Where’s the fire gone? How can we be passionate and on fire for God when so often the crowd slacks off. A call to get fired up. God’s fire does a holy work within us.
I’m driving down the road and suddenly I hear the wailing siren. And I see the lights flashing. I pull over and I see the fire engine come racing past me.
And I wonder, the natural question arises,
WHERE’S THE FIRE?
As I travel the road ahead it is shrouded with smoke.
And I wonder, where’s the fire?
When you hear of a fire it gets your attention, doesn’t it? You wonder where all that smoke up ahead is coming from, and you hope it’s not your house burning down.
We’re going to talk a bit about Fire today… And about people getting fired up.
We wonder at times what it is that gets people FIRED UP?
To find this out what someone gets fired up about we might pose a question, like this:
What is it that you are PASSIONATE about?
People can get fired up about all kinds of things.
Some people get all passionate about a football team.
They are so passionate – they can get obsessed with their team. It means everything to them. They will be there barracking for their team, rain, hail, sleet, or shine. They will drive hundreds of kilometres and go to great expense to watch a game. This recent footie tragedy has hit many footie fans hard, it’s as if they’d lost a close friend… There’s a certain PASSION there.
Some folk can get passionate about the latest Hollywood movie. They want to rave on about it and all the features of it, and the special effects, and who’s starring in it, as if it is so important to them.
They are fired up with a passion. Passion can drive people to do amazing things.
When you have a passion it motivates you to love and to serve, to spend and be spent. Look at champion athletes. They are fired up to train and keep on training and keep on improving their personal best.
Why? Why do they do this? Because they want to, not because you have to… They have a fire, a passion…
WHERE’S THE FIRE?
What about spiritually speaking, now?
Do you strive to improve on your personal best? Do you serve God because you want to? Do you have a fire in your bones?
When you become a Christian it’s like that. Something happens within. A new motive. A new purpose. It’s like there’s a fire in your belly.
Sometimes it’s good, just to TAKE A REALITY CHECK. Consider this question, personally.
Time to be honest.
It’s good to take time, for some honest self reflection.
What are you passionate about?
ARE YOU ON FIRE FOR GOD?
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME you WERE on fire for God?
Have you EVER been ON FIRE FOR GOD?
In case you hadn’t noticed there’s a famine in Australia. Our easy-going Aussie culture is pretty dry and dead towards God.
It’s cold and lifeless, and it tends to rub off on us.
And, let’s be honest, it can be hard to be on fire for the Lord in a culture that seems bent on mocking Him.
We’re in a land where those who believe in the Lord Jesus are daily scorned and hated. Bible preaching churches aren’t generally crowded with worshippers.
For some sadly deceived people in our land they are so easily caught up in our popular culture, and there is no fear of God before their eyes. They will mock Him, while at the same time denying that He even exists.
In the church world also we could pose this same question, WHERE IS THE FIRE?
Who seeks after the face of God?
WHERE’S THE FIRE?
I want to urge you, today, to GET FIRED UP.
It’s time to stop chilling out, and start firing up.
God wants our fire to be burning.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT FIRE?
We see that where the Bible speaks of Fire it often symbolises GOD’S PRESENCE with His people…
As when Moses met God there at the burning bush. God was as a flaming fire.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
The presence of God was there at Sinai as the fire came down from heaven, upon the Mountain.
And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
As Solomon dedicated the Temple the fire fell from heaven and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
2 Chronicles 7:1
Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.
When Daniel caught a vision of God’s throne he saw a fiery flame and a river of fire coming forth.
(9) I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
(10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
What of our church?
- I put it to you that we need the fire
- A church without fire will fail
- A church without the fire of God will fail God.
We MUST have the fire.
And if we have lost it we need to regain it.
Without the fire we will become laid back and lazy. We will grow cold and inactive.
When the fire goes out the church will die… It will slip and slide and fall away from God’s plan and purpose.
A church can end up lukewarm.
In other words, the church can get slack. and lose the zeal for God.
The church, by and large, has lost its fire.
That’s why we have…
- Lukewarm COMMITMENT
- Lukewarm SERVICE
- Lukewarm GIVING
- Lukewarm EVANGELISM
- Lukewarm PRAYER.
We must have the fire.
We need to be ignited by God.
Set ablaze for His glory!
Why do we need the Fire?
Fire does some things.
