"In the last days, "I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on My servants, (FLAMES OF FIRE) both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the Heaven above and signs on the earth below..." (Acts 2:17-19
As we endure difficulties, challenges or trials, we consider them purpose driven fires, suitable for the Master Craftsman. James 1:2-3 challenges us to, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."
TESTED IN THE FIERY FURNACE
Many Christians today are being tested, stretched, and tried. It's as if our God, whose eyes are like blazing fire, is blowing His mighty wind from Heaven. He's fanning some smoldering wicks as He equips His servants to become FLAMES OF FIRE. We should not be surprised or amazed. The Apostle Paul writes that the believer's spiritual "foundation" would be tested by fire to reveal the endurance of his faith and love (I Corinthians 3:13-15).
"Everyone will be salted with fire" (Mark 9:49). Everyone! And, if a baptism of fire was necessary for Jesus, it will most certainly be necessary for His followers. The baptism of fire is difficult, indeed. We must not despise the hour of testing in light of the love Jesus poured out on the cross.
GOD TRANSFORMS TRAGEDY INTO TRIUMPH
We don't just go from glory to glory. We are CHANGED from Glory to Glory. II Corinthians 4:7 says, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God, and not from us." When jars of clay go into the kiln, they are a brown, gooey consistency that doesn't have much strength or resistance. But after firing, a beautiful piece of pottery emerges, strong and translucent, aglow from the fire, crafted by the Master Potter's hands.
We need therefining fire, beloved. Since we know our God is a CONSUMING FIRE, the Spirit of God lives and dwells in us, and we want to do only what we see the Father do, should we not be aconsuming firealso?
Fire is the image used throughout the Bible to describe the inner nature of God's heart. Fire heals, cleanses, purifies. The fire Jesus brings is holy fire! Fire produces passion! It's in the fire that all of our false heroes, all of our false kings die, and that's the season we will see the Lord.
It's in the fire that the Son of God is manifest. Alleluia! We become more and more passionate for Him and His Kingdom because we realize we must cling to Him, walk with Him, and become one with Him, as exquisite crystal fused in a kiln. The Son of God is manifest in the fire! In the fire of our experiences, we truly realize He is all we will ever need.
What really happens when water is poured on the fire in the trenches? -- it only fuels the fire! Where is the God of Elijah? He's in us. Don't let the enemy lie and use water to put out the fire. We continue affirming, confessing, and meditating on our faith in the promises of God that are revealed in scripture.
WE MUST PERSEVERE
Once we have endured the fire and have received the passion, we must persevere. Jesus didn't quit at Gethsemane. He went all the way to crucifixion! Once we've sustained the fiery furnace we can't give up. You must set our heart like flint, ready to go all the way with God! It's in "Gethsemane" that we say, "Father, not my will but Thine be done."
When we lay hands on someone and pray for them, they don't need to experience doctrine, they need to experience the fire of God, the power of God! The world is waiting for a consuming fire, one that burns up all that is not of God: cancer cells, addictions, sickness, and disease. This is a fire that will light up the world!