AN INCONVENIENT FIRE

Bad news for the lukewarm church, fake preachers, and left-wing God haters.  In this moment of depravity and despair a single shaft of light has pierced the darkness and started an inconvenient fire.

AN INCONVENIENT FIRE

By Mario Murillo

What is this fire doing?  It is spreading an insatiable hunger to know God—just God.  A growing number of believers want to know God Himself—they want just Him.  They are not thinking about anything He can do for them.  They must know Him—more than oxygen, food and water—they must have God!

This fire awakens an ancient hunger—the hunger that possessed saints of old.  A.W. Tozer said, “Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they had found Him the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking.”

And those who already know Him want to know Him better.  Tozer continues: “Moses used the fact that he knew God as an argument for knowing Him better. “Now, therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight”; and from there he rose to make the daring request, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory.” God was frankly pleased by this display of ardor, and the next day called Moses into the mount, and there in solemn procession made all His glory pass before him.”

But why would this be the worst nightmare to masked Antifa thugs, tepid seeker churches or false ministers?   Isn’t this fire pulling saints off the front lines into a full-time pursuit of God?   How can this be a threat?  It is the greatest threat!   NOTHING TERRIFIES SATAN MORE THAN A WIDESPREAD HUNGER TO KNOW GOD:

-It puts them into the place and condition that Jesus has yearned for His church.  They are in God’s presence devoid of ideas, agendas, or blueprints.   Their intercession is no longer contaminated.  Prayer is no longer a booster rocket for pet projects.  They are self-emptying to see God in His beauty.

God has triumphed over their dead works.  By doing this He kills the source of their anxiety, cares and inadequacy.   David Wilkerson said, “I had more ideas than any preacher in America. Ideas on how to evangelize. How to organize New Testament programs. The programs and ideas were successful enough to entrap me and keep me on the treadmill of busy-ness.

But all along my heart yearned for more. I knew the blessing was not in building. Not in some well-planned scheme to reach the lost. Not in bigness, and not in activity. I discovered the hard way, that the glory of God, the peace and joy of the Spirit, was in being stripped down, emptied, and made totally weak.”

-They are suddenly alive the real horror—their own flesh.  The issue is no longer the depravity of the culture but their personal carnality.  This inconvenient fire struck Isaiah with such agony he tossed his prayer for influence and power aside.  All he can cry is; “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”-Isaiah 6:5.   Isaiah is unmade to be remade.

In the towering glory, you see the indescribable.   You see how victorious God is.  How inevitable is His victory!  You see Satan’s utter defeat.  You are transfixed by the wisdom available—the resources at Gods’ disposal—the tactics He can use.  His mighty plan makes our plans microscopically puny.

God will declare to you what He said to Isaiah: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” -Isaiah”- 55: 8,9.

-Here’s what makes this fire so inconvenient:  It was simply not in the plan.

-It was not in the plan for the lukewarm convenient church to level off and be overruled by inconvenient fire.  Attraction based churches fold when God Himself becomes the attraction.

-It was not in the plan for fake ministers to ever stop lying, prospering, or fooling the masses.  The light and heat of this fire will expose and topple them.

-It was not in the plan for left-wing God haters to see their plan to eradicate Christianity from America neutralized by inconvenient fire.

This spreading flame—and the powerful vessels it creates—was simply not in the plan.   So emerges a new vessel—a designed weapon.  An inconvenient person appears on the American stage.  They will own a passion you cannot stop—words you cannot gainsay—and miracles you cannot deny.

THE ANSWER TO FEAR: BURN IT OUT!

Closing the altars, ordering people to tone it down, and focusing on recovery programs brought a crowd.  However, what if that crowd leaves with no power to face our toxic culture?

By Mario Murillo

Right now we are awash in advisory sermons. The titles are similar and predictable: “How to handle fear, uncertainty, finances, relationships, marriage, and children.”   We are drowning in whiteboards, blackboards, statistics, PowerPoint presentations, props, and illustrations.

The problem is, with all the anger, division, loud perversion and persecution, teachers find their instructive messages woefully inadequate.  What happened?  The answer is…life.   Life happened and it is gripping believers with fear.  This is a new kind of fear coming from the screaming villains, who now have an out-sized influence.

