Summary: A message of revival comparing the renewal of the spirit to a physical fire.
Build the Fire
Psa 85:6 “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Psa 85:7 Show us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.
Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.”
We want revival! That is why we are here isn’t it? Amen! We look at revival as a time of high emotion and life changing services. For this to happen, revival must begin in the lives of individuals. True revival is the renewal of the Spirit. Most of us that have come to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ began our new walk excited, you might say “on fire”, about what happened in our on lives. As we traveled down the road of life though our flame has been doused with the waters of the world and maybe for some you it has been almost extinguished. Prayerfully, today we will rekindle the flame in our hearts. For revival to come to the church it must come to the individual. Using the methods of rekindling a physical fire I will demonstrate the ways of renewing your Spirit.
The first thing we have to look at is what makes the fire go out. Most of us know when a fire is burning out of control we call the fire department and they come and douse it with water until it goes out. What happens in a person’s life when they receive Christ is that they begin living a victorious life. The more they taste the milk and meat of the word the stronger the fire burns within them to the point it gets out of control and that person begins to tell everybody what God has done in their life. So now this little fire that started at a hill called Calvary becomes a raging bonfire that in Satan’s eyes is out of control. He has to put the fire out before it destroys his stronghold. Basically, there are two ways of extinguishing a fire. One is by smothering it and this is usually done with water. The water that is used to put out our spiritual fire is manifested in different forms all stemming from one source and that is sin. It may appear as self sufficiency, “I don’t need God, and I can handle this”. Or it might appear as a negative attitude, “I can’t do this, we don’t need to do that or let’s not be fanatical”. What the world needs are more fanatics for Christ! . If there is no oxygen then the fire cannot burn. Sometimes the fire department uses chemicals that actually take the oxygen away from the flame and it goes out. When you submit yourself to God through repentance and belief in Jesus as the Christ the Son of God, then you receive the Holy Spirit indwelling within you. This Spirit needs to be nourished to grow. Just as a fire needs oxygen to grow and you need oxygen to live, the Spirit within you needs spiritual oxygen which is prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers.
The second thing that causes a fire to go out is the lack of fuel. After the initial stack of wood is burned, if no other is added, then the fire will starve itself to death. For our Spirit the fuel comes from the same place that the flame came from, the foot of the cross. Our life is changed when we look up on that cross and see a loving God, in the shape of a man broken and dying a horrible death, not because of anything that He has done, but because of our sins. The original flames of the Spirit came from heaven when people fell on their knees and submitted themselves to the will of God.
So, what is needed to rekindle the flame? In the physical fire we are talking about we need to dry the wood, add more fuel, and make sure the fire can breathe. In our spiritual life we need to repent, receive God’s forgiveness, and be obedient to God’s Word. Repentance is necessary. We are not going to fix it unless we believe that it needs fixin! We must recognize that we have allowed sin in our life and realize that all cannot be well until it is dealt with. When we realize that the problem is sin, then we bring it to God and ask for his forgiveness. In I John chapter one verse nine we are told, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” Once we deal with the sin and accept the forgiveness, we then, can feel the flame flicker in our heart. This flame that has started to burn needs to grow to be the fire we call revival. This happens by being obedient to God’s Word. To obey the Word you must first read, and hear the Word. Not reading the Word as if it were a book written by men but reading it in the Spirit as the Word of God. Paul recognized that the strength of the faith of the church in Thessalonica was for this very reason: