Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Fire of God and God's Holy Spirit

Years ago, a non-Christian friend of mine accompanied me to a youth event where I played a concert. Before I went on, an opening band sang a song about the fire of God. I remember the lead singer yelling, “He’s got fire in His eyes!” over and over again. I didn’t think much of it, but my friend did.

In the middle of that song, my friend leaned over and whispered, “This is freaking me out!” I asked, “What do you mean?” My friend said, “This is the stuff that freaks me out about Christians.” Evidentially, the idea of the fire of God and the way that band of Christians sang about it made him uncomfortable.

To this day, I wonder what it was about the mention of God's fire that gave my friend the creeps. Maybe he associated the fire of God with God’s judgment and the fires of hell. I don’t know. I don’t understand because I find a lot of comfort in the fire of God and I am not alone.

Many Christians hear of the fire of God and think of Pentecost, where fire burned above the heads of God’s people as they filled with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2, fire signifies the arrival of God’s spirit, the comforter, the healer, the unifier and our sanctifier. Rather than symbolizing condemnation, the fire of God symbolizes the presence of God that makes God’s people more like Jesus. That is a good thing.

As you go through this coming week, ask the Lord to reveal His fire to you. Open your life to the refining, comforting, healing presence of the Holy Spirit. As you do, you will experience more of the God who poured the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. You will also find victory in the one who has fire in His eyes.           

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