Where’s the fire?
It’s on the altar.
- It is consuming…
- Burning things up
- Fire burns out the dross.
The Bible says that OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.
Our Lord is spoken of as applying fire to purify, as with molten metals…
(2) But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
(3) And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
God’s fire burns up what is unholy.
We must get back to the altar.
We need to lay our all on the altar.
Don’t hold anything back.
We need the fire that purifies…
As God does His work in us, we can be those pure vessels He wants us to be, fitted for the Master’s use…
There was a bleak time way back in history when the so-called Black Death wreaked havoc and destruction across the land.
In 1665 the residents of London were dying by the thousands each day. The bubonic plague was spreading from house to house because of the unsanitary conditions. It was called the Black Death.
Rats and fleas spread the germs throughout the city. Almost 30,000 people died, almost a third of London’s population at the time. This plague was so bad that experts say the entire population of London would have died if it had not been checked.
But on September 2, 1666, the Great Fire of London broke out and burned uncontrollably for five days. Most of the structures in Medieval London were wooden, and almost the entire city was reduced to ashes.
But when the fire finally died, the people discovered many of the rats and fleas had been killed in the fire and the epidemic of the Black Death was halted. The fire cleaned the city of the impurity that was killing its people.
We need the fire of God to purify us. In the Word we know that the Blood of Jesus purifies hearts by faith.
We need the refiner’s fire to come and purify our lives and rid us of our dread disease of sin.
Ask God to burn up everything that hinders you. Lay it all on the altar.
God wants to purify you. You need Him to do this work in you.
God may take you through the fire, where He can do His work of purification.
Don’t shy away, but trust Him.
Fire does some things…
Fire brings light.
In this world of darkness how we need the light to shine through…
And that means us…
God sets His servants ablaze, for each one of us to be as a flame of fire.
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
We are all ministers, servants of God. And God wants to set us ablaze, as lights in the world.
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
I love how the Word describes John the Baptist…
He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
That’s what we are meant to be, burning and shining brightly for God. Bringing God’s light to a darkened world.
It’s not wise to play with fire!
Fire can be deadly.
In 1 Kings we read how Elijah called for a test between the prophets of Baal and the Lord God… The prophets of Baal had all the motions of religion, but they didn’t have the fire. Then Elijah prayed and the fire came down…
1 Kings 18:38-40
(38) Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
(39) And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
(40) And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
The priests of Baal had prayer, but no power; they had fervour, but no fire; they had an altar, but a god who was absent.
Elijah knew that the prophets of Baal had to go.
The carnal must be put to death.
That’s what happens when God does a work in us.
There was a fiery old revival preacher named Peter Cartwright who was famous for telling it like it was.
He was preaching one time near Washington D.C. and the people of the church heard that the President at that time, Andrew Jackson, was coming to visit.
So they pulled Mr. Cartwright aside and said, “Listen Peter, the President is going to be here on Sunday and we know that sometimes you can get kind of offensive, so would you tone it down. We don’t want to upset the President.”
So Peter got up in the pulpit the next Sunday and his first three sentences were these. “I understand that the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson is with us this morning. I have been asked to be guarded in my remarks. Andrew Jackson will go to Hell is he doesn’t repent.”
The church was appalled, but when worship was over Andrew Jackson grabbed Mr. Cartwright’s hand, shook it and said, “Sir, if I had an army of men like you I could whip the world.”
We cannot tone it down.
We dare not tone it down.
This is no time to pussy foot around.
We must expose sin and confront error with truth.
We need straight shooting preaching.
Preaching that pulls no punches, hits hard, and says it like it is.
The prophets of Baal had to be put to death.
The President’s pride had to be put to death.
Some things need to die in us…
There are some things in us that need to be killed…
- The old fleshly man needs to be killed.
- The worldly appetites need to be killed.
It takes a deliberate act of crucifixion.
Paul relates how he was crucified with Christ. As a believer we want the Lord to put to death the old sinner man and bring to life the new man made alive in Christ, living for Him.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
We need to…
- Die to self
- Die to the flesh
- Die to the world and its attractions.
It’s time to get fired up.
When you are truly on the altar as a living sacrifice you will gladly see God put some things to death so that you can live more strongly for Him.
When you truly will get on fire for God you will step outside of the comfort zone.
So we’ve seen…
Fire gives warmth.
