Are you on fire for the Lord? Are you hungry for more of Him and a move of God in your life and your nation? Do you burn with the passion and zeal of the Lord, holy fire? Do you want revival in your life and your nation? Last week we posed the question, are you ready for revival? We saw that there are things that the Lord is calling us to do.
He has called us to awaken. We are to awaken from our sleep, come into alignment with God’s kingdom and our kingdom assignment, awaken to the things of the Spirit, righteousness, and an awareness of what the Holy Spirit is doing today. We are to manifest Jesus on the earth.
He is calling us to repentance. Repentance is the first step for revival because it may turn God’s judgment away from us and allow Him to pour out His Spirit and blessing upon us (Jonah 3:5-10; Revelation 2:5). We must humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, repent, and then He will hear from heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14). We need a spirit of conviction, holiness, and intercession (prayer, fasting, and protection; see Ezra 8:21-22) to come upon us.
We examined the condition of our hearts and His call to action to repent and surrender wholeheartedly to Him. Are you sold out for Jesus (Luke 9:23)? We are to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Matthew 22:36-37). Jesus is calling us to return to our first love (Revelation 2:1-7).
Remember what it was like when you were first in love? You couldn’t wait to hear that person’s voice and to spend time with them. You wanted to do everything together and to talk about everything. They were a priority, and you couldn’t wait to see them again! Well, that is how our relationship should be with God. Our first thoughts should be of Him in the morning upon awakening. Spending time in worship, prayer, and His Word in the morning sets our day up to be thinking of Him all day long, turning our attention to Him and aware of His presence in our lives. We pull Him into every area of our lives and talk with Him throughout the day and night. Do you remember what it was like when you first surrendered your heart and life to Jesus Christ? I do, and I’d like to share this brief testimony with you.
On July 29, 1979, I was singing a worship song to the Lord in my apartment. The one that says, “I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship you.” As I was singing, I heard Jesus speak to my heart, saying, “If you love Me, you’ll obey Me.” His words took me by surprise. I knew the scripture verse in the Bible as John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” It was at that moment that I knew that I had to make a decision for or against Christ.
I had walked away from the Lord three years earlier, following a devastating breakup of my marriage. Even though I had asked Jesus to be my Savior as a child, I didn’t know Him experientially, intimately. I thought God had failed me, and I couldn’t trust Him with my life. I was a Christian. How could He allow this to happen to me! I couldn’t believe that God could heal my marriage or that He was looking out for me. I had accepted the lies of the devil instead, and I turned away from God and went my own way.
The Holy Spirit had been convicting me of my sin and wooing me to come back to the Lord. What a wake-up call when I heard Him speak to me! I remembered His goodness and love for me and chose to turn my life back over to Him (Romans 2:4). When I asked His forgiveness and surrendered my heart, will, and life back to Him, I instantly felt His love, forgiveness, and the restoration of our fellowship.
I couldn’t wait to spend time with Him through worship, prayer, and in His Word. I didn’t even want to go to work, but I had to. It was wonderful! We are not to lose that first love for Christ, and we are to continue to do those first, early works (Revelation 2:4-5). Love is not just a feeling, but it is also a commitment. God’s agape love is unconditional and sacrificial. It never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
I was in love with my Savior and Lord! After receiving the baptism with the Holy Spirit, I was on fire for the Lord and sharing Him with those around me. Over these last 41 years, I have continued to grow in Him. Even though I have experienced challenging tests and trials, and my fire for Him has waxed and waned, it has never gone out. When we turn our hearts towards Him, He is right there and is present. He gives us His grace.
Jesus came to send and baptize with fire (Luke 12:49; Matthew 3:11). He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received power from on high (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, who is the power and fire of God. The fire of God is not an emotion, passion, or revival. But He is the key to experiencing these things. It is the Holy Spirit who creates a passion for the Lord in our hearts (Luke 24:32; Acts 4:31)! When the disciples received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, tongues of fire sat upon each one of them (Acts 2:3-4), they spoke with other languages, and they boldly proclaimed the Gospel (Acts 2:14-47).
Let’s look at the attributes of the fire of God.
- The Refiner’s fire – The refiner’s fire purifies our hearts to make us holy. He will not destroy us like a forest fire, which destroys indiscriminately or a furnace where everything will burn up. But God’s refining fire comes to separate what is pure and holy from what is unholy (Malachi 3:1-3). It is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us (Titus 2:14). There is always “fear and trembling” in the process of becoming pure. God’s mercy keeps us from being consumed (Lamentations 3:22).
- The Fire as an Instrument of Judgment – Our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). The fire of God will judge our works (1 Corinthians 3:11-13). The final judgment of condemnation is for unbelievers who will receive judgment and spend eternity in hell where there is unquenchable fire because they have not believed in Jesus as their Savior (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:15). They will be consumed or destroyed. (See Old Testament examples of God’s judgment; Numbers 11:1-2; 2 Kings 1:10).
