Have you ever sat in front of the fireplace and just stared at the flames? Yeah, me too. I love the warmth and the flames dancing in the air. It’s so relaxing and mesmerizing. I lose track of time when I watch the fire and my heart gets filled with peace and wonder.
Have you ever sat in front of a campfire? What about a bonfire? Love those. Have you noticed how people are attracted to the fire? They can’t help but come closer and join you. A bonfire might start out with 2-3 people, but give it a few hours and there will be 20-30 people there! People love to watch the flames dance.
I think the same is true when we spend time with the Holy Spirit that lives in our hearts. People will be attracted to the peace and wonder in you. They will wonder what happened to you. They will ask you how you can stay so calm in the middle of this messed up world. Be ready to answer. But first, fan the flames of the fire…
The Bible tells us that Jesus will baptize us with fire.
The thing about fires is you have to keep tending to them. You have to pay attention and add more wood and fan the flames. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. Nobody likes to be ignored, especially God.
For me, I get up early and spend time in the fire of the Holy Spirit with my coffee. It’s quiet then and lots of times we just hang out. Just like the fire, the presence of God brings me peace and wonder. My heart overflows in His presence. My mind is renewed, my joy is filled up.
Let’s fan the flames and spend time in the presence of the Holy Spirit and fan those flames!
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6 NIV
Have you ever watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics? I love that part. They bring the torch out and pass the fire from person to person. According to Wikipaedia:
“The Olympic flame is a symbol used in the Olympic movement. Several months before the Olympic Games, the Olympic flame is lit at Olympia, Greece. This ceremony starts the Olympic torch relay, which formally ends with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The flame then continues to burn in the cauldron for the duration of the Games, until it is extinguished during the Olympic closing ceremony.”
The fire starts and ends the Games. Why do I bring this up? It’s not even a year for the Olympics. I went to a place in Michigan when I visited my sister in law last week that was called FireKeepers. I saw that name and the waterfall with FIRE and thought of God.
God reveals Himself in the FIRE of our lives!
God revealed Himself to Moses in the fire of that burning bush:
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”” Exodus 13: 1-10
Later on in Exodus, God came down in fire to talk to Moses again:
“Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.” Exodus 19:18-20
In the New Testament we evens see how we will be baptized with fire:
“John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
And then in Acts, the Holy Spirit comes down and into belivers like fire:
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts 2:1-4
God proves it to us over and over – where there is FIRE He speaks and He Delivers!
He put His fire inside of us, His Holy Spirit, to overcome the world.
God’s fire will burn up any sickness, illness, oppression, or any enemy that tries to come at us.
Greater days are coming for you. God promised. Yes, really. I don’t know about you, but sometimes this world just weighs me down. Work, clean, eat, sleep, rinse, and repeat. I love my family and my Church – I just need a revival!
No wonder God says to set your mind on things above. If you think about this world and all the terrorism, wars, hate, etc. it is down right depressing. It won’t always be this way. Better days are coming. God promised to come right into the middle of our mess and lighten up our world. God is with us – Emmanuel. I remember Him saying, “I will be their God and they will be my people.” All things are possible with God. He will not leave us as orphans. We can call out to Him, “Abba Father” – to me that means “Daddy, help me!”
Some days I just praise Him in the middle of my mess. I don’t know all the answers, I don’t have to. There is such freedom in not having to know all the answers. God loves us – despite all the imperfections we see in ourselves and others. God’s vision is much greater than ours.
It’s not our love for Him – it’s HIS LOVE FOR US that holds us close. We can never pray enough, be good enough, or do everything right. He already knows that. He never expected perfection. He’s our Daddy – our Papa God. And only God is perfect. He created us to LOVE Him! God wanted someone to love – and that is YOU!
So today, Lord, let us open our hearts and revive our spirits to know that You love us no matter what. Let the rivers of living waters well up within us and revive our souls. Lord, better days are coming, You promised and we trust You!
God’s Word for You:
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” – 2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9 NIV
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
My Prayer for You:
Please renew our vision. Help us to see beyond this world and into your Kingdom. Strengthen us with your Holy Spirit and let us bring light and love to this broken world. Let us be the salt of the Earth and the light of the world, in Jesus Name.
Do you have a favorite perfume? I think everyone has a favorite. I like Channel – any of them. Yes, every Mommy has her favorite perfume.
It’s funny how a simple fragrance can remind you of someone. The other day I sprayed some Channel on me and instantly remembered my mom’s perfume collection. She liked it too. I was transported back to her walk in closet with the perfumes, all her matching outfits, scarves, shoes, and jewelry. My mom used to Broker a Real Estate office so she always dressed up for work. I miss her, she passed away a few years ago. But that perfume brought me right back there.
What about you?
Do you have a favorite perfume?
What does it remind you of?
I found that the Holy Spirit has a fragrance as well. There are times that the presence of God will come upon you and you can smell it. It’s wonderful. You feel instantly protected and safe. God brings healing and hope in those moments as well.
