever things happen in our lives, the questioning and the, and you know, all of those natural normal things that you go through if you go and say, You know what, God? I trust you. I’m, I’m looking at this and I’m expecting soon to be able to see how you can bring this all around and make something out of it.

We’re living in that right now, I feel like, as a family.

Jordan Ward: That’s what James 1 literally means, where he said, count it all joy. Right. He’s saying, like, add up all the reasons why you have to be joyful.

Josh Ward: You don’t give thanks for all things, but you give thanks in all things. First, this, loving, spider king. You

Joshua Swanson: know what I mean?

Yeah. Yeah. We’ll be right back with more from Consumed by Fire.

How do you all respond to the statement that the church is no longer relevant?

Jordan Ward: I mean, I, I feel like back to expectation, back to, it takes this, it takes this certain part of going, cynicism doesn’t have a hold of my heart. I refuse to let cynicism rob me from seeing the hand of God in my life. You said something a little bit ago about expectation.

It’s like, you don’t really ever see miracle signs and wonders without the expectation. You just don’t. Um, and, and I believe that when it comes to cynicism, again, going back to James chapter one and verse five, I believe he was talking to the cynics in that part after they were in James, He’s passed to the church of Jerusalem.

They’re being persecuted there. They’re going, well, all this stuff, it ain’t real. All these messages we’ve heard. This isn’t real. The James, it feels like the more I get closer to God, the more the enemy comes to attack. This ain’t real James. It feels like, and this is historically proven. They were being separated by the Roman Empire and they were going, none of this is true, James.

I, I feel like the closer, more I dig in deep to the word, the more I dig in closer to my relationship with the Lord, the more attack comes. And James gave a whole chapter talking to them in chapter one about what to do when you’re under attack. And then for the cynics in verse five, he said, because essentially I don’t go to home.

I don’t go home with you. I don’t know what’s going on, but I can tell you God does. And in verse five, he said, if any of you lack wisdom, ask of God, for he is, he liberally gives it one translation says he liberally gives you wisdom. And it says he abradeth not, which means he’s made a decision. I’m not holding anything back from you.

I won’t hold anything back. If you lack wisdom, just ask me sort of the one that would go. I have my reasons for being cynical. The one that would say, I’ve seen this, I’ve heard this. You get a little bit to the point of, I can’t receive that, especially if it looks like this, and then all of a sudden we become that type of soil in Mark chapter four, where Jesus said, there’s a type of soil that as soon as the word is sown in their hearts, Satan comes to snatch the word from their heart.

I believe the fastest thing that’ll stop you from receiving the word is cynicism. And we have to get beyond that. And it just comes from that humble spot of, I’m not going to let the questions I don’t understand outweigh the answers that I already have. So be firm in your faith. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

You got to start with something. You got to start with what you know is true. Build upon that. And what you don’t know, ask of God. He’ll give you the wisdom.

Josh Ward: Seek and you will find. Amen.

Caleb Ward: Well, I remember being, you know, years ago in that teenage state and friends, and many times it was just, well, if this whole diet thing is real, I don’t ever hear him talk to me.

And I think what’s so fascinating with that is, The Word is going to end up showing that the more that, you know, once you ask Jesus into your heart, you have the Holy Spirit, the more that you go back to the Word, the Word and the Spirit agree. So the more that you get into the Word of God and get in tune with what the Word has to say about issues, the more He’s going to begin to speak to you through the Word.

So to, to throw, to throw the Word out of the equation, if you’re a young person, Then you’re not actually giving it a chance to show fruit in your life. Yeah, because that without the word You’re not gonna find why you know believers think what we do and why we we

Jordan Ward: well anymore I feel like it’s been passed off as well.

That sounds like christianese. It’s like well There are certain things that reoccur in the, in the word, and yes, we say things that we see in the word, and yes, there can be that type of like, just regurgitated stuff, and I understand that, and that’s real, but we can’t just, like you said, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

We need the word. And the Word has to be our final authority. You’ll find it become a stability for you. Isaiah 33, 6 says, Wisdom shall be the stability of your times. Absolutely. We have to have it. All Spirit, no Word. Dad used to put it this way. It was fun. And it was a cool little way to remember it. He said, All Spirit, no Word, you blow up.

He said, All Word, no Spirit, you dry up. But with the Word and the Spirit, you grow up. And we gotta have both. We can’t just, I think we fall out of the race when we major too much on one thing or one side of it. Well, you

Caleb Ward: get to, you know, quickly, and then we move on. With the Word, you actually get to see the mind of God.

Yes. You get to see what He thinks on issues. And it’s just right there. And so then what we have to do when we’re all so opinionated, we have to humble ourselves to go in those moments. So maybe we have to chew on something. We have to humble ourselves and go. Okay, Lord, if, if that is how you see it, then I’m gonna change.

