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God's Church On Fire
by Steve Countryman
9/24/2013 / Church Life
It is what we have all been waiting for. It is what we have all been anticipating since it's foretelling in the scriptures. It is what God wants for His church. It is what today's church is lacking and extremely desperate for. It is what the church body was always supposed to be. It is the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments coming to pass. It is what the world of the lost has been searching for but cannot find. It is God's power displayed and His love revealed. It is God's will fulfilled. It is the mighty outpouring of Holy Spirit FIRE that the world has never seen. It is God's church on fire!
As the moon is but a dim reflection of the sun's light so are wildfires but a dim reflection of God's Holy Spirit fire! Characteristics of wildfires covers a wide spectrum of natural elements. The heat generated by a wildfire can reach a flash point of 1470 degrees Fahrenheit that is about the temperature of lava. An occurrence called a "stack effect" is when air rises as it is heated and a large powerful updraft is created that draws in new cooler air from the surrounding areas which causes a chimney effect that creates thermal columns. The result of these certain conditions of air temperature and currents creates a vertical vorticity that forms a whirl, or a tornado style effect. Fire tornadoes can exist away from the flames within or outside the burn area. A fire tornado definitely makes wildfires more dangerous. Wildfires can change direction and jump fire lines making them very unpredictable. Great vertical differences in air temperature and humidity help generate pyrocumulus clouds or fire clouds, strong gusty winds and fire tornados with the force of a regular tornado that can reach speeds of more than 50 mph. Wildfires can create their own weather, clouds, lightening and wind.
Because of their size wildfires carry tremendous power. Destructive power so immense that one wildfire destroyed an entire forest of over 3 million acres here in America. There are some interesting things that happen because of wildfires. They destroy under growth, over growth, old growth, bushes, brush, brier patches and those things that can snag you. What is amazing is what happens afterwards. Several types of plants and trees release seeds in time of fire or smoke. Some types of plants are dependant on fires to survive as that is the only time they will release their seeds. The ashes of all the destroyed plants and trees now become nutrients and fertilizer to enrich the soil for the seedlings and the new growth. New life begins from a landscape that has been forever changed.
Fire is used in the scriptures to describe the Lord's appearance. It is also used to describe God's mighty power poured out. It represents God's wrath, judgment, purification, sanctification and holiness. Other examples found in scripture include 1 Kings 18:38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. 2 Kings 1:10 Elijah answered the captain, "If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men. Isaiah 29:6 the Lord Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. Jeremiah 23:29 "Is not my word like fire," declares the Lord, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?" Joel 2:30 "I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke."
Holy Spirit fire changes lives, empowers the faithful, gives courage and boldness to the reluctant pew sitters, zeal and passion to the apathetic with all spiritual blessings to those who will but believe. Like that of the wildfires, Holy Spirit fire forever changes the landscapes of people's lives. All undergrowth of lies and deception are destroyed, over growth of compromise and worldly influences are consumed and old growth of religious traditions of men are burned up. The church body will be cleansed, sanctified and delivered.
Mathew 3:11 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Luke 24:49 "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Acts 2:2-4 2 "Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."
Man's church has become the worthless social club that it is today. God's church is the powerful and righteous church that He designed it to be. Unity in the church and unity between the churches seems to be a dream. How can the world be convinced of God's love in us if we can't even get along with each other and like churches? When unity of the churches comes up in conversation what you always hear is why it can't work. It is a continuing problem that never seems to get resolved. I have no doubt that a lot of the same reasons that has been used in my community are the very same ones used in your communities too! The Devil wants it that way for if the church unites then there will be nothing that the Devil can do to stop God's church on fire! I have to admit that I don't see a way for unity to take place. But it doesn't matter what I can or cannot see, for NOTHING is impossible for our God. He makes a way where there is no way. He will bring His church together for God has big plans for our community and our nation! That is when it hit me that Holy Spirit fire is what is needed and what can make unity between each other and the churches happen!
God will use Holy Spirit fire to bring God's church back to Him and the unity that He desires. First cleansing or sanctification by fire will be done. You the believer must be willing to receive the baptism of fire, a very close walk with the Father. For God's church to be on fire means that His church body, us believers, must be on fire for God. In the Old Testament when the Israelites captured a city God told them to burn all of the idols, alters, temples and everything associated with them. Not to carry them off or remove them but to destroy them by fire. One of the reasons for this is that removing them could allow them to once again be brought back into use, not if they are destroyed. Today's church has allowed worldly influence, political correctness and compromise to dilute, pollute and corrupt the church. Part of the cleansing includes the destructions of false doctrines, false religions, false prophecies, false practices, false prophets and teachers, religious spirits and those demonic spirits who have made their home in some of our churches. Cleansing by fire of the chaff, trees, branches, vines and all plants of all types that refuse to bare GOOD fruit is needed. This represents all of those who call themselves Christian and clothe themselves in self-righteousness, having the appearance of being righteous but are filthy vessels inside. They are carnal-minded Christians and God considers them to be worthless and are not to be part of His church. Matthew 3:10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Next is the purification by fire. Purification brings holiness for God's church on fire. When gold is heated up, refined and purified the metal dross of impurities are removed leaving pure gold. That is what God's church will look like when the Holy Spirit fire finishes its work. Purifying by fire men's heart and minds. This purging process burns up all the selfish and self-centered motives of man. Bickering, gossip, lust, pride, deception, lies, complaining, envy, un-forgiveness, hatred, strife and anything else that is contrary to the Word of God is consumed. Repentance can now take place that brings back the church to God. All of which has to happen to allow Jesus' church body to embrace each other and other like churches in unity. If "one can put a thousand to flight and two can put ten thousand to flight" what could united churches full of believers filled with Holy Spirit fire do?? It is time for the church body of Christ to stop playing church and fulfill God's plan for the church!
"Dear awesome Father God in heaven. Hear our prayer. We have sinned against you. We have ignored your Word and your ways. We have allowed worldly thinking and influence to take hold of our beliefs and pollute your church. We have turned our backs on you and your truth. We have brought curses down from heaven on us and on our country for our lack of righteousness. We have let you down O Lord. Our lives and our churches need to reflect your love to the world. Forgive us our sins and sinful behavior. Forgive us for turning your House of Prayer into a social club. Forgive us Lord for blaming you for our failures and inadequacies. Our lives and our churches Father we submit and commit to YOU! Use us Father God to influence our neighborhoods, our towns, our country and the world. Use us Jehovah God to bring you glory. Fill us afresh with the Holy Spirit. Fill us O Lord with your heavenly fire so that your church is made complete in us as you desire it to be. Father overflow us with the desire and passion we need to seek you and continue to do so like those in the upper room until you fill us with YOUR Holy Spirit Fire. Make us spillers of your love and power everywhere we go so that whenever people look at us they see YOU! For we O Lord are God's church on FIRE!!"
9/13 S. Countryman
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