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