Thursday, December 1, 2011



While reading 2 Chronicles, chapters 6-15 today, one particular verse jumped out at me. It was 2 Chronicles 7:1 "When Solomon finished praying, fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple."

I read that and paused for just a moment picturing what happened in my mind. I remember thinking..."WOW!" I mean, wouldn't you have wanted to see that! Here you are praying...and then suddenly the fire descends from heaven...consumes your offering...and the glory of the Lord fills the place you are at!!!! I'm serious people, I'm thinking "WHOOOAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!"

And then it hit me...this should be you and me...this should be our church services...our private prayer times...our private worship time...our corporate prayer time...this should be anytime we worship!

I say that because we have the glory of the Lord filling our temple (our body), the fire from heaven (the Holy Spirit) indwells us and should consume us!

But most of the time it doesn't happen. At the very least, if it is happening, somehow, someway, we have turned a blinde eye towards it...or we have become deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to the supernatural presence of the one, true, almighty, all powerful God of the universe!

I don't have all the answers here, but I have begun a journey this week, a journey of losing myself in the Lord, a journey of immersing myself in the Word, a journey of worship, a journey of prayer, a journey of living out the gospel, of not just knowing the gospel, or knowing the Lord, or knowing the Word, but one of walking the gospel, walking with the Lord, walking in the ways of the Word.

I desire, more than any other time in my life to be consumed by the fire of the Lord, to be filled with His presence, to see the glory of the Lord made manifest in my life and in the lives of those around me. I desire to come to worship with my brothers and sisters, rejoicing, expecting, anticipating the glory of the Lord to come fill this place!

If the church, both the individuals and the local gathering, would be consumed by the fire of the Lord, if the offering of our lives was consumed by holy fire from heaven, then those around us would come rushing to find out what is happening!

There is a quote attributed to John Wesley that goes something like this: "Set yourself on fire with passion & people will come for miles to watch you burn.” I have done some research and have found that some say Wesley never said this. Whether he did or not, I do not know, but what I do know is that this quote is very true. But I would like to state it this way instead, "Be set on fire by the Holy Spirit and people will be drawn to the Lord."

Glory come down, and heaven, fill my soul.
Pastor Dave

1 comment:

Kerry said...

Some interesting and useful views in your blog articles. In particular, the Ryser article is excellent; as you write, very thought provoking.

Something to consider in regards to your reasoning in this post "The Glory of the Lord".

You write that it hit you that this type of experience - though I assume you do not mean literal fire from heaven - should happen anytime we worship. Yet in the Old Testament events like the one you quote do not occur often, let alone every time people worship. I would suggest that such events are by their nature unique and rare.

Are we in danger here of placing a burden on ourselves in thinking that we should be having these types of experience every time we worship? For when we do not have such experiences it is likely we will blame ourselves for failing in some manner. Yet surely it is reasonable to argue that it is God as Father, or God as Holy Spirit, who decides to what extent we will experience Him in worship.

For those who might respond with statements of the like, that our sin separates us from God etc., I would put forward the example of the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians we read of a fellowship who are accepting of sin in their ranks so awful that even heathens speak of it with disgust. Nonetheless, Paul writes that the are highly gifted in the Holy Spirit.

Could we then say that perhaps the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer is no guarantee of holiness, and nor is the presence of sin in the believer's life automatically something that prevents fellowship with God.

I have come to the belief that sin is always prevalent in my life, I sin without even knowing it, constantly in a state of rebellion against God in the flesh. Paul writes of the war between his flesh and his spirit, and surely he lived a far more holy life than I do. Did Paul have daily experiences in worship of the nature that you suggest we should all be having? For that matter, did the early Church Fathers? It would not appear to be case.

This is then for me a major part of what Grace is, holiness without effort even in the face of my daily failure to turn away from sin.

In Hebrews Chapter 4 we read that we can come before God confident of mercy. There are no limitations regarding this; the implication is clear, it is a Biblical constant, entirely independent of our state of mind, actions, or lack of actions. It is in effect the prodigal child returning repeatedly to the loving merciful father, in our case God the Father.

I cannot imagine I ever come to God in worship without having sinned, or being in sin, yet pure in His eyes because of Christ and Christ alone.

If ever I am granted an ecstatic experience, or be even more blessed by a succession of ecstatic experiences, it will not be because of anything I have or have not done. I cannot imagine I have any control over such events. Whatever I do, fast, immerse myself in God's Word, converse with Him fervently and often, or anything else of a spiritual nature, I will not be the catalyst for the decent of fire from heaven.