The Holy Spirit and Fire

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

As Christians, we are fascinated by the Holy Spirit. He teaches, guides, gives gifts, brings forth fruit and, among other things, comforts us on our journey. However, one aspect that is rarely discussed is the baptism of fire. John said that Christ would "baptize . . . with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Matt. 3:11).

Peter tells us we should not be "surprised at the fiery ordeal . . . which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you" (1 Pet. 4:12). Indeed, Jesus said, "Everyone will be salted with fire" (Mark 9:49).

The church in America for too long has followed Casper, the friendly ghost, instead of seeking the fire of the Holy Ghost. We have turned limp at the thought of our own cross; we faint when we think of suffering or sacrifice. Beloved, it is time to embrace the fire of God's presence. It is the fire that purifies our sacrifice.

Ahead of us are days both great and terrible. Understandably, many Christians are looking to the rapture of the church. Yet to escape God's judgment is not to escape His fire. Consider: Paul wrote that the day of the Lord "is to be revealed with fire." He said that "the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work" (1 Cor. 3:13).

Yet let us stay encouraged, for our God is a consuming fire. He is coming to baptize His church again in fire, but in the fire is the place of intimacy, of power and of deliverance. Even as the prophet Isaiah wrote:

"When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning, then the Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain" (Isa. 4:4-6).

Yes, our God is a consuming fire, and our walk with Him is a firewalk.

Lord, I repent for wanting Your blessings without desiring Your fire. I ask for the fire that purifies, that burns away my old nature. I ask You to fill me with the fire of Your holiness. Make me one with You in the fire of Your passions. Amen.