I’m going to renew my mind. I’m going to change how I see this issue, this topic, and I’m going to line up to how you see it. And so the word of God gives us the ability to know how he thinks on, on matters in life that matter.

Joshua Swanson: Looking at the next generation of leaders, what do you see that encourages you?

Caleb Ward: Dude, they’re fiery. I think out the gate, off the, off the top of my head, I feel like they kind of have the thing where they don’t care if people are watching as much. I see that from them when we’re out and about, like they’re the fastest to lift their hands. Like this generation, they’re worshiping in a beautiful way that I, I don’t know through the years of traveling that we’ve, we’ve seen it.

But then also knowing the stories of a, of a youth. I think these, these kids are different, man. They just want to go out and they want to worship. And they want to get down to the core of just seeking God. Yeah. So that’s going to unlock a lot of things. They’re

Josh Ward: starving for real and authentic, too. I think as soon as you give them something that they can tell that it’s real and authentic, man, they are 100 percent in.

Jordan Ward:  Which is an opportunity. The thing I personally love about this next generation is their entrepreneurial side. God is using that. I think God’s using the ideas, the creative side of this next generation. Like they’re all so creative and it inspires me. I thought I grew up being entrepreneurial and a lot of times I felt like I was put down of all the reasons why that idea won’t work.

And this idea won’t work. And well, somebody already does that. And this next generation, they don’t care if somebody is already doing it, they’re going to do their version of it. And, and I think that’s God’s been looking for this whole time of I want to, you know, just as Paul would say in 1 Corinthians 12, the eye can’t say to the hand, I don’t need you.

Like we all need each other. And so what? There’s already somebody shooting music videos over here. I’m going to make my music videos. So what? Somebody’s a blogger over here. I’m going to do, do a blog. It’s like they don’t let the discouragement stop them from going out and get it because they know better.

And I love that about them. I think the kingdom of God is going to use that greatly and it already is happening.

Joshua Swanson: What has the Holy Spirit been downloading to you lately?

Caleb Ward: Well, we’ve been saying it this last year for us, bro. I think first things first has been that because we were, we were in a season of burnout before we released the song.

And we, we wrote this song as we were just, You know, on the pub deal doing the writing thing, we, our dad had a massive stroke, so consumed by fire was paused. We didn’t know if we were coming back. We wrote this song and this was a song in a season of, I think we’re done. That this song, first song ever, hundreds of songs.

First song ever to get into my sleep and wake up just singing it out of my sleep. And, and you know, this is a moment where we’re thinking, Okay, are, are we ever going to do music again? Are we going to do a different type of genre? Are we gonna, are we going to do, what are we going to do? Are we just going to write?

Are we going to produce? And then here comes the song, First Things First. It convicted us, it It got us back to the point of what matters most, keeping the first thing first, seeking the kingdom. Knowing, Lord, because we got to the point of discouragement, the numbers, all the hard work, all the miles over the years.

I mean, we’ve done this so long. And I think when you do that, if, if you are, if you are dry, if you are burnt before you know it, you just, you know, Start throwing in the towel. So this song was like, dude, oil for us. And it just gave us the push we need. And you know, isn’t it, isn’t it just like God in, in the moments that you think you’re done, that he takes something and then you surrender to him and then all that you’ve been praying for and all that you’ve been hoping for.

That, that night right before the dawn, and then praise God. Yeah. Yeah. And praise God that this song has been able to, the testimonies from the song, the impact that it’s had on people, the, the, the, the motivation to keep on running the race. The song has been such a blessing to our lives. So yeah, man, I think first things first is.

That Holy Spirit. Yeah. That Holy Spirit

Josh Ward: moment. I cannot chalk up to coincidence the idea with everything that we were going through in that season as a family. To be inspired to write a song like that. And to be, to have that become one of the most successful songs we’ve ever done together, to be not only that, but to hear the thousands and thousands of testimonies that we’ve received through comments and social media emails and out on the road, to be the, just the most ministering to others song that we’ve ever done.

And it was all from a time whenever we were so done. And then we had to check our hearts and say, you know what? This is what we feel that God has called us to do, and we’re going to run our race, and we’re going to surrender to you, and we’re going to trust that you’re going to take care of us, our families, and all those disappointments are going to be righted, and we’re going to be able to continue together as a family.

It’s just, man, if that’s a coincidence, somebody, you know, somebody go get a lot of dick.

Joshua Swanson: As Consumed by Fire has navigated the different seasons of their ministry, we asked them what they would say is the difference between worship leading and being labeled a Christian artist.