Who likes to cosy up a roaring log fire on a cold winter’s night? Or maybe a campfire at a camp site? It draws you. It attracts you.
Fire warms us up.
Peter warmed himself by the fire… But he was in the wrong company there…
And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
Fire is something we want to be around.
As an on-fire Christian there’s a warmth about you. There’s a glow. A joy within. A heart overflowing. And it shows. Others will be drawn to you, to want this same Saviour and new life that you have.
This is God’s plan for us. To be a warm Christian.
I want to be on fire for God.
On fire, so much that others will want that fire as well.
God wants our cold hearts to glow with His love.
May we be burning and shining lights for the Lord.
And if the Fire of God has truly touched us, there will be a warmth about us.
And as we gather with other likeminded believers we will know a warmth of fellowship there.
It’s been pictured how where Christians gather we can grow stronger together…
Just like when you make a log fire, the several logs burn brightly together, but when a log is taken out of the fire and placed on its own on the cold floor it is likely to lose its flame and go out.
Fellowship is so important. As we burn brightly together there will be a warmth of fellowship that happens. It helps keep the fire going.
Our faith fires us up. And it’s contagious!
We can’t keep this message all to ourselves! It’s too important.
Fire has a characteristic of spreading… It can be passed on…
Strike a match in a forest and you will soon see how a fire can spread and become a raging blaze.
The great fire of London was started when a lamp fell over.
As an on-fire church we can have a spreading influence…
The fire spreads… It can have a far reaching effect. Maybe we might lose some good people from this church. Why? Because they may want to go and serve God as missionaries in other places, to spread the fire…
God’s fire spreads… When we are set ablaze others will catch fire as well… It will have a multiplying effect.
We’re not meant to just take up pew space… We’re meant to be contagious.
We’re meant to be spreading, like wildfire…
We need the fire.
We need a choir that is on fire
We need stewards who are on fire
We need young people on fire
We need older people on fire
We need preachers who are on fire
We need Sunday school teachers who are on fire
We need deacons who are on fire
We need to be the people of God, on fire, burning brightly for Him.
And this fire, this passion for God, will spread and reach far and wide across our city, our state, our country, and beyond. Because fire spreads.
Let’s pray that we be such a people, on fire… A people who will not be ashamed, to stand for God and for the right.
When you’re on fire for God you will get so in love with Jesus that you can’t contain it.
And you will be unstoppable.
No little offence is going to stop you.
No disagreement is going to hinder you.
No hardship will deter you.
When you’re on fire wild horses wouldn’t drag you away from fellowship.
Why? Because you are on fire for God.
WHERE’S THE FIRE?
How do we get the fire?
Let me try and answer that.
Who’s ever suffered from heart burn?
I want to tell you there’s a good kind of HEART BURN. In fact, I hope this sermon gives you heart burn.
Where’s the fire?
God wants to set our hearts on fire. To set us ablaze from the inside out, for His glory.
The fire should be in our hearts.
And how does it get there?
And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
It was as the Lord opened the scriptures that God started a burning within their hearts…
God talks to us. His voice is here. Here, in His Word.
The Word of God is described as being like a fire in our bones. We cannot contain it and we cannot keep it to ourselves…
Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
God describes His Word as being – like as a fire…
(28) The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
(29) Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
All around us are red flags.
Secular values are being imposed on us.
Why is there so much sin?
Churches all around us don’t seem to care what the Bible says… They just seem to go through the motions…
There’s an astonishing ignorance of Bible doctrine.
Many Christians don’t seem to understand what is sinful. They seem uncaring about offending a holy God.
We have lost our way…
- We have lost discernment
- We have lost modesty
- We have lost sound judgment
- We have lost the fire
- We have lost the Bible.
How do we regain the fire?
By regaining the Word…
It comes as we implant the Word in our hearts…
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
We must stand fast with the Word of God. It’s the message that we must deliver…
This is why we desperately need the King James Bible.
Why we need to hide it in our hearts. I urge you to do this. I can give a suggested list of Bible verses to memorise. It is amazing how quickly you can, with some effort, memorise important Bible verses that you can then apply in your life.
We need the Word. It’s why we need to be a faithful Bible believing, Bible preaching church. We need preaching that stirs and unsettles us…
(9) That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
(10) Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
In the midst of a depraved, hell-bound world… We are witnessing…
- The destruction of a generation
- The destruction of morality
- The destruction of marriage.