“Live with love as Christ loved you. He gave Himself for us, a gift on the altar to God which was as a sweet smell to God.” – Ephesians 5:2 NLV
“We thank God for the power Christ has given us. He leads us and makes us win in everything. He speaks through us wherever we go. The Good News is like a sweet smell to those who hear it. We are a sweet smell of Christ that reaches up to God. It reaches out to those who are being saved from the punishment of sin and to those who are still lost in sin. It is the smell of death to those who are lost in sin. It is the smell of life to those who are being saved from the punishment of sin. Who is able for such a work? We are not like others. They preach God’s Word to make money. We are men of truth and have been sent by God. We speak God’s Word with Christ’s power. All the time God sees us.” – 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 NLV
We are made of body, mind, and spirit. God made us and called it very good. Then sin entered the world and it’s been a battle ever since. God knew we would need help so Jesus (God in flesh) came and paid the price for our sins. When He rose He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit – our helper in all things. I guess He knew we would need some help with the day to day battles we have.
Here are the questions I am pondering today:
Do we just feed our flesh or do we feed our spirit?
Do we feed on the Word of God to strengthen His and our spirit?
Are we starving the Spirit of God while we feed our flesh and our religious grandiose self?
Are we listening to the Holy Spirit or ignoring Him?
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. ” – Galatians 5:16-18
Preachers are funny sometimes. I can’t watch some of them on TV. It’s all about them, what they have, and what you need to do to get what they have. Guess what? I don’t want what they have, lol! I do not want to feed my flesh with “do this”, “don’t do that,” and “then you will get this” nonsense. Like God is someone we can analyze and manipulate. He is not a magic Genie either. God doesn’t work that way! His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are higher than ours!
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” – Romans 8:1-9 NKJV
I mean really, do we even want to be around people who only want something all the time? You know the type. Or what about the ‘know it alls’? What about the braggers? That gets annoying too. Self – ego – better than thou attitudes tell me that that person doesn’t care about God, they only care about themselves. I don’t think God likes that attitude either.
The flesh is the ego which feels an emptiness and uses the resources in its own power to try to fill it. Flesh is the “I” who tries to satisfy me with anything but God’s mercy. ” -John Piper
God’s mercy is the only reason I am still here.
God’s love is the only reason my hearts still beats.
God’s forgiveness is the only reason I have hope.
God’s faithfulness is the reason I still try.
God’s hope is the reason I believe.
It’s not my hope – it’s His hope in me that helps me lift my head.
It’s not my faith – it’s His faith in me that changes things.
It’s not my love or my duty or even my obedience – it’s His love and what He did and His obedience that changed everything!
I believe when we feed the flesh we do it backwards. It’s all about us – not God. So can these TV preachers get off the soap box and stop misleading the sheep? It makes me mad. If you pray this…If you send this amount… If you plant this seed…If you come to this church function or that church function…If you believe…If you pray this long…
Can we just stop trying to manipulate God?
Guess what? It’s not about you preacher man! And hallelujah it’s not about me either! It’s about God! Tell me about God’s mercy. Tell me about God’s love. Don’t lecture me about flesh. My flesh is dead anyway! Why are you talking to the dead guy? Ugggh! (Yeah, I guess I’m riled up about this…)
Your worship is sacred and pleasing to God. Whether you are singing in your car to the radio, praising and thanking God, or worshipping with others – your worship ushers people into the presence of God. It’s like He just shows up and does stuff.
We are not saved for ourselves.
God wants His love to spill over onto others you meet everyday.
There’s that mom who is trying to make it on her own after her husband left. There is the elderly woman who feels so alone at night. There is the man who just lost his job and doesn’t know how to tell his family. There is the couple who smile on the outside but are one step away from divorce court. And the young teenage girl who hurts herself to stop the pain. These are people you meet everyday. They are hurting. They don’t know why or how to fix it.
We as Christians carry the Word of the Living God in us. Christ in us – the HOPE of Glory. Yet often we hole ourselves up in our buildings, go to our ‘church’ functions, and don’t reach out to the lost. I did this for years. It’s really easy to hide from the world when you busy yourself with function upon function. I learned the lingo, wore what I ‘should’, and followed the rules – for a bit.
Then the hurt squeezed out.
Have you ever tried to stuff a pillow in a box? No matter how hard you try some of it spills over. You can get it almost all in and then the corner pops out. That’s what it’s like to just ‘go’ and play church. I am speaking to myself first. After a while I took a break. Just like I took a break from my biker days, and my preppie days, and my academic days. I was looking for acceptance and love in all the wrong places. The sad part is, so were all the other people going to church. Only we were afraid to tell each other because we didn’t want other people to know how messed up we really are.
The funny thing is though, God already knows.
He brings all of his kiddos to a place to be healed and loved and sheltered from the world.
Worship is a place where God can show us what real love looks like.