- Presence of God – The fire of God represents God’s presence, i.e., burning bush (Exodus 3:2), pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21), Shekinah Glory; provided light and guidance in the temple (Numbers 9:14-16; Ezekiel 1:4), and the sign of His power (1 Kings 18:38; Judges 13:20). The presence of God is within us, and on us (Exodus 33).
Remember the story of Elijah and the false prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:20 – 40)? Before there can be fire, there must be a drought (1 Kings 17:1-16). We can see how, in our time, sin and distractions have turned our hearts from the Lord, causing drought and dryness. Before the outpouring of the rain of the Holy Spirit can come (1 Kings 18:1, 41), there must come the fire of God first to purify and prepare us.
Elijah challenged the false prophets to a showdown between their god and His God, who is the one true and living God. He told the people they needed to decide on who they were going to serve. The prophets were to put a sacrifice upon the altar and call down fire from heaven, and whoever responded by fire would be the true God.
The prophets of Baal called upon their god all day long without results. Elijah restored the altar of the Lord, then put a trench around it and filled it with water as well as putting water over the wood and the sacrifice. At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, He called upon the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to let the people know that He is God in Israel. The fire of the Lord fell and consumed not only the sacrifice, but the wood, stones, dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench! Then the people cried out, saying, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God”!
In the Old Testament, the fire of God consumed the offerings they placed upon the altar. In the New Testament, we are to put our lives on His altar as a living sacrifice, saying not my will but Your will (Romans 12:1). God’s altar is holy because He is holy. As we repent, surrender, and obey Him, it is the Holy Spirit that brings the fire. He purifies our hearts and consumes our sacrifice.
A fire requires fuel to burn. Fire expands when fed, so give the Holy Spirit a sacrifice to burn and consume. We put the wood on the altar, i.e., dying to self, pride, doubt, anger, etc. If you want Him to keep sending the fire, keep putting things on the altar (Leviticus 9:22-24). A life of sacrifice, prayer, and obedience will keep the fire burning, but it requires faith. God starts the fire, but we are the keepers of the flame, and we are to steward it, so it doesn’t go out. If you set the altar daily, He will send the fire!
‘And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.’ Leviticus 6:12 – 13 (NKJV)
God is looking for people to cry out to Him to fill, touch, and revive them. He is looking for the hungry and thirsty (Psalm 107:9; John 6:35; 7:37-39). You must get hungry for yourself. There are things He is telling us He wants to get out of the way so we can press in! When we cry out for Him, He responds. Today is not a time to put Christ Jesus on the back burner. Do not quench the Spirit, which would mean putting out the fire (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, LORD, and grant us Your salvation. Psalm 85:6 – 7 (NKJV)
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved! Psalm 80:19 (NKJV)
For thus says the high and Lofty One who inhabits eternity: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isaiah 57:15 (NKJV)
We need the fire of God to pray and see visions. We need His vision instead of television! I want a heart on fire for Christ, for He says that He will guard the holy fire. We are to stir up the gift in us and fan the flames (2 Timothy 1:6). Stirring the embers will bring it to a brightly burning fire when you add something to burn.
‘For I’ says the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.’ Zechariah 2:5 (NKJV)
The fire of the Holy Spirit brings cleansing, power, zeal, and love for God and others, etc. He wants to fill you with Holy Fire. God needs people who are on fire and with power from the Holy Spirit. When you are on fire for the Lord, some people may misunderstand and think you are too intense. Others may desire what you have and get hungry for God. If you don’t have a relationship with Him, give your heart to the Lord Jesus. He wants to provide you with His love and life. Ask Him to forgive you for your sins and to come into your heart as your Lord and Savior (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 1:9; Romans 10:9-10).
Lord, consume in us whatever is not Christ-like. Let the fire of God burn out every spirit of darkness in our lives. Send the Holy Spirit in all of His power and anointing. We need Him. Baptize us again with the Holy Spirit and fire. We ask You Holy Spirit to rekindle the fire, and our desire, will and ability to surrender to You. Bend our hearts towards You. Set our hearts ablaze for Jesus. We ask you Holy Spirit to ignite us with Your fire. We need you, Lord, to move in our midst! May our prayer, worship, and sacrifice be pleasing in Your sight. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Do you expect to see His goodness (Psalm 27:13; 84:11; Jeremiah 29:11)? Hope is the expectation of good (Hebrews 10:23; Isaiah 40:31). Fix your eyes on Jesus. We are to place our hope in Him to deliver us (Psalm 18:1). We can either have God’s judgment or a great awakening!
He is activating us with His fire! Declare “Fire”!