RSS

Tag Archives: spiritual fire

The Holy Spirit and Fire

The Holy Spirit and Fire

We’re continuing in our study through Luke’s Gospel. The Lord is teaching about the future ministry of His disciples and the church. At that point, the disciples probably didn’t understand most of what Christ was saying. But, looking back, we can take it to heart.

I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!”

Luke 12:49-50 NIV

The Lord begins to talk about the results of His ministry on the earth. There’s a fire He wants to start, but He has to undergo His immersion first. Jesus is talking about His death, burial, and resurrection.

The fire is to be an important part of what He starts at His resurrection. He mentioned it at another place in His ministry.

Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

Mark 9:49-50 NIV

In this section, the Lord is not talking about us being the salt of the earth. He’s speaking about the salt of fire being placed within us. I believe that He’s talking about the Holy Spirit, who we receive when we become a Christian.

Throughout the Bible, God is referred to as a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). Elsewhere, we’re told not to put out the Holy Spirit’s fire (1 Thessalonians 5:19). It’s through this purifying work of the Holy Spirit that we’re made clean before God.

There is a consequence of this, however. Not everybody wants to be changed by the Spirit of God. There are those who will refuse to accept this free gift of salvation.

Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Luke 12:51-53 NIV

Peace is a big subject when you talk about Christ. At Christmas time we sing about “Peace on Earth.” That’s what Christ is talking about here, but that won’t come about until His return. At that time the Lord will reign over the earth and there will be peace.

Until then, the earth will be in turmoil. Part of that will be the tension between darkness and light. The kingdom of God vs the enemy’s rule on earth. Many times this war will erupt right inside our homes. This happens when some family members are Christians and some are not.

We experience this on many occasions. We need to be going to the Lord to receive grace to win over our families. Sometimes that’s the hardest place to minister. I’ve heard so many stories where a family member comes to Christ through a friend, even though they had rejected that same witness from their family.

But there’s another peace that’s available to us, as believers. That’s God’s peace. It’s the peace that should be active in His people. Jesus said that He was going to give it to us (John 14:27).

I believe this is the peace that Jesus was referring to in the verse in Mark, above. If we let God salt us with His purifying fire, then we’ll be clean from all the things that cause conflict. By submitting to the Holy Spirit’s work, the church can be a place that shows forth the peace of God. This should be an example to the world around us.

Of course, we want our loved ones to enter into this peace. We need to be praying for them. And praying for the grace to reach them.

But, if we find that they refuse to listen to our testimony, there’s another prayer that we must use. We should be praying that God would send someone to them that they will listen to. We can’t be so stubborn to think that we’re the only person God will use to reach them. Pray for a Christian friend to bring the Word they need to hear.

Question: Who are you praying for to receive the Gospel of Christ?

© 2022 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Let it Burn

forestI’ve been posting about how the Word of God can ignite a fire in our hearts. The question I want to answer today is; why would I want this?

As I look out across the body of Christ in our generation, I see a very interesting phenomenon. The strength of God’s people seems to be higher than it’s been for a long time.

People attend churches where the times of worship are deeply moving. The preaching of the Word is anointed. This is especially true with the accessibility of great men and women of God over the internet. From what I hear, prayer is an important part in the lives of many believers.

What bothers me is that in spite of this spiritual strength, the church as a whole is having almost no impact on society. Yes, I know there are individual local churches that are bringing increase into God’s kingdom – but a great many are not. If anything, it looks like God’s people want what the world is offering them.

This places us firmly in the category of being double-minded. Let the Scripture be our judge.

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:6-8

This is where we find ourselves. We have a seemingly deep spiritual walk, yet we lack the power of God. It’s because with our focus on both Christ and the world, we end up double-minded.

Our cry to God should be the same as the man who came to Christ on behalf of his son who needed deliverance.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:24

I recently watched a special about forest fires. I learned that not all forest fires are bad. Sometimes there are small fires that burn up all the little leaves and twigs on the forest floor.

That’s a good thing, because if it doesn’t happen regularly this debris can pile up and start a huge fire later on. That kind of raging fire can destroy the whole forest.

What floored me was that the documentary called these little ones, “cleansing fires.” Then they made a statement – “We need cleansing fire!” It wasn’t a preacher who said that, but I found myself saying “amen” to a TV documentary.

Over time, as we live in the world, doubts and distractions build up in our lives without us ever knowing it. Over time, if left unchecked, they could destroy our walk with God. We need the cleansing fires of the Holy Spirit to burn away this accumulation of junk on a regular basis. This clears the way for the power of God to manifest in my life.

We must spend time in the Holy Spirit. We must hear His Word to us. Then as we meditate on that Word, we fan it into flame allowing it to consume all the deadwood of doubt that’s been piling up in our heart.

Question: What do you consider regular time with the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Igniting the Fire

Fire DangerIn my last post I started talking about the followers of Christ in Luke 24. They were discouraged and double-minded concerning Jesus’ death. After encountering the risen Lord everything changed.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32

They said that their hearts burned within them. In order to understand what happened we need to go back to that point. According to the men, it was when Jesus talked with them on the road. Let’s look at what He said to them.

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Luke 24:25-27

As they were walking along the road Jesus explained the Scripture to them. What would you give to have an experience like that? It turns out that you can.

The word explained that’s used in this verse is very special. It’s the word that’s normally translated as interpretation; as in the spiritual gift of interpretation. This explanation that Jesus gave them was no boring lecture. It was an anointed Word straight from the Spirit of God.

That’s what will ignite the fire, not only in those early saints, but in us as well.

“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
Jeremiah 23:29

God declares to us that His Word is like a fire. That’s the Word that Jesus proclaimed to these men on the road to Emmaus. As He spoke to them, the Lord lit a fire in their hearts.

We can have this same experience today. As we spend time in the presence of the Lord, we must have a listening ear. When we hear a Word from the Holy Spirit it will ignite a fire in our heart.

My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue…
Psalms 39:3

God’s Word to us starts the fire burning. But as we meditate on it, the flames increase until it is all consuming.

I’ve heard people pray for God to “send the fire.” It’s not a matter of Him sending it, but of us receiving it. We need to hear a Word from God to get it kindled in our heart. Then meditate on that Word in order to heat it up.

Question: What has the Lord spoken to you lately by His Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,