Summary: God is speaking to a people who had become disassociated and disconnected. He is inviting us to participate in what He is about to do in our day.
The Spirit of Burning - Malachi 3:1-4
Intro.: God, through the prophet Malachi, is speaking to a people who had become disassociated and disconnected. These verses are God’s thunderous response and, in essence, they are saying, “Get Ready!” It’s the message of preparation. Did you notice where the call was coming from? The Wilderness! God has positioned many of His end-time prophetic voices in the wilderness, readying them to proclaim, “…Prepare ye the way of the Lord…” (Mt 3:1-3; Mk 1:3; & Lk 3:4)
There is coming on the earth a time of unprecedented glory, unprecedented power and unprecedented revelation. He is inviting us to participate in what He is about to do in our day.
I. God’s Consuming Fire – Hebrews 12:29
A. The Spirit of Truth is releasing the challenge to “Raise the Standard”
1. God is raising up a generation that will go “all out” for the Kingdom of God
2. This is not necessarily an “age-based” generation, but a “heart-based” one
B. It is absolutely essential for us to embrace God’s holiness if we are to encounter His power
1. God is and has been drawing His people to a higher plane of purity
QUOTE: God will pour out His power without measure on a people without mixture
C. This fire is not for our punishment, it is for our purification
1. When we turn our gaze upon Him, we behold his fiery presence
2. Continuing to gaze upon Him releases change in us - conforming us to His image
READ: II Cor. 3:18 We, who w/unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (NIV)
3. We must remove any veils that cover our faces – READ: Job 42:5
a. Notice the result of Job’s realization of who God really is: - READ: Job 42:6
4. God’s heart is to draw His people back and get them reconnected & readied for Him
EXAMPLE: A prophetically gifted minister was scheduled to speak to a large number of pastors & leaders. While in prayer, God point blank asked him if he was willing to give a specific declaration to those gathered. He immediately replied “Yes, Lord!” The Lord spoke to him by giving him not a word, but the words of a song, “Strangers in the night… exchanging glances…!” The Lord then said, I am tired of this distant and disconnected contact I am having with my people.”
It is time to behold the Lord in all of His beauty!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory & grace
D. Don’t allow life to divert your gaze from the Lord
1. The Lord is calling each of us to run to the fire of God
2. This is not the time to flee the flame, but to embrace the fire of God
NOTE: Absolutely nothing can decontaminate a defiled heart but the fire of God! Man-made religious works simply result in more defilement and perpetuates a dead lifeless existence. The Spirit of burning will set men free, not only from the bondage of sin, but from the bonds of religion.
II. Walk in the Light or Stumble in the Darkness
A. The cleansing fire of God, brings the light of God into our lives
B. There are several important steps of preparation in order to receive God’s cleansing fire:
1. First: Pray Psalm 139:23-24
a. The motives of our heart must be thoroughly searched by the Holy Spirit
b. Why? Because our hearts are capable of great deception
1. It is so easy to convince ourselves of our own righteousness
2. Second: Step into God’s river of fire as soon as the Holy Spirit brings your need to light
a. Otherwise you will quickly talk yourself out of it
b. Quickly and completely repent and put the issue behind you
3. Third: Forgive yourself and do not allow past sins to continue to haunt you
a. Scripture says, if Jesus has set you free, you are free indeed – John 8:36
QUOTE: Remember Pumba’s famous words, “Put your behind in your past…”
Concl.: Much has been written and spoken about the fire of God. It’s time to stop talking about the fire. Let’s get burned by God until we are totally consumed.
NOTE: The church cannot release the fire of God until she has embraced the fire of God.
You can’t give something away that you do not have.
Remember: God will pour out His power without measure on a people without mixture
The church is in a season of acceleration – things are changing amazingly fast and if you are watching you can see it clearly. But if you are only looking at having a weekly religious experience, you will be blinded to what God is doing.