When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. Acts 2: 1-3
“Get on fire for God and men will come and see you burn”. – John Wesley
Tomorrow, Sunday 20th May, 2018 is Pentecost Sunday and I would like to invite us to allow the Holy Spirit to put us on fire. Recently I have been thinking about what the Apostle Paul meant when He talked about being fervent in spirit in Romans 12:11 (NKJV): ‘Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;’ The Greek word for fervent is “zeo” which means to boil with heat. This means that we have a mandate to keep our fire for the Lord hot no matter what the spiritual climate is around us. I am sure that all of us can remember the very pointed quote about being hot or cold in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 3:15-16 – “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
None of us want to be distasteful to the Lord. None of us want to make Him sick. None of us want to be viewed as tasking like lukewarm soft drink that has lost its fizz. So what do we do to keep the flames of fire burning in our spirit? Here are nine ways that will help you keep those revival fires burning.
NINE WAYS TO LIGHT THE FIRE OF THE LORD IN YOUR SPIRIT
1 Feed the Flames with the Word of God
In Matthew 4:4 Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. What I am talking about is not dutifully doing our daily devotion with sleep filled eyes every morning. It is not about hungrily searching the scriptures for the voice of the Lord within their pages. Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus who had their hearts set ablaze when the scriptures were explained to them by Jesus – Luke 24:32 we need to dig into the scriptures and allow the Lord to start explaining the scriptures to us just as He did to them.
2 Stoke the Furnace with Prayer
There are three things we need to have a blazing fire, fuel, oxygen and heat. Prayer is the oxygen we use to stoke the flames high. Spending time in prayer is spending time in the presence of God and the presence of God is the air that our souls need to be on fire. Oswald Chambers puts it bluntly: “Prayer is the vital breath of the Christian; not the thing that makes Him alive, but the evidence that He is alive.” When we pray, we are breathing. We are taking in the vital element that gives life to our soul.
3. Worship the Lord with Extravagance
One of the things that keeps fire small is containment. We cannot have a big fire in a small metal box. The way to break these walls of containment is to worship the Lord with extravagance. Let us go beyond our comfort zone. Let us offer up sacrifices of praise with our lips in greater degrees than we are comfortable with. Let us make praise and worship a true sacrifice of ourselves conscious and self inhibitions.
Let us firmly decide that we will praise God in a more vocal, uninhibited way this year than we have ever done. If we need help praising God, let us play a recording by a favorite Christian artist and sing along. Let us challenge ourselves to learn how to raise our hands, bow our knees in worship, and even fall flat on our faces. These things will break down any walls of containment where we are keeping the fire in a small metal box.
4 Allow the Holy Spirit to Move
The Apostle Paul gives us a very pointed exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 – “Do not stifle the Holy Spirit”. Is there anything in your life that is hindering the Spirit’s work? Are you resisting doing something or giving up something that you know the Spirit is tapping you on the shoulder about? Do you have mindsets or mentalities that are contrary to allowing the Holy Spirit to move? Some of the greatest breakthroughs I have had in my life have been when I stopped telling the Holy Spirit how He can operate. I am very good at setting up preconditions that the Holy Spirit has to fulfill before I believe that it is Him. I may be good at setting those preconditions up, but I have found that the Holy Spirit will not know kowtow to my whims. Those preconditions were stifling the Holy Spirit and I learned quickly to allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in my life.
5 Do a Spring Cleaning Of Your Heart
The Bible says that in the last days the love of many will grow cold – Matthew 24:12. Many times this is caused by unforgiveness and bitterness taking hold and growing in our heart rather than love. Let us take time to do a spring cleaning of our heart; let go of any unforgiveness we may hold towards someone and remove any roots of bitterness that might have sprung up. Let us forgive one another as in Christ God has forgiven us – Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:13. Nothing puts out the flame of God’s love faster than bitterness. Do not let us allow unforgiveness to freeze our soul. Let us guard our heart and deal with offenses quickly.
6 Bring Your Flame Closer To Other Flames
Those of us who have been Boy Scouts can remember having a raging fire at night during camping. Many times in the morning there will still be some embers from the fire wood and if we need to build a new fire, the first thing we would do is gather all the smoldering firewood or charcoal together. This is why we should never live the Christian life in seclusion. God has called us to be in community. But let us make sure we are in a church that is on fire for God – because a dead church could put out what is left of our fire. If our church compromises God’s Word or ignores the Great Commission, we should find a new church home.
7 Start Making Your Fire Useful
Spiritual passion is ignited when it is being used to serve others. Start using the gifts and talents that God has given you to help others. Every believer in Jesus has been given gifts and talents and you are no exception. You must face your fears and stretch your faith as you begin to step out, but soon you will find there is no greater joy than being an instrument of the Holy Spirit to bless people. When you become obedient to stop burying your gifts and talents and start investing them into the lives of others, then you will be given even more to give as we read in Matthew 25:14
8 Find a Personal Firebrand
Everyone has to learn how to make fire. We do not normally discover it naturally. I have a friend whose dad showed her how to build a campfire. He taught her how to light a furnace. We need spiritual dads and moms to teach us how to light our spiritual fires.
Let us sometimes ask these firebrands to lay hands on us and pray. We can also make appointments with them so we can glean from their wisdom and experience. It is certain that when Elisha saw Elijah go to heaven in a fiery chariot, he was affected by the heat, so let us also get as close as possible to those who are burning for God, and we will be ignited.
9 Spread the Flame
The biggest thing we can each do is to raise our spiritual temperature and light the fire of God in our life is to spread our flame. There is nothing more exciting I can say than leading a person to faith in Christ. Yet statistics show that 95 percent of Christians have never led one soul to salvation. I guarantee if you step out of your timidity and share the gospel with a neighbor, a co-worker, a server at a restaurant or a stranger on the subway, your spiritual temperature will instantly rise 30 degrees – and you will want to share with someone else. Just as John Wesley said that if you light yourself on fire that men will come for miles to watch you burn. Part of that is spreading the flame of the spectators. Challenge yourself this year to speak of your faith, share your testimony, and pray with people who need the reality of Jesus Christ in their life.
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