Jordan Ward: I think being a ministry minded artist means, I mean, there’s practical ways of that for us, but I think first is understanding it’s as much fun as we can have.

concert or whatever. It’s, it’s, it’s never taking yourself too seriously. It’s never, it’s understanding first you’re a servant. Um, as much fun as we can have again, I’d say it’s still more of a, you know, we’re, we’re here to minister. And we always make the joke to people. It’s like, I know a lot of you thought you were just coming to a concert tonight.

And then next thing you know, There is an altar call. There is a call for salvation. There’s an invitation to make Jesus Lord of your life. And that’s always been the precedent for us in our own shows. Uh, even we, it actually makes us cringe to call him a show. Cause, but I don’t know what else to call him, but you know what I mean?

It’s like, but we also believe in the purity of worship. Um, we love writing songs. Like we’re song people and we love all different types of music. But there is for us a separation in what we would call like, Hey, we’re going to go into a time of worship with people. It’s more of a corporate thing for us.

It’s more of a, let’s lift our voice together in a way that is completely vertical. Let’s, let’s, let’s direct our love. Let’s direct our. Our hearts right now, vertically, and let’s do something that changes the atmosphere to where chains break, to where joy is released, to where mental anguish is healed.

Whatever the healing that takes place in any part of your being, like, I believe that’s what can happen in worship. And in that moment, over the years, people, you know, would ask us, Is it weird singing other people’s songs when you’re in worship? It’s like for us that thought had never really crossed our mind because we’re ministry minded first We grew up in ministry.

This has been our whole lives and we played our songs already And now we just want to worship with you So when we’re worshiping we didn’t even care for somebody else’s songs We just wanted the song that everybody’s gonna sing together That’s in spirit and in truth. I don’t really care if it’s somebody else’s if everybody knows it.

So I think that’s the difference in am I building the brand? Am I staying true to brand? Or am

Caleb Ward: I here to serve? When I fair my personal level of being ministry minded, daddy used to say it. Like, uh, like this, that if God’s called you to it, nobody should be able to talk you into it or talk you out of it.

So I think, you know, when you are facing moments of disappointment of, okay, God, I thought I would be further down the line. I thought the numbers would look like this. I thought that this A Y Z, it’s like at the end of the day, are you surrendered? And what if the numbers aren’t there? You got to keep doing it?

Are you going to just throw in the towel? And so I think being ministry minded is going like what you’re saying, I don’t care about the song. I don’t care how many people’s there I’m going to be doing. You’re going to find me doing the same thing tomorrow that I’m doing today. And from a personal level of seeking the kingdom first and letting God take care of the rest.

And I think when you do that, man, it’s amazing what can happen. It’s amazing. I

Jordan Ward: think it’s what kept us going all these years before anybody heard a song of ours. It’s what kept us going. It was like, yeah, could we play for another a hundred or 200 folks again? And you know what I mean? Could we play for 50 people again?

And I think, um, the ministry minded aspect is what kept us going for so many years in the in between to where now I feel like. We had that reset and now, but we also understand the importance of rest when you’re ministry minded and you will play for the few, you have to understand the importance of rest, the importance of rest.

You have to understand the importance of refueling, because I think so often we can get so, I think the reason we kind of got discouraged is because we kept just grinding and going and we’re ministering. We got to keep going. Oh yeah, we never

Caleb Ward: took the time to fill back up. We didn’t. Yeah. And you do that for a decade and you’ll lose your first love.

You might find yourself where we were. It was wild.

Joshua Swanson: The guys spoke a lot about walking through burnout, so we asked if they could explain how they moved forward without burning out again.

Jordan Ward: The difference in knowing when you’re in your calling, when you’re in your own strength. The first key and first sign is exhaustion.

I really do believe that. Because I, you know, look at Zechariah 4, 6. It’s not by human might, it’s not by human strength, but it’s by my spirit, says the Lord. There’s like this energy that you get, and I’ll spare you the Greek and the scripture and all that, but just, I’ll spare that. There’s an energy that is released to where God empowers you to keep doing the work, to keep having endurance.

It’s kind of going back to James one on that again, the trying of your faith work, if endurance is an energy that happens towards like, because I know I’m called to be here and I’m not given up no matter the discouragement, it’s like God kicks in with you. I think to know the difference, it has to be known in your, in your love walk, how you treat other people. You’ll get cranky. If you’re doing it in your own strength, I think.

Jordan Ward: you start losing patience for other people. The fruits of the spirit hit the back burner really quickly when you’re doing it in your own strength. And I think it’s the first sign of, Hey, rest needs to happen. Sabbatical needs to happen.