The sacredness of marriage has been soiled and fouled up and made a mockery of. Marriage has been dishonoured and degraded.
I firmly believe we are being desensitised… desensitised to sin…
Souls are going to hell, and it seems like no one cares…
The gospel has been diluted and lost.
Truth is abandoned and trashed everywhere…
Christianity is become a laughing stock.
If the foundations be destroyed…
What can the righteous do?
Will we stand with the faithful?
The faithful did not bow down to Baal.
How about you?
We need a reality check.
Are we FIRED UP – OR FIZZLED OUT?
It’s time to call the people back to the true God.
And may the fire fall for us, as it did in Elijah’s day!
Where’s the fire?
Of course there is a danger of false fire. There are two men in the Bible who brought strange fire before the Lord – it was a fire manufactured by men. It was out of order. It was the wrong time, the wrong method, and the fire was not taken off the altar. Leviticus 10.
We need to recognise the corrupt false, substitute Christianity for what it is, and avoid that. And seek after the real.
We need the real.
It’s time to…
- Stir up
- Get equipped
- Repair the altar that was broken down.
WHERE’S THE FIRE?
We will find it, when we get real. When we come to love Jesus more than anything else.
Where’s the fire?
It’s… when Elijah prayed the fire came.
It’s when Solomon prayed the fire came.
As Moses communed with God the fire came.
In the upper room at Pentecost the people were all with one accord in one place, prayerful. And God showed up in fiery tongues sitting upon each of them.
Where’s the fire…
- It’s where people are praying, depending upon God
- Where the weeping and the travail is
- When we get out of our comfortable pews
- When we will give out from the heart
- Live fully for the Lord from the heart
- We will go out, after souls and not care about the cost.
A fire can be snuffed out.
How is your fire today?
Are you fired up, or fizzledout?
Some Christians can act more like fire extinguishers than fire lighters…
They quench the Spirit
They are half hearted
Coldness and deadness prevails.
I have heard some Christians admit, I used to be so on fire for God, and I know I am not as close to God like I should be.
There is hope for you.
How do we stay on fire?
How do we keep the fire of God burning in our life?
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
We need to burn for God, but not as a firecracker, that just goes off with a bit of a bang but it ends up fizzling out.
We can know a fervency in spirit and a zeal for serving the Lord. And if we have lost it, we can regain it.
God can fire us up.
The fire needs to be fed.
That’s why we need fellowship.
Fire needs fuel.
The fire of God within us is fuelled by the Word of God.
Keep yourself in the Word.
Press on brother, sister, and pray through.
Make up your mind to regain your passion, your fire for God…
- Get on fire for God
- Stoke the fire
- Rekindle the fire
God wants to use us mightily for His glory.
These are desperate days… We’re living in testing times, times where we see…
- A world hurtling towards hell
- A church swallowed up in apostasy
- The masses seem like lemmings headed to destruction.
God wants the fire ever burning…
And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.
What is STOPPING your fire?
- Don’t let discouragement put the fire out
- Don’t let the busyness of life put the fire out
- Don’t let your excuses out the fire out
- Don’t let unforgiveness put the fire out
- Don’t let bitterness put the fire out
- Don’t let worldly desires put the fire out.
It’s time to GET RE-FIRED…
God wants His churches on fire.
He wants His people to keep the fire burning…
To be a people…
- Fervent in spirit
- Fervent in love
- Fervent in prayer.
HOW CAN WE GET ON FIRE FOR GOD?
O Lord let the fire fall…
Fire is a symbol of THE HOLY SPIRIT…
- Heed THE CALL
- Seek Him to FILL you
- To empower you with HIS GIFTS.
The Spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind
Paul says STIR IT UP…
FAN IT INTO FLAME…
2 Timothy 1:6-7
(6) Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
(7) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Let’s pray God gives us an extravagant faith.
Let’s stand resolutely against the hosts of hell. It will be a bitter fight.
Judgment is coming. Get ready people.
Let’s get hungry for God.
On fire for God.
To be that church. A church on fire, that preaches the Word and lives the Word.
A people with…
Faith on fire.
Who will honour God.
Set us on fire, Lord.
Let’s ignite others…
Where’s the fire?
What happened to the fire?
Stir it up.
Fan it back into flame…