Luke 3:16 - John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
So many Christians are dragging their feet through their Christian life, feeling like it's boring, like they're missing out, like they have got to do so many things they're just not interested in. Living for God is not meant to be an endurance trial. It is meant to be enjoyable, David calls it 'pleasure forevermore'.
When the disciples in the upper room had been praying for ten days, suddenly the room was filled with a sound of wind, and fire fell upon every one of them. Fire is always a sign of God being amongst us. Even the first appearance of God to man was to Abraham as a flaming torch. Leviticus 9:24 tells us that fire fell from heaven on the first sacrifices that the priests offered God in their mobile temple in the desert. The fire would only fall on what was offered on the altar to God. This is the same with us. When we offer ourselves on the altar, fire from heaven is the sign of acceptance.
Human excitement and man made enthusiasm is counterfeit fire. The fire of God comes upon us when we have separated ourselves from the world and placed ourselves on the altar of worship and praise. It's impossible to fake the fire of God. When you listen to a man on fire with the Holy Spirit, there is no mistaking the fire is from heaven.
When we are filled with the Spirit we are also filled with fire. The early church had regular re-baptisms of the Holy Spirit. When we are filled with the Spirit we have an energy, a power, an excitement that we cannot get anywhere else. I have come to realise that becoming a Christian is one thing, but becoming filled with the Holy Spirit is quite another experience. It seems to me that this aspect is being dialled down amongst the Christian community, even those who claim to be spirit filled, but I fear that we will be trying to live a supernatural life by natural means. The Christian life is impossible to live without the power of the Holy Spirit.
Here are some things that can steal our fire:
1. Depressed Thinking
Isaiah 43:21 This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise. But you have not called upon me, O Jacob; and you have been weary of me O Israel. You have not brought me the sheep for your burnt offerings, Nor have you honoured me with your sacrifices. I have not caused you to serve with grain offerings, Nor wearied you with incense. You have brought me no sweet cane with money, Nor have you satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices; But you have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your iniquities. I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; And I will not remember your sins. Put me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, That you may be acquitted.
Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High;
Gen 22:1 'Abraham. Here I am.'
I was recently asked how I manage life with all of its variations and different things that need doing. I don't think that I do that well with this, but I do have a few little principles that I live by; Live by lists, do it now, and be there. Be where you are. In a world of distractions being fully present is a new discipline to acquire. Wherever you are be there, and whoever you're with be with them.
Before I said one of many keys for managing life is to live by lists. One of those lists is my priority list. I'm right into being a kingdom Christian believer, respecting everyone's traditions and seeking to preserve unity, but if I have an invitation to a ministers prayer meeting and it conflicts with a meeting at our local church, being at my local church is my priority. That is what God has called me to build. This is my altar. Yours will be different, but it will involve you needing to be dedicated to that highest purpose for God in your life.
2 Timothy 1:6 You received a gift from God when I placed my hands on you to ordain you. Now I'm reminding you to fan that gift into flames.
I need to define what that 'one thing' is and build that. That is what I'm on the altar for. Fire falls when we offer God what He wants, not what we want. We can't bring Him one thing hoping that it will make up for not bringing Him another thing, that we don't want to give him. When we are obedient, a fire, a passion comes with the call. Stop before you go any further and ask the Lord for the red or green light. If you have done the wrong thing, and are now in a mess, then it's time to pray, hear from God and let Him deliver you out of the mess.
Repair the altar. Set the wood in order. This is where people discover their gifts, calling and destiny - in the place of sacrificial action and servanthood.
Follow the link here to see our service times and locations, we would love to meet with you!
See you in church!