»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.« (Matthew 3:11)
When John the Baptist introduced Jesus with that way hardly anyone understood what he was talking about. We even don’t know if he understood what he said, however, there is one thing we know for sure: When the bible talks about fire it always means the immediate presence of God!
When Moses saw the burning bush, he didn’t expect to encounter God. Curiosity drew him, for it burned but it didn’t burn down. Suddenly he heard the voice of God that – without any complaints regarding his escape – catapulted him straight into his commission: to lead the people of God from Egypt »into a land where milk and honey flow« (Exodus 3:3f). God had plans, big plans with Moses and God’s people.

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The essence of God's fire

Once we have been truly captures by the true essence of God’s fire – that is the Holy Spirit – and burn, wonderful things are going to happen. The fire of God spreads glory, light and clarity, it brings healing, restoration and purification. The fire of God releases divine perspective. We start to discover that our lives are connected to a commission, a command and a goal. And all of this becomes obvious once the fire of God truly burns within us … but one thing will never happen: The fire of God doesn’t leave any ashes behind, it never quenches and it doesn’t leave you with a burnout. It burns every evil and all negative stuff in our lives and doesn’t leave remnants – no ashes, nothing that in any way binds us to our past. And because God never sleeps nor slumbers (see Ps. 121:4), his presence is always actively present, which means that the fire of God always burns – 24/7 at 365 or 366 days a year. It makes you fervent in your love to God and his kingdom. He has a plan to save all mankind, and you are playing a vital role in this plan … Moses allowed the fire of God to fully capture him, he overcame all obstacles and led one million Israelites out of Egypt. What a triumph!

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The first Pentecost

»They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues1 as the Spirit enabled them.« (Acts 2:3+4)
At the first Pentecost, the fire of God fell on the 120 disciples in the upper room. Crowned with tongues of fire, they ran into streets where thousands heard the Good News taught by unscholars – according to the standard back then. The people repented of their sin, gave their lives to Jesus and got baptized – all of Jerusalem was turned upside down. The Pentecost fire kept burning and burning, it couldn’t be quenched … and today it is burning even more powerful all over the world. From every angle we are hearing about the impact of the fire of God; being at the fire source makes you an eyewitness. It’s also called the kingdom of God in power! How glorious is that …

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The smoldering wick

However … the bible also talks about the smoldering wick (Is. 42:3). God says that he protects it and that he makes sure it won’t die. That’s typically God – he is always for you!
There are many reasons of why the fire of God burns down and becomes smaller in a Christians life, with some eventually ending up in a burnout. It would exceed the space of this article to go into this. Just one thought at this point to ponder on: Some Christians keep several fires burning in their lives. That takes lots of strength and effort, and finally they burn out. I only have one fire in my life that I treasure and nourish – and that’s my love to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I am determined to not quench the fire of God in my life but to let it burn and take it anywhere I go – no matter the cost. The first Christians and many men and women of God to this day all over the world have given us an example of how it works. Our love to Jesus releases life, power, vision, faith and confidence – and that’s what I am living for!

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Be fervent in the Spirit!

The emphasis is on be fervent and with that on fire. It’s our prayer for the fire of God to fall. In Germany as well as in all of Europe we our relationship to the Holy Spirit is still so tense. This has to change, for the Holy Spirit is the hope of Europe! We are desperate for a real Pentecost fire and no religious pseudo fires flickering all around. Reach out to, embrace and experience for yourself the fire of God that constantly burns in you and wants to even grow. If your flame has grown small, let the Holy Spirit pour his oil into you. Are you hearing the call of God: »Be fervent in the Spirit!«? Together let’s pray and believe for a new and real Pentecost fire over Europe. May God prepare you for such an encounter with his fire.
Walter Heidenreich
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