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This is the question that Elijah asked the Israelites as they had deserted the faith, and were worshipping a false God, Baal (as relayed in 1 Kings 18).
It seemed as if everyone had forsaken Jehovah, and were worshipping Baal. Elijah was confounded. Why would this happen? How can people serve a god that is not up to the job? And heed a god that doesn’t have the fire power required to be all powerful.
Thus he set up a challenge. The worship of God versus Baal would be determined by a simple test. The party that won the test would have the right to declare who the true God was. Whoever could ignite a sacrificial fire unaided would be the true God. Upon setting up the challenge, Elijah gave the Baal worshippers the first turn. They worshipped, danced, and did all they could, but the fire would not ignite to consume the sacrifice. Finally in the afternoon they gave in, and now it was Elijah’s turn. Elijah was so confident in the power of God that he doused the sacrifice with water multiple times at the outset so that it would be naturally impossible for it to ever catch on fire. Then he called on the Lord God to send the fire. And the fire responded. Such was the fire that raged, that it consumed not only the sacrifice but also the water that had collected in a trench all around the altar. The people responded immediately upon seeing the fire, and turned to God away from their idolatry, into the merciful arms of an ever forgiving savior.
I want you to notice what it took for the people to be restored to their faith….it was the fire. Without the fire, hearts would not have been convicted, people would still continue to be dulled in their response to God, and sin would be unabated. Yet in a moment, all that changed, and it changed with just one thing, the fire of the Lord
Fire in the Bible is a picture of the presence of God. Though God is always present, he seems to make himself known at times with manifestations of fire. We see him appear to Moses in a bush as flaming fire, and subsequently to the Israelites, in a pillar of fire that navigated their journey to the promised land.
The fire of God is the presence of God. Today’s world is craving for an appearance of fire, ever be it unknowingly. Many remain indifferent to the faith simply because they don’t see (or experience) the presence of God. See, when fire manifests it is attractive and eye catching.
One has to pause and stare in awe at a fire that ravages an abandoned building, or a withering forest. I believe the church has to bear witness to that fire. As believers God must be seen in our lives, in our job conduct, in all our affairs. For that to happen we must commune with God until we experience him and see that fire for ourselves.
Can I ask you a question: Where is the fire? Or How is your fire? How is your passion for God? Are you burning with the same intensity that you used to burn? Is it less? Or is it more? I believe God is always wanting us to push for more. He who hungers and thirsts…shall be filled. How is your hunger to see God’s presence in your life, and in your surroundings?
When I think of hunger for fire, I am reminded of the apostles in the upper room, as they waited for the promise made to them by Jesus. They were waiting for the promised Holy Sprit for 10 days. Think about it? 10 days spent waiting on God. Surely they had responsibilities, but they were driven by something greater – a desire to have God’s fire upon their lives. (Read more in Acts 2)
When this fire came upon them, the world noticed. The public, the religious authorities, and many people throughout the Roman World. The fire of the presence of God so burned in them, that others had to know that God was real. See fire changes individuals, changes communities and indeed changes the world. May we continually ask “Where is the fire”, and experience more and more of Him.
lets stir ourselves up, and let those fires that may have been blown out be lit again. Find below several scriptures to meditate on. Be blessed.
1 Thessalonians 5:19
2 Timothy 1:6
– Pastor Olu Jegede