Summary: We need the Fire of the Holy Ghost to fall on us once again, consuming us for the glory of God
Fire from Above
Sunday, October 29, 2006 – AM
By Pastor Jim May
We need the fire this morning. It’s getting colder outside, but I’m not concerned about the cold air; I’m concerned about the cold spirit and the cold heart in the church. I know that the church, in general, at least those with whom I have contact, seem to be very cold-natured most of the time. I’m ready for some fire. I’m ready for some excitement. I’m ready for the fire of the Holy Ghost that will fall and burn away all of the impurities, the doubts, the fears, the frustrations and the apathy in us. We need a fresh fire today. We need a fresh anointing. We must have that fire from above.
Where is the fire of the Spirit? Why have we not seen the Fire fall? Part of the answer lies in the story of King David found in 1 Chronicles chapter 21.
It all begins with pride and self-sufficiency. David’s army had beaten back the Ammonites, took the crown off of the head of the Ammonite King and put it on his own head. Then he defeated the Philistines and another of the brothers of Goliath from the land of Gath was killed. Then Gath was angered and attacked Israel, and David conquered Gath as well. But how many of you know that when everything is going just right, and all your battles are won without much of a fight, that it’s easy to begin to lean upon your own strength and power instead of trusting God for the victory?
That’s what happened to David. He became convinced that his army was invincible. He was lifted up in his pride and the victories he had won, and he looked at the military might of Israel’s army and said, “That’s alright God, I can handle this on my own for a while. Thank you very much, but I’m doing just fine on my own.”
That’s what is happening in the church, and I believe it’s happening to many of us, right here in Victory Temple. We have become satisfied in our walk with the Lord. God has given us blessing after blessing, victory after victory, and somehow we have come to take them all for granted. God is a good God, opening the windows of Heaven and pouring out blessings upon His people, but if we aren’t careful we will allow all of God’s blessings to bring us to a place of self-sufficiency, a place of complacency and then we are headed for trouble.
David became self-sufficient. He also became stubborn and wouldn’t listen to the voices of his most trusted men who kept trying to tell him to not walk down the path of pride that would bring him into disobedience against God.
The Bible says in 1 Chronicles 21:1, "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel."
What’s wrong with counting your blessings? What’s wrong with taking inventory of how much of the Word of God you know, or how many times you’ve been to church, or how often you have prayed, or how many times God has blessed you? There’s nothing wrong with remembering, if you are doing so to thank God for all of it.
But David wasn’t numbering Israel to say, “Thank you Lord, for increasing our nation and giving us such great victories.” He was numbering Israel so that he could brag about the size of his army and the power of his people to defeat their enemies. He was learning to lean, but it wasn’t on Jesus; it wasn’t on God; it was on the arm of the flesh.
That’s what I see happening in the church. We are leaning on past experiences. We are leaning on what we already know and have learned from the Bible. We are leaning on the move of the Spirit that we had 6 months ago or 10 years ago. We are leaning on our own spirituality and our own good works. But where is that fresh fire? Where is the out-pouring of the Holy Ghost and fire? We sing that, “It’s the Holy Ghost and Fire and it’s keeping me alive” and that’s what we must have, but where is that Holy Ghost fire today?
I’m beginning to believe that it’s not much more than a smoldering ember because we’ve allowed it to be smothered out with pride and self-sufficiency. We have become stubborn and self-sufficient, just like David.
God had to get David’s attention, so he sent an angle with a sword against Israel and 70,000 Jews died in a pestilence. 70,000 men, women and children lost their lives because of one disobedient king, who was supposed to be a “Man after God’s own Heart”.
Do you understand what that’s saying to the church right now? Every day that we live in a state of lethargy, complacency and self-sufficiency, and we don’t have that fire of the Holy Ghost operating in us, there are souls that are dying and going to Hell. How many people have been lost that we could have reached if we weren’t so complacent? How many souls will burn forever because I didn’t open my mouth and speak to them about Jesus? How many of your family aren’t saved but have never heard you witness to them? How many of your friends and co-workers don’t know Jesus and they don’t even know you are a Christian?