The Missing Element

Matthew 3:11, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”

In all of our ministry there is one element that must be present if the work of God is going to go forward. That element is fire. Like the Laodiceans we are rich and increased with goods; we have need of nothing… we think! John the Baptist prophesied that the Lord Jesus would baptize us with fire. This is the need of the hour.

We can see the difference that fire makes in this excerpt from Del Fehsenfeld’s book Ablaze With His Glory.

Into the arena steps a solitary figure. He has been a fugitive from the king whose wrath he incurred three years earlier. One would expect him to cower in the presence of the offended monarch. After all, he stands to lose his life. But no, he is secure, assured, and bold.

Now he is calling to the people to listen. They gather around him skeptically. This man has always been something of an oddity – a real contrast to the other religious leaders of his day. His has always been a minority voice. His message cuts across the grain of what is traditional and palatable. His challenge to get off the fence and take a public stand for Baal or Jehovah makes the average person uncomfortable. He would rather not commit himself.

Now he directs their attention to the altar of Jehovah. Unused for many years, it is in a state of disrepair. One by one, he selects twelve large stones and constructs an altar. He prepares the sacrifice and places it on the altar.

Then he catches them off guard. Turning to the crowd he directs them to fill four barrels with water and pour it on the sacrifice.

What? Has he lost his mind? Anyone knows wet wood will not burn! Even more importantly, doesn’t this strange man know that it hasn’t rained for over three years? Nevertheless, they follow his orders.

Then a short, simple prayer, and . . . fire! No matches. No kerosene. No magic tricks. No gyrations. No pretending. just fire. Real fire. Fire that licks up the water and utterly consumes the sacrifice, the wood, the stones – even the dust of the ground. Fire from heaven. The fire of God.

How about it? Do you experience the fire of God on your life and ministry? Hebrews 12:29 says, “For our God is a consuming fire.” The fire of God is the presence of God, and it always results in changed lives and the advancement of the Gospel in ways that cannot be explained by human effort.

I want to know and experience this fire! The Word of God is clear. Elijah was a man just like you and me (James 5:17-18); yet, he was a minister of fire! Would you pray with me for this kind of fire in your life and mine and for the ministry of BIO?

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