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There Was Fire

May 15, 2012

Maybe just start with a question…I’ve been wrestling with how to begin this today, and I think that it might be best to just get it out there and ask up front…what are you afraid of?  Don’t say snakes, or wolves…granted, those can be scary things, but I am talking about something different.  I’m talking about that fear that keeps us from being what we know God has created us to be.  Because…and this isn’t directed at anyone in particular…what I have noticed is that a lot of Christians…seem really scared.  The apostles were sort of a scared bunch of guys…at least at first…but then something happened…something changed…and the world was never the same.

If you will, and maybe you will, take just a second and read Acts 2:1-13.

See there in verse 2, it says, “Suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind.”  Now, in both Hebrew (ruach), and Greek (pneuma), the word for wind is the same as breath, or Spirit.  The original audience would have understood this…they would have gotten that the Spirit was sort of making His long awaited entrance.  This idea of breath, wind, and Spirit are all used interchangeably throughout the scriptures.  Remember in Genesis 1:2, we see that “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”  In Genesis 2:7, it says, “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.”  Boice says, in regard to this, “The Holy Spirit of God is portrayed as God’s breath – as the creative, moving, dynamic breath of God – this divine, life-giving wind is what is blowing across the waters at the beginning.”  So, what we see happening in that room, is the very same dynamic, moving, Spirit of God…has sort of burst onto the scene.

Now, when we look at verse 3 and see the tongues of fire, it would be easy to get caught up in the spontaneous combustion taking place on their heads and miss the symbolism that is wrapped up in the element of fire.  Observably, fire brings light…and fire brings warmth.  If you have ever lost your electricity for an extended period of time, you will have a keen understanding of that reality.  The one thing we all know about fire, is that it creates change.  Fundamentally, what is dark becomes light, and what is cold becomes warm.  What this is demonstrating is that when the Holy Spirit of God is at work…as He always is…stuff changes…there is an effect…and as we know, you cannot have an effect without a cause.  But, why is it “tongues of fire”…and not just fire?

This goes back to our fear…it goes back to the reason we stand there silent, afraid to speak because we “don’t know enough,” or “they might think I’m weird.”  Listen, there are going to be some folks who think you are a little weird…in all honesty, you just might be a little weird.  But going back to the idea of breath, Isaiah 2:22 basically says, “Why are you trusting in man for your identity…even the breath in his lungs is not his own.”  You see, as a new creation, the Spirit of God fills the room…He lights a fire…He causes a change…He replaces what was dead with what is alive…literally, a new creation.  So, just like dark to light, and cold to warm, the Spirit of God turns the fearful into the fearless.  Tertullian said, “He (God) himself shows how weakness of flesh is overcome by courage of the Spirit.  This is the testimony of the apostles and in particular of the representative, administrating Spirit.  A Christian is fearless.”  Remember what is at work in you…what has overcome your flesh…and be fearless…be His.   And, in keeping with the Spirit…get to work.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 17, 2012 8:41 am

    The book of Acts is so full of the Holy Spirit, and it all starts here. We would do so well to read Acts and see the dependence of the Church on the Holy Spirit to do anything. We need Him today just as they did, yet we often depend on ourselves and our programs when our hearts should be crying for His power. Great post, brother!

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