He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3, NASV).
What is this fire that burned from the heart of God into the reformers and revivalists who sought him? The fire seems crucial to any move of God and yet it’s surrounded with mystery. And when we consider its coming and going there is one thing for certain–we can’t make this fire happen. The Bible itself seems to beg us to look into the mystery and ask the questions.
Why is fire mentioned in the Bible (KJV) 515 times?
The persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are described as containing “fire” many times in the Bible–why?
God’s relationship with Moses started in a burning bush and culminated to his highest calling on Mt. Sinai with fire, thunder, smoke, and lightning. Moses was the lawgiver and those 10 commandments were hot, are still HOT, written by the finger of God. But why?
The Old Testament prophet Elijah didn’t die on this earth but was caught up in a fiery chariot that was driven by horses of fire. Was this fire heaven’s way of honoring Elijah? Elijah got inside this fiery chariot pulled by horses of fire and he didn’t burn up. How did he withstand the fire? And why did God choose to bring him home in fire?
William Booth, great leader of the Salvation Army movement 100 years ago who ministered the gospel to the outcasts of society, writes:
“It’s fire we want,
For fire we plead,
Send the fire.
The fire will meet
Our ev’ry need,
Send the fire today.”
Booth went for the fire despite the opposition from church, government, and vicious mobs. The fire of God was worth it all and William Booth wrote about it, prayed for it, and didn’t want to live without it. Why?
In 1906 Christians sought God’s Holy Spirit in prayer and worship in a little shack house on Asuza Street in Los Angeles, California. In a day when racial tensions were incredibly high in our country, the blood of Jesus washed away the color lines and the fire fell.
In fact, the fire department was called to the scene when neighbors saw flames shooting out of the top of that humble house of prayer. Fire? Yes, real fire. Visible fire. This attracted both the saved and the lost and drew them to stop what they were doing and come and see. The people inside the prayer meeting didn’t see the fire, but they were inside it, imagine this, inside the glorious fiery presence of God.
In fact, Frank Bartleman said in his book, Another Wave of Revival, that a visiting Baptist pastor said, “The Holy Spirit fell upon me and filled me literally, as it seemed to lift me up, for indeed, I was in the air in an instant, shouting, ’Praise God,’ and instantly I began to speak in another language. I could not have been more surprised if at the same moment someone had handed me a million dollars.”
Mr. William Seymour, why? Why did God want to come with fire? What did his fire mean to you and how did it affect you?
I hope these questions have stirred you as well and made you eager to anticipate the fire of God. If you’d like to read more on the fire of God, I can only offer whatever I receive from him. But I do have a little insight on this fire and I will share it this year http://www.liftjesuscross.wordpress.com .
Father, we ask for your fire to come. We watch for you, God, we eagerly ask for you to send the fire to your church in these last days. We pray as William Booth prayed that you’d send your fire “to burn up every trace of sin, to let your light and glory in, your revolution NOW BEGIN! SEND THE FIRE TODAY! Look down and see this waiting host, and send the promised Holy Ghost, we need another Pentecost! Send the fire today!”