Revival #3: Fresh Fire:
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11).
When John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness, he said, “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” He called the people to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord by preparing their hearts, by turning from their sins and turning to God. In the midst of this, The Baptist declared to the people, “Jesus is coming, and He is mightier than I, and He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire.” If there’s ever a time that the church of Jesus Christ has needed a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit’s fire, it’s now! Today we’re going to look at what the symbol of FIRE represents in the Bible…
In Exodus 3:2, Moses had an incredible experience with the Great I Am, “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” God manifested His presence to Moses in the form of a flame of fire, and indeed throughout all of the Old Testament, fire was used to represent the very presence of God. When the Lord led the children of Israel out of their slavery in Egypt: “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light…” (Ex. 13:21). When the Lord appeared to the children of Israel in the wilderness: “Now mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire…” (Ex. 19:18). “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire.” (Deut. 4:24).
In the New Testament, fire often refers to the Holy Spirit. In our Scripture above, John the Baptist said that Jesus would come and baptize His people with the Holy Spirit and fire. This is what happened in Acts 2:1-4 when the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost. “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4).
What was the result of the fire of God coming upon the church in the book of Acts? The power of God was there to impact their world with the power of Gospel. The Lord confirmed His Word with signs and wonders following, and the Lord added to the church daily such as were being saved. It’s time for us to pray for the Lord to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fresh fire. The prophet Malachi declared, “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.” (3:2). We need to pray that God would send the refiner’s fire of the Holy Spirit, to burn up all the sin and worldliness and compromise in us so that we can be purified and fit for the Master’s use. Only the pure and holy in heart will see the Lord, and only the Holy Spirit can make us holy.
Lord, we are so tired of just being religious and playing church! We want to experience a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives and churches like we have never seen before. We’re asking for fresh fire, Lord. Send the refiner’s fire to purify your church, to make us holy instruments that you can use to bless the world. We confess our sins to you and ask that you would forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “Will you not revive us again: that you people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, O LORD, and grant us Your salvation.” (Psalm 85:6-7).
Pastor Chris Jordan