Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda:
John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but He who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."—Luke 3:16
As we've enter into 2010, the Lord is emphasizing the fire of His Spirit upon us. We often focus on the Holy Spirit as the Oil of anointing, the refreshing River we drink to quench our spiritual thirst, but we are sensing the Lord wants us to come into a greater revelation of His fire.
Acts 2:2-3 describes the fire that fell at Pentecost, "And suddenly there came from Heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them." Those 120 that were baptized in fire became blazing torches for the Gospel, turning the world upside down. Wherever they went the fire of Pentecost spread, and they were in revival.
God uses the natural to give us a connection point to the supernatural. Just as water is essential for life, the Living water of the Holy Spirit is essential for our spiritual well-being. Fire in the natural, brings light, warmth and power. Where there is the fire of the Holy Spirit, there is empowering, understanding, illumination and revelation. When God gave Moses that amazing, redeeming commission to deliver a nation from bondage, He came through fire: "And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed" (Exodus 3:2). God's fire is a supernatural fire—it purifies, heals, blesses, redeems, empowers, restores and creates.
Everyone who has experienced personal salvation and the infilling of the Holy Spirit has been ignited with the Fire of the Spirit. The Lord wants us to steward His fire so He can give us more. Abraham was a man who knew God. He walked in revelation and was a man on fire. But he teaches us something important. When God said, "Come worship Me on Mount Moriah," Abraham arose early and prepared to worship. He took the knife, the wood and his son. But he also took the fire with him. The whole action is called worship: "Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you" (Genesis 22:5). Abraham went to Moriah to offer his son, knowing that God who had promised the Son was faithful to provide. But he carried the fire for the sacrifice with him. The Lord revealed Himself to Abraham as Jehovah Jireh. And the Lord will reveal Himself as our Provider again. But we need to bring the fire. Part of our worship is to kindle and fan the flame in our hearts. Catch the fire, and become carriers of His glory.
"I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn."—John Wesley
How Do We Stay Ablaze?
I (Mahesh) remember the Charismatic outpouring of the '60s and '70s. A fire came in California that set ablaze hundreds of thousands of people. It didn't just rest on one group or one denomination. It consumed and burned everywhere it went—Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians and Hippies were awakened to the Holy Spirit and filled with the fire and power of Pentecost. It was an amazing time. We were touched and transformed by the fire of God.
I had a friend who ministered with me during those years. He was a worship leader and was passionate about God. His heart burned to see the lost come into the Kingdom. I had not seen him for over thirty years, but on my recent trip to Dallas he was there. He is now 71 years old and is as passionate and on fire as he was back then! No one has put that fire out; it has only increased in his life.
We all need to be like this man. God sets us on fire, but we need to stay ablaze! How do we do this? There are three elements that are essential for fire:
If any one of these are missing, you don't have fire. What was the fuel of Pentecost? People—the substance that could burn.
What was the kindling? It was a company of people in one place hungry for God, harmonizing with each other and Heaven in corporate prayer.
What is the oxygen? The sound of the mighty rushing wind! The breath of God.
We stay ablaze as we make room for the breath of God in our lives, living in daily communion with the Holy Spirit. When there is not enough oxygen, the fire dies down, but when you fan the flames, it blazes. We fan the flames by gathering with other Believers. Staying plugged into our local church, fellowship, prayer, communing with the Lord in our prayer language and immersing ourselves daily in His Word.
When we are on fire:
Oppression and depression have to flee.
We are consumed with love for Jesus that grows greater and greater and will never cease.
We desire to be transformed and conformed into His image.
We have evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
It is easy to cooperate with the Lord in prayer, fasting and worship.
We want more!
We ignite others!
Revelation 3:15-16 says, "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth." God is clear—He is looking for burning men and women. If you are spiritually asleep or lukewarm, let the fire come. Are you hot? Fan the flames more. The more you welcome His fire, the more it drives you to burn brighter and hotter with prayer, thanksgiving and praise. Let us position ourselves in 2010—"Here we are. Set us on fire!" Let the breath of His Spirit blow on us so that we burn brightly.
Our God is a consuming fire.—Hebrews 12:29
In the realm of the Spirit we see God putting a match to light a revival fire that is going to bring in a harvest of souls. We are not going to see isolated campfires, but a raging wildfire sweep across this nation and the nations. At Pentecost it did not matter their background, their education, their circumstances—it was the fire that made the difference, igniting and empowering a company of Believers to turn the world upside down. We see this pattern repeated again and again, more recently in the Welsh and Azusa revivals.
When God's fire comes, barriers come down, bigotry and racism are burned out, and liberty, joy, holiness and the revelation of Jesus Christ flourish. God pours out His Spirit on everyone who is hungry and thirsty for more. God is telling His Church—Get on fire!
Let us become living torches of revival in this hour!
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda
Mahesh Chavda Ministries