Summary: Jesus desired to bring a burning, exciting, dynamic presence of God in the lives of people. God’s fire is dazzling and powerful and can work wonders in your life.
When God appeared to Moses He spoke out of the flame of a burning bush. Later, on Mt. Sinai, God appeared to all the Israelites as a fire on the mountain. Exodus 24:17 says, “To the Israelites, the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire.” What a sight that must have been! There is something awesome and scary about fire, no wonder God chose that theophany. Later, when Moses built the Tabernacle, they made the first sacrifice in the Holy of Holies. God again revealed Himself by fire. Leviticus 9:24 says, “Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering ... And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell face-down.”
Years later, the prophet Elijah stood on Mt. Carmel and called on God to send down fire and God showed up and burned up the sacrifice. When the Apostle John had a vision of the glorified Christ in Revelation 1, he described Him as having eyes like a blazing fire. Throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, God’s presence is represented by fire.
That’s what Jesus is talking about, bringing the supernatural, burning, exciting presence of God Almighty down into our lives. Micah and Zechariah also picture God as fire, but the clearest explanation of what Jesus is talking about is found in the New Testament. When John the Baptist was asked if he was the Messiah he replied, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Luke 3:16) Jesus came to totally immerse people in the burning, purifying, awesome presence of God. That’s why He came to bring fire on the earth. When you have a personal encounter with the God of the Universe, it’s like an experience with Holy Fire. On the first Easter, those two disciples walked with the resurrection Jesus on the road to Emmaus. They didn’t recognize that it was Jesus because they were certain He was dead and buried. After Jesus revealed Himself and disappeared they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us?” (Luke 24:32)
When your heart is on fire for someone; that means you are passionate about that person. Jesus came to give us that kind of burning, passionate, love relationship with the God of the Universe. If God is like fire, there are several things He wants to do in your life that can be compared to fire.
2. GOD’S FIRE GENERATES UNLIMITED POWER
There is a scientific field called Thermodynamics. It deals with the relationship between heat and mechanical energy and the process of changing one into the other. Your car has an internal combustion engine that burns fuel and changes it into the motion that pushes the pistons, and turns the drive shaft which turns the wheels which lets you get to from point A to point B. Electricity is produced in plants that use gas, coal, or a nuclear to transform heat into power. When you plug in an appliance in your home, that electrical current again is transformed back into some kind of energy.