Walking in the Fire of the Holy Spirit:
“That is why the LORD says, “Turn to me now, while there is time! Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief; instead, tear your hearts.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. He is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you.” (Joel 2:12-13).
Can you hear the prophetic voice of the Lord, calling to you today? God is calling us to turn to Him, and to give Him our hearts. He wants us to come seeking His face in prayer. But notice the warning the Lord gives to us: “Don’t tear your clothing…instead, tear your hearts!” What does He mean by that? What He is saying is that He’s more concerned about the attitude of our heart than our outward, external actions. For many Christians, when the Lord starts moving in their lives, they immediately search out things that they need to purge—for example, bad movies in their TV cabinet or bad music in their CD collection. These things are all fine and good, but in doing them, don’t neglect the more important matters of purging the sin out of your heart.
Before the Lord Jesus came on the Earth, the Lord sent His messenger, John the Baptist, to prepare the way before Him. This is what the prophet Isaiah had declared about John: “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: ‘Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming! Make a straight road for him! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills! Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places! And then all people will see the salvation sent from Go.” (Luke 3:4-6). What was the message that John the Baptist brought to the people, as he encouraged them to prepare their hearts for the Lord? “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee God’s coming judgment? Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say, ‘We’re safe – we’re the descendants of Abraham.’ That proves nothing. God can change these stones here into children of Abraham. Even now the axe of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever your roots. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3:7-9).
When John preached, the people said, “What should we do?” This is a good question to ask if you want the fire of the Holy Spirit in your life, if you want the Lord to send revival! What does the Lord want us to do? A good starting point would be the 10 commandments of course. Do you have any other gods before the Lord? Do you have any idols in your heart, anything that you love more, or spend more time with, then Him? If so, then repent and forsake those idols. Do you honour your mother and father? We are commanded to. Do you lie, steal or murder? These things are sinful. If you are guilty of these sins, then confess them, and turn from those sins and turn to the Lord.
“Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am – so much greater that I am not even worthy to be his slave. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Luke 3:15-16). Do you want the Lord Jesus to baptize you—to fill you completely—with the power of the Holy Spirit? Then we must also be willing to be baptised with the refiner’s fire. Consider the words of the prophet Malachi:
“Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the LORD Almighty. “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal or like a strong soap that whitens clothes. He will sit and judge like a refiner of silver, watching closely as the dross is burned away. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold or silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD.” (Malachi 3:1-2).
Do you want the Lord to come suddenly in your hearts and lives? WE are His temple. He will come to those who are seeking Him, who have been made ready by the refiner’s fire. Let’s pray right now: Lord Jesus, send your refiner’s fire, and burn away all the sin and rebellion and compromise in our lives that is hindering us from being a vessel that you can flow through. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts, and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen!
Pastor Chris Jordan