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10. the fire of god
When we give our lives to Jesus Christ a radical change happens in our lives. The Holy Spirit regenerates our old way of thinking and our actions will gradually or suddenly change (depending on the work of God in our lives, ). Suddenly, we feel an ardent desire to preach the gospel to those who we can. We also start spending time in our room alone with God. We begin to read the Bible more and maintain a life in obedience. This extraordinary event is due to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the fire that God put in us.
If you now are under the fire of God, you express this revival of God in your life and your desire is to change the world with the gospel. It is likely that other fellow Christians who surround you may tell you this:
"... Now that you are with the fire of God, it's normal that you feel this way, but relax we have all been through this and eventually it goes away ... it's normal ..."
"... When I was born again, I was with the fire of God and I did things that can only be done at that moment .... Now everything is different because my relationship with God has increased ... "
"... You can not preach to everyone nor speak of God everywhere ... you are with the fire and that is normal but in a while, you will be like us ..."
"... I also turned away from those places, friends and habits, but now I can practice what I did before and it does not affect my spiritual life. What you're going through is nothing more than the first love, relax, because it will pass ... "
You may feel identified with these kind of phrases that other brothers have told you, or that you have heard others say. It is also possible that these comments have made you feel despised and alone at times. But are these comments real? Does the Bible speak about a fire that fades over time? Do we find a connection with these comments with the servants of God in the Bible? Does the Bible teach that returning to our old way of life (old man) is the plan of God in our life? or is it something that shows spiritual maturity?
Is the purpose of God for the fire to extinguishes in our lives?
The Bible shows us that the fire that God placed in our lives has to be kindled every day. As Christians we can not accept that our passion for God, His commandments and preaching the gospel of salvation to disappear from our lives.
When Paul writes to Timothy in the second letter he tells him to remember to fan the flame that is a gift of God in your life: "... 2 Timothy 1:6 Therefore I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God is in thee by the imposition of my hands ... ". This shows the importance of fire of God and not something that disappears with time, or should disappear as a manifestation of spiritual maturity.
Why does the Fire turn off?
If we read carefully Chapter 1 of the second epistle of Paul to Timothy, we see clearly the reasons why the fire of God can be turned off: the lack of faith, fearfulness, not preaching the gospel, not living a holy life and the obedience to our flesh and sinful desires:
2 Timothy 1:5-9
5 bringing to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother
Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am certain that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I advise you to fan into flame the gift of God that is in thee by the imposition of my
7 For God hath not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of self.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in
suffering for the gospel in the power of God,
9 who saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works but according to His
own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before time began,
In this portion of the Bible Paul gives us a clear example that the fire of God must stay alive in our lives. A life of holiness, repentance, obedience to God and preaching the gospel, helps us keep alive the flame of the fire of God in us.
What happens if the fire turns off?
When the fire of God disappears from our lives it can mean two things:
1. Our faith is being tested (the fire temporarily disappears, while the test last).
2. We are in disobedience (the fire disappears completely because our disobedience).
How can we differentiate whether the absence of fire of God in our life is a test of faith or if we are in disobedience? Very easily, if we continue in obedience to God, we keep our lives in holiness and not practice sin, we witness the good news of the gospel and remain in the faith, then our faith is being tested. This is completely Biblical and all the servants of God have gone through this and will continue to:
1 Peter 4:12-13
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange
13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so also at the revelation of His glory you
may rejoice with exultation.
1 Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the
glory of God.
3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 and perseverance, character, and character, hope;
5 and hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the
Holy Spirit given to us.
1 Peter 1:6-7
If, however, we fall into temptation continuously and return to our old way of living, doing the same sinful things we did when we were not believers (Ephesians 4:22), then we are witnessing a lack the fire of God caused by our practice of sin.
In the first case, we must continue to cling to our faith and the search for God .He will not leave us nor forsake us. In the second case, we have to evaluate our lives and see whether the fire that God placed in our lives (when we born again) has disappeared by our sinful practice. If so, we must repent and turn from these wicked ways. The Lord will always be there to welcome us as he never rejects a contrite heart!
1 John 1:7-9
7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
And a contrite heart thou wilt not despise, O God.
Examples of the servants of God In the Bible
We do not find examples in the Bible that indicate that is normal for God's fire to go away. Nor do we find any examples in the Bible showing that our God is pleased when we return to our old carnal passions and to the practice of sin. It does not mean that we have spiritual grown in the Lord. The Bible, its authors and the example provided by them (as Jesus Christ Himself) show the opposite:
4 But I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works, because if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, except thou repent.
"Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven."
It is very important to know that turning back the same sinful things that the Lord delivered us from when we became Christians, is sinful. This, by no means indicates that we have reached a higher spiritual level and that we are immune to sin. It shows that we are returning to our old sinful way of life. We are not advancing in the way of the Lord, but moving away from the narrow path that the Lord designed for us to walk on:
22 In regard to your former way of life, put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, so that no longer serve sin.
5 For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were by the law worked in our members to bear fruit for death.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
We now know that the fire of God in our life is something precious that we must maintain each day with obedience, prayer and supplication. Being under the fire of God is nothing to be ashamed of. We must proclaim the gospel to every creature and we must be an example to others. The fire of God must be present in our lives from the day we accept Jesus Christ until the last day of our existence here on earth! Keep going the way of the Lord!
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