God Answers by Fire: The Day Fire Fell

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Whether it’s news headlines filled with gore and gruesome violence, or chaos and confusion echoing across our land, we must realize that there is no Plan B — our only hope is a mighty move of God’s Spirit to awaken the spiritually dead.

In these dire times, I’m actually very hopeful because God often revives His people in times of desperation “IF” we position ourselves to receive the fire of the Spirit. It can’t be worked up, but it can be brought down. 

You Troubler of America

In the book of 1 Kings, King Ahab led Israel into idolatry. God sent Elijah to tell Ahab that He would send a drought upon the land (17:1). Instead of embracing God’s wake-up call, Ahab continued to engage in idolatry. In the same way, what’s it going to take to wake America up?  

After three years of devastating drought, Ahab blamed the catastrophe on Elijah, calling him a “troubler of Israel” (18:17). Not much has changed. Those speaking the truth boldly will also be called trouble-makers when they confront sin and condemn the perversion in our nation. The darkness hates the light, so they call us out when we call them out!

How Long Will You Waver?

Instead of backing down, Elijah cried out to the people and asked: How long will you waver? If God is God, follow Him! The same call goes out today:

  • How long will you play church on Sunday but deny God on Monday? 

  • How long will you pray for heaven but live like hell?

  • How long will you say that Jesus is your Savior but deny Him as your Lord?

The God Who Answers by Fire

Elijah then backed up his words with actions and built an altar: Let the real God show Himself by answering with fire (1 Kg 18:24). The priests of Baal spent many hours calling on their god to send fire down to the altar, but nothing happened. Then Elijah took over and prepared the altar (v. 30-39) — he even went a step further and poured water around it and over it.

Elijah then prayed to God to answer by fire and boy did He ever: “Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench” (vs. 18:38). When God’s fire falls everything is consumed!

This fire can symbolize consecration in our own lives: We prepare the sacrifice (our body) and God brings the fire of His presence. Sadly, many waste more than just a few hours in the service of false gods; they waste a lifetime. If this is you, simply repent. If you are sincere and genuinely seeking Him, He will answer. The fire of His presence can become a reality in your life (Jer. 29:13, Amo. 5:4-6).

The Day the Fire Fell

If you’re a believer who is burning out, repent and ask God for the fire again. The great devotional writer, Oswald Chambers gives a good example of the day the fire fell in his own life. Before he received a mighty downpour of God’s presence, he wrote, “God used me during those years … but I had no conscious communion with Him. The Bible was the dullest, most uninteresting book in existence.”

A few years later, he wrote, “If the four previous years had been hell on earth, these five years have truly been heaven on earth. Glory be to God, the last aching abyss of the human heart is filled to overflowing with the love of God.” Fire came down and ignited his heart. 

Hearing is Positioning

If we truly want to hear from God, we need to approach Him from the position of faith: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6). He truly rewards those who diligently pursue Him. Diligent faith means unwavering belief even when we don’t “feel” like it or “see” any results.

Elijah heard the sound of an abundance of rain even when the skies were clear (1 Kg. 18:41-46). That, my friends, is faith. This is a great reminder that we should be optimistic, hopeful, and filled with joy. A critical, negative attitude always makes it difficult to hear the voice of God.

It’s Not About Hype but Hope

Scripture refers to God as the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, but He dwells with those who have a contrite and humble spirit. He revives the humble, and the contrite ones (Isa. 57:15). We don’t obey Him out of obligation but out of desperation. 

Desperate people do desperate things. Prayer becomes their passion, worship their purpose, and intimacy with the Father their all-consuming desire. They live with hopeful expectations while trusting in the sovereignty of God. It’s not about hype, but hope.

Never Let Go

Desperation is the thermostat and the thermometer of our heart; it regulates spiritual hunger. God heard the prophets back then and He hears his people today when they are desperate rather than apathetic, fervent rather than lukewarm, and repentant rather than arrogant (Prov. 15:29).

Revival fire always changes an individual, and often, a nation. When you lay hold of God, never let go. Then you too will experience the fire of God in your own heart!

Shane Idleman

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Leona Valley, Ca. His sermons, books, articles, and radio program have sparked change in the lives of many.

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