Caleb Ward: Yeah, it’s amazing what a couple of weeks will do. It is. You hit a beach. Yeah. You know, you get built up, get the Word back in you, have some time of worship. Man, just seeing that ocean will do a lot for you. You just gotta

Jordan Ward: keep loving people. Yeah, man. And if you find your patience for people slipping, man, don’t let it go.

Don’t even play around with that for, I don’t care what’s on the calendar. Yeah. You’ve got to, I mean, Jesus would find times to get away and walk up to the mountain to get alone. We got to have those mountaintop experiences throughout our day. And so we got to, we got to feel back up so that we can keep loving well because faith works by love.

And um, that’s what Galatians. So I think that’s the biggest indicator, tired, exhausted, and how we treat each other. That you would know. If one of those things are slipping, any one of those things, it’s time to rest and get built back up.

Joshua Swanson: Finally, since they are brothers, we figure there must be a story or two from their years growing up and touring together.

Josh Ward didn’t hesitate to throw his brother Jordan under the bus. Or, under the set.

Jordan Ward: You son of a gun. Alright, well tell the story Josh.  

Josh Ward: He’s teed you up there. Now we’ve had, we’ve had a few, we’ve been very fortunate and very blessed. We haven’t had that many crazy embarrassing moments, you know, on the road. You know, but Jordan basically had an entire Easter play, you know, set that was like built out of plywood.

I’m sure the youth group or some kids put it together and it was massive. You know, this thing was like. 12 feet tall, you know, and the drum set was on a riser right in front of this backdrop for this play. And we were sound checking and you know, normally there’s not a lot of people at sound check to that day.

There was about 25 people at least, at least in sound check. And, you know, the drummer, I don’t know if anybody knows how sound checks go, but the drummer is always like, you know, checking each drum. So he’s hitting the bass drum, you know, kicking this thing and it’s just bang. And it’s vibrating and I’m back by the soundboard.

I was on a cheap drum throne and I’m a big guy and he’s a big guy. And they had this, you know, just. standard little kind of run of the mill, you know, cheap drum throne, and Caleb’s, I think you were down by the stage and I was back by the soundboard, and I, and I’m just listening, I’m like, oh yeah, that’s sounding great, man, get a little more bass, you know, it’s just earthquake pounding, and we look up, and I see the backdrop vibrating, and whatever waiting they had on the back to hold it up.

It wasn’t there anymore. The leg had rocked its way out of it. And it was like slow motion story. A lot fast. It was like slow motion. All I saw was the, the stone had rolled away and it’s coming right at Jordan on the drums and there’s not a real punchline

Jordan Ward: to this story before. I don’t know. It was just Jordan got trapped and we had to call the jaws of life and get, I mean, we literally

Josh Ward: had to get guys to pull every bicycle. Now we know why they win,

Jordan Ward: the Lord provided a Raymond Thicke and all of them ran to pull the big backdrop off of me. There’s no punchline to this story. It just collapsed over top of me and you’re just trapped underneath. Jordan got trapped in soundtrack. That was my favorite, that was my favorite road experience ever. It was huge. Was just sitting

Josh Ward: at the sound booth in slow motion trying to find the words to yell knowing he cannot get out of the way. It’s just collapsing. It’s a great story. Over his head. That’s great. I’m sorry. I’m glad you’re OK, though. That would take a long time to tell that story. It would have been funny if you weren’t.

I’m bored to tears right now. I just. Well, it’s my favorite memory. Yeah. That one. Yeah. We’re going to have to find you something else to say. You

Jordan Ward: fell off a stage once. I fell off a stage once. Yeah. Well, we won’t tell that story. No. He’s like, OK, all right. If it’s going to take as long as that story.

Joshua Swanson: Thank you to Consumed by Fire for spending time with us. We’ll play out this episode with the acoustic version of First Things First that we recorded for Song Discovery. We’ll put the link to that article and the video in our show notes. If you haven’t done so already, it would mean a lot to us if you podcast and leave us a review.

Okay, until next time, I want to thank the team over at Life Audio for their partnership. If you go to lifeaudio. com, you’ll find a collection of faith centered podcasts about health and wellness, parenting, current cultural events, Bible teachings, and more. So check them out at lifeaudio. com. I’m Joshua Swanson.

Thanks for listening, and here’s First Things First.

Caleb Ward: All the things that I have held dear, The fantasies that whispered in my ear, What would I do if they all disappeared?

Riches and fame and all that they could buy I’ve plumbed a fire and they never satisfy What would I gain if my soul’s a prize? I don’t wanna love what the world loves I don’t wanna chase what the world does I only want you.  First things first, I cede your will, not mine. Surrender all my wants to you.

Caleb Ward: The first thing first. To live your truth, walk your ways, set my eyes, Lord I fix my face on you. All my desires reversed, to keep the first thing first. Give it all, my life in offering. Life Audio