Happy face sermons do not give power over a time like this.   What is happening now runs off the over-optimistic maps drawn in pulpits. Tragedies can uproot neat formulas like a palm tree in a hurricane.   Hip theories will collapse like a brick house in an earthquake.

Every honest Pastor can report causalities in their church.  Many who were once vibrant soldiers, today languish in a shadow existence.  They are out of church, disconnected from their former passion and sick in body and soul.  The ongoing political debate and demonstrations have only added to the crisis. The conflicting opinions of church leaders leave the army of God baffled and vulnerable.

Leaders have brought a lot of this on themselves.  The culture changed dramatically in the last few months.  The American pulpit has not.

Why are we surprised that modern believers suddenly need more?  The power that could answer a thousand questions and extinguish a myriad of personality ills has been ushered out of church.

Closing the altars, ordering people to tone it down, and focusing on recovery programs indeed brought in a crowd.  However, what is the end game if the crowd leaves as weak as they came—and in some cases weaker—without power to face our culture?

Paul’s cure was simple: an undeniable encounter with the fire of God…”that your faith should not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. -1 Corinthians 2: 5.

The answer to fear today is to burn it out!  Just for shock value, I’ll use this phrase…perfect love casts out fear but so does perfect fear.  No doubt many will think it is crazy to take a wonderful verse like 1 John 4:18 “perfect love casts out fear” and mess it up.  But I am not messing it up I am fulfilling it!

PERFECT FEAR DOES CAST OUT FEAR!  We have downplayed and even banned something that Christians desperately need.

Go back with me to 758 B.C.  Isaiah the prophet enters the Temple in fear for his life.  The tide of public opinion has turned against him.  The death of his friend and protector King Uzziah has put the finishing touch on 5 years of ministry that was just treading water.  His despair is now complete. He is enters the Temple looking for comfort from God.

He kneels in prayer, resting his elbows on the altar seeking solace from the storm. Instead, the building starts quaking, knocking his elbows so that he is now punching himself in the face.

He looks up and sees Seraphim:  Angels of fire, fire that burns hotter and brighter than any sun. They tower over him from each end of the altar.

Their voices roar, vibrate, boom and dislodge the mighty beams of the Temple!  “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, IS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.  THE WHOLE EARTH IS FILLED WITH HIS GLORY!”  Back and forth, again and again, they blast this mighty proclamation until Isaiah could not bear the fright!

The mighty God Himself stands before Isaiah unfurling the indescribable train of His Glory!  The prophet convulses beneath weight of glory.  From his bone marrow came an all-consuming cry… “WOE IS ME!”

Isaiah

The startling effect of the Glory of God—a wonder working fear—overrules human fear.   No threat matters now.   This demonstration of Glory conquered his suffering.   Isn’t this exactly what Paul meant?: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18.   Of course Paul is speaking of the final GLORY…but it is a part of our birthright to have earthly collisions of glory: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”-1 Corinthians 12: 7   An overarching, fear destroying encounter is the legacy of every child of God.  “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all

The twelve disciples were gripped by fear of the storm.  But when Jesus rebuked the storm their fear of drowning was replaced with an awestruck wonder.  They exclaimed: “what manner of man is this that even the wind and the sea obey Him!?”

We are told that General Patton won battles because his men were more afraid of him than the Germans.   Again, ours is not a negative fear but the  holy awe born from the manifestation of God’s glory.

This truth reinforces the fact that “Perfect love casts out Fear”  because love disciplines, love gives us what we need… and what we need today is a subtle pat on the head.   We need a fear-killing encounter!  Solomon said in Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

raw bravery

 

Why are we blocking people from experiencing the fire of God?  Why would we keep this miracle from people?   I am talking about fire—fire that keeps them from the evil one—fire that forges a reverence, and turns them into your best soldiers

We should have made room and time for people to be filled to prevailing levels of the Holy Spirit and fire.  If we had, we would not be nursing hordes of Christians on life support. We would have an unstoppable army!

There is still time to reverse course.  If you have never been drenched by God then obey Him and seek to be overcome by His Glory.  If you have received in the past now is the time for FRESH FIRE!