Yes it happens at church, but it also happens every time a believer ushers in His presence. God is with us – Emmanuel. He shows up whenever we praise and worship him. He is with you in the car. He is with you at the job. He is with you in your home. He shows up when we pray. He is there when you go outside for a walk. He shows up when we pray with others – they feel His love and presence. God isn’t confined to a building. He is not confined to a Denomination. Anytime or anyplace we worship Him, His love spills out onto others -just like that pillow!
Thank Goodness God squeezes out of the box we try to put Him in!
I wish I was more transparent in real life. I can here in blog land, I just type what’s on my heart. I am still learning to share in real life. Feelings are so messy. Some days I am just a blubbering idiot I think. I have a few friends I reach out to, and for that I am grateful. I gave up ‘playing church’. I gave myself permission these days to be me, flaws and all. I gave myself permission to be free from other people’s opinions of who they think I am. Today God gets to tell me that. Our identity is hidden in Christ – I think it’s way safer there than anywhere else.
I have struggles everyday. I beat myself up for all the things ‘good little christian girls’ shouldn’t do. But then, as I learned today, God welcomes me in His house anyway. He meets me where I am and loves me through it all. As I confess my faults to God and to others I trust, He forgives me and grants me grace to get up and keep living.
His Word gives me hope – I have to read it – or die. I have been hospitalized for depression. I have tried multiple times to hurt myself. I have given up more times than I can count. I have given up on people, I have given up on myself, and I have given up on love. But the thing I learned today –
God never gave up on me. And He has not given up on you either.
God is for us and with us. He forgives us and loves us. He doesn’t want us to be ‘perfect’ – let it go. Just be you. He made you and He loves you anyway!
Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ – Deut 20:14 NKJV
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. – John 6:35-37 NKJV
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8 NKJV
It’s Pentecost Sunday! The day we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. Praise God for the gift of the Spirit. It is the Power if God to change, the power to be saved, the power of God living inside of us. Have you received it? If not ask God and He will give it to you – He promised!
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” – Luke 11:13 NIV
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. – Acts 2:1-4 NKJV
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
Word from the Lord 1/24/16 given from the gifts of tongues and interpretations to Janesville Apostolic Ministries:
“Children of Israel, You have heard me say ‘Greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world,’ but today I want to say that WE are greater than he who that is in the world because you are my church. You are the hands and the feet. You are the ones who are going who are going to take those who are shackled and set them free – through Me. You are the ones that are going to take the Fatherless and bring them home – to Me – because I AM greater than he that is in the world. And that means that you, the Church, are greater than he that is in the world.
Chains and shackles will fall, but they need something. They need you, take charge my children, to step forward and to trust Me; to hold me close as you go out to the world as the light they see – is Me. But I need you to bring the light to the darkness. I can go there but I ask you to go to that dark place – bring my light, bring my love, change a life. Trust me, trust me, I will never leave you or forsake you. I love you so much. I love you so much. I love you so much.”
We are all fearful at times. Life can be overwhelming some days. But when we are afraid there are promises of God that we can hold on to.
Prayer for Comfort
Lead us to the Rock that is higher than I Lord. When my heart is overwhelmed I will cry to the Lord and He will hear me.
Judges 6:12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
Lord your ways are higher than mine. You are my Strength and myShield and my Protection. The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want. You will never leave me nor forsake me Lord. Comfort me Holy Spirit and let me lean on You as we go through this day, in Jesus Name
Ruth 3:11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.
It has been said that those who live by the Spirit walk by the Spirit. But what the heck does that mean? I’m not walking on clouds or anything. At least not in the natural realm, lol!
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. –Galatians 5:16 MSG
This always puzzled me. I mean we need to live here on planet Earth and work and love and provide for our families. It’s not like I am a Nun living in a convent or anything. Far from it. I am just another unfinished human trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to finish my faith. God is faithful. He will complete what He started here on planet Earth. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of my faith. I think today I will live my life freely in the Spirit, love my fellow brothers and sisters, and trust God for the rest.
My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? – Galatians 5:165-18 MSG
5 Ways to Live Life Freely
Let love be your motivation. Choose love. Choose mercy. Choose grace. Freely you have received, now freely give.
Treasure the Presence of God. Make time just to sit at His feet.
Allow the Spirit of the Lord to change you from glory to glory. The Lord is the spirit of Revelation. He will reveal new things to you as you spend time with Him. Let Him lead.
Let your faith be fueled for action. Faith without works is dead. Choose to be a servant of the Most High God. Put others first.
Set your mind on the things above. The Word of God is powerful and will transform our minds. Set your heart to seek out what the Lord has to say.
There is One who can change all things. One who has the power to make all things new – Jesus Christ. I pray that you open your heart to Him this Holiday Season. Receive the gift of salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit as a deposit of your inheritance. Let the power of God come upon you just as He did to Mary – And birth new things this season!
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”