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Devotional - week of April 6, 2008


RELEASE THE FIRE

 

I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  Luke 12:49

  

Acts 2:33 says, “… having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He (Jesus) poured out this which you now see and hear.” The fire He sent was the gift of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost:

 

… suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind … Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire … Acts 2:2-4

 

Since the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit comes to live in the hearts of all who receive Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. He does not live in people who just verbally profess to be believers. He is in all who have been born again.

 

In 1 Thessalonians 5:19, Paul writes, “Do not quench the Spirit.” The word “quench” indicates several things: the Holy Spirit is a fire; the fire can be quenched; the fire can be set free to flame up in the life of the believer.

 

How does a believer “quench” the fire of the Holy Spirit? Galatians 5:17 says that our flesh lusts against the Spirit. The presence of the flesh in our lives keeps the fire from blazing into the open.

 

The fire of the Holy Spirit is set free to blaze up in the life of the believer who continues to experience the spiritual crucifixion of his flesh by continuing to experience his union with Christ.

 

Those who continue to experience their union with Christ carry a burden for all believers to have the same quality of life that God has given them. We pray in faith that others will have this life.

 

Our faith to pray for others to have the fire blazing in their lives increases when we know the fire already exists. Our desire for the fire to be released increases as we grow in our understanding of the broad ministries of the Holy Spirit as they are explained in Scripture.

 

Consider one area of the fruitfulness of praying for others to understand and experience the crucifixion of their flesh. The Spirit will be free to guide and empower them in living out their God-given gifts for ministry. Think of what could happen in any church where the fire of the Spirit is ablaze in the lives of her members.