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Let it Burn

forestI’ve been posting about how the Word of God can ignite a fire in our hearts. The question I want to answer today is; why would I want this?

As I look out across the body of Christ in our generation, I see a very interesting phenomenon. The strength of God’s people seems to be higher than it’s been for a long time.

People attend churches where the times of worship are deeply moving. The preaching of the Word is anointed. This is especially true with the accessibility of great men and women of God over the internet. From what I hear, prayer is an important part in the lives of many believers.

What bothers me is that in spite of this spiritual strength, the church as a whole is having almost no impact on society. Yes, I know there are individual local churches that are bringing increase into God’s kingdom – but a great many are not. If anything, it looks like God’s people want what the world is offering them.

This places us firmly in the category of being double-minded. Let the Scripture be our judge.

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:6-8

This is where we find ourselves. We have a seemingly deep spiritual walk, yet we lack the power of God. It’s because with our focus on both Christ and the world, we end up double-minded.

Our cry to God should be the same as the man who came to Christ on behalf of his son who needed deliverance.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:24

I recently watched a special about forest fires. I learned that not all forest fires are bad. Sometimes there are small fires that burn up all the little leaves and twigs on the forest floor.

That’s a good thing, because if it doesn’t happen regularly this debris can pile up and start a huge fire later on. That kind of raging fire can destroy the whole forest.

What floored me was that the documentary called these little ones, “cleansing fires.” Then they made a statement – “We need cleansing fire!” It wasn’t a preacher who said that, but I found myself saying “amen” to a TV documentary.

Over time, as we live in the world, doubts and distractions build up in our lives without us ever knowing it. Over time, if left unchecked, they could destroy our walk with God. We need the cleansing fires of the Holy Spirit to burn away this accumulation of junk on a regular basis. This clears the way for the power of God to manifest in my life.

We must spend time in the Holy Spirit. We must hear His Word to us. Then as we meditate on that Word, we fan it into flame allowing it to consume all the deadwood of doubt that’s been piling up in our heart.

Question: What do you consider regular time with the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Igniting the Fire

Fire DangerIn my last post I started talking about the followers of Christ in Luke 24. They were discouraged and double-minded concerning Jesus’ death. After encountering the risen Lord everything changed.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32

They said that their hearts burned within them. In order to understand what happened we need to go back to that point. According to the men, it was when Jesus talked with them on the road. Let’s look at what He said to them.

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Luke 24:25-27

As they were walking along the road Jesus explained the Scripture to them. What would you give to have an experience like that? It turns out that you can.

The word explained that’s used in this verse is very special. It’s the word that’s normally translated as interpretation; as in the spiritual gift of interpretation. This explanation that Jesus gave them was no boring lecture. It was an anointed Word straight from the Spirit of God.

That’s what will ignite the fire, not only in those early saints, but in us as well.

“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
Jeremiah 23:29

God declares to us that His Word is like a fire. That’s the Word that Jesus proclaimed to these men on the road to Emmaus. As He spoke to them, the Lord lit a fire in their hearts.

We can have this same experience today. As we spend time in the presence of the Lord, we must have a listening ear. When we hear a Word from the Holy Spirit it will ignite a fire in our heart.

My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue…
Psalms 39:3

God’s Word to us starts the fire burning. But as we meditate on it, the flames increase until it is all consuming.

I’ve heard people pray for God to “send the fire.” It’s not a matter of Him sending it, but of us receiving it. We need to hear a Word from God to get it kindled in our heart. Then meditate on that Word in order to heat it up.

Question: What has the Lord spoken to you lately by His Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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Is Your Heart Burning?

FireWhen Christ rose from the dead, He began showing Himself to groups of His followers in various places. At one point two of them were walking from Jerusalem to a town called Emmaus. They had an encounter with the risen Lord.

At first they didn’t recognize Him. Later, once they knew who they’d been with, they discussed it.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32

Recently, as I was reading this passage, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to study this more deeply. I want to take a couple of posts to talk about what I learned as I meditated on these “burning hearts”. I believe that it will help you in your walk with the Lord.

Let’s start at the beginning. If this is about their hearts, then how did they begin the process? This is an important question.

As I said before, they didn’t know at first that they were talking to Jesus. He asked them why they looked so sad. They were amazed that there was a person who they thought had no idea of what had just taken place in Jerusalem.

“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.”
Luke 24:19-21

This is one of the most amazing confessions of faith AND unbelief that I’ve ever seen! On the one hand they saw in Christ the power of the Word of God. They were inspired to place their hope in Him as the Redeemer of Israel.

Yet at the same time they were walking in defeat, believing that there was nothing more to hope for. It was over. The chief priests and rulers destroyed the dream.

In this condition, they were what James called double-minded.

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:6-8

Being double-minded doesn’t mean that you doubt everything. You’re trusting God for some things, while doubting others. You may trust God to save your soul, yet not believe that He wants to provide for your needs.

That’s the place that many Christians find themselves in today. They know what God’s Word says, yet they have no idea how to apply it to their lives. They’re hoping that God will do something in them, while at the same time they expect nothing to happen.

This is where the burning hearts come in. In my next post we’ll see the Lord’s remedy for this double-minded dilemma.

Question: When have you found yourself both trusting and doubting God at the same time?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in Faith, Revival

 

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