During the winter months, I burn in our back yard quite frequently in order to consume all of the dead branches that have fallen from the trees. I simply enjoy watching a fire burn, and love tending to it. There is just something about fire that has always mesmerized me. In fact my husband knows, when it is time to burn, that I will be “all consumed” by the task at hand.
Since I have spent a lot of time around fires over the last 22 years, I also understand the power associated with it. Therefore, because there are trees within 10-15 feet of my burn area, I always make sure that the burn pile isn’t too large, that the wind isn’t blowing too strong, that the leaves have all been raked away from the burn pile, and that everything around it has been doused with water. Thank God there haven’t been any disasters over all these years. And yet, every single time I set our pile of brush on fire, when the flames reach their highest, there is always a moment when I think to myself, What if this fire is the one that gets out of control.
About two years ago while I was burning, just as the flames were at their highest, a strong wind came out of the west and started blowing the 10-foot high flames directly at a holly bush located about 10 feet away. Immediately I started to panic. Thank the Lord the strong wind didn’t last for much longer than a minute or two. But, I must say, those two minutes were still one of the most frightening times I have ever felt. You should have seen me using our little hose to try to extinguish the mighty flames blowing against my holly bush, immediately consuming its leaves. I’m sure it would have been quite humorous to watch my feeble attempts of trying to extinguish this fire. I would imagine that my prayers to God during those moments did more than the small amount of water that I was spraying onto the fire. I quickly realized that this just might be that fire that burns the neighborhood down.
While I fearfully watched this fire burn so intensely and powerfully, God used the time as a teaching moment. Since hindsight is always 20/20, I now realize years later that God sent that strong wind at just the right moment in order for me to visually see what it was he wanted me to understand.
The night before this event, God woke me in the middle of the night from a very deep sleep. Upon waking, there were two words on my brain and on my lips, “Freewill Offerings.” As I had never before put these two words together in any of my previous writings, I knew these words were from God. He then proceeded to keep me up for the next 3 hours, filling my brain with all that he wanted me to know. I even got out of bed in order to write all of his thoughts down on paper, thinking that he would let me go back to sleep. When sleep never came, it became clear to me what God was saying to me was extremely important to him, and that he wanted me to ponder his words. Therefore, I wanted to take a moment to share with you what God said to me on that night.
The immediate thought that God gave me concerned all of the incredible freewill offerings that were given by his people in order to build his Tabernacle in the wilderness. This sanctuary was built in order to house the Ark of the Covenant, which contained God’s Word and his divine name written on two stone tablets. This sanctuary was built out of raw materials of gold, silver, stone, and fine linens that were freely given for its construction from the hearts of the people. The stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and all kinds of craftsmen then took these raw materials and built the Tabernacle exactly to God’s specifications, using their own God-given talents. In addition, I imagine there were many woman and children that freely gave of their time to feed all the workers while the Tabernacle was being built. There was an abundance of people who freely sacrificed their time, talent and possessions, so that their God could dwell among them.
God was well aware of what his people had sacrificed on his behalf. Therefore, on the very day that the Tabernacle was completed and dedicated to him, God sent fire from heaven to consume the animal sacrifices that were laid upon the altar (Leviticus 9:22-24). I can only imagine the fire that God sent on this particular day. I’m sure that its intensity and power would have made even my largest backyard fires look like a lit matchstick. After all of their hard work, it was as if God wanted his people to know for sure, “I have seen all that you have sacrificed and done for me, and I approve. Job well done my children!”
Along with the altar sacrifice being set on fire, on that day God’s presence came to dwell over the Ark of the Covenant that was placed inside of the Tabernacle. From that day forward there was no denying that their God dwelled among them, because his presence was visible for all to see directly over the Tabernacle, through a cloud by day and fire by night (Exodus 40:1-3, 29-38).
On the day the Tabernacle was dedicated, God used his Sacred Fire to communicate with his people. On this day, not only was he lighting the animal sacrifices on fire, but he was also lighting on fire the hearts of those who had given of themselves freely to him. And as a result of their sacrifices, the Living Yahweh came to dwell among them. What an awesome event that must have been for all of the Israelites to witness! For its not too often that man sees FIRE sent from heaven.
Once God’s Sacred Fire fell from heaven, Yahweh instructed the priests to keep his fire burning continuously (Leviticus 6:12-13), so that when all future sacrifices were laid upon the altar, it could be said that the same fire that was sent from heaven consumed all of the sacrifices ever given by the people. So every morning the priests would place additional wood onto the altar, therefore keeping the fire sent from heaven from extinguishing.
What God strongly impressed upon me on this particular day of watching my own powerful fire burning in my back yard, is that he is still sending his same Sacred Fire, the one that lit the Tabernacle sacrifices on fire, from heaven today. Every time a person asks Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, Yahweh sends his Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name, his Sacred Fire, into the hearts of believers in order to set their hearts ablaze.
Remember, on the day of Pentecost when Jesus’ 12 disciples received the power of the Holy Spirit it fell on them in the form of fire:
“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4
Well it is no different today. When we receive the Holy Spirit, it is sent with Sacred Fire from heaven, just like the day of Pentecost. The day you ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior is the day you place your heart on God’s altar and he consumes it with his Holy Fire sent from heaven. Your heart becomes your very first sacrifice! On your salvation day, Yahweh’s Spirit in Jesus’ name comes to dwell within you and his Word is written on your heart. On that day, you become one of God’s living temples and will forever have his Fire, his Holy Spirit, burning within you (1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16).
On this particular day, because God had revealed to me all that he wanted me to know about Freewill Offerings during the night, and he was now giving me a visual of what he was trying to convey through the powerful fire burning in my own backyard, I easily understood what he wanted me to understand. But what I didn’t get, if the Holy Spirit is truly sent with Fire, is why there are an abundance of Christians whose lives do not reflect the power of his Sacred Fire that is burning within them?
As I was watching my own fire burn so intensely God told me that when he sends his Holy Spirit into people’s hearts it will burn brightly for a while on its own. But, after a while, unless the receiver of his Sacred Fire tends to it, like the priests did, and continuously place more fuel upon it, the fire will diminish in size. Oh God’s Sacred Fire will always be burning within them, but it may diminish to the size of a pilot light and therefore will hardly be seen by others.
Only when you place your words, actions, time, will, talents, money, and possessions on your Heavenly Father’s altar, on a daily basis, will his Sacred Fire burning within you have something to consume. It is your daily sacrifices that will keep his Fire inside of you burning brightly. Many Christians make their first sacrifice of their hearts to their Lord and Savior in order to receive salvation, but are then unwilling to sacrifice anything else. And as a result their lives don’t look much different than non-believers.
What God explained to me is the more sacrifices and offerings you give to God, the more there is for the Holy Spirit to consume, and the more powerful his Fire within you will become. And, if you sacrifice your entire self to your Heavenly Father, other people will begin to take notice. They may even comment, “Wow, you are on fire for the Lord!” Or they may say, “There is something different about you.” They will take notice because God’s Sacred Fire will be burning so strongly within you that it will not go undetected. The light shining from you will be mesmerizing to those who you spend time with, and your spoken words and daily actions will reflect what is burning inside of you.
Sacred Fire sent from heaven not only warms your soul and spirit, but also has the potential to light on fire those closest to you. When you make daily sacrifices to your Heavenly Father, those around you will feel the heat that is radiating off of you and will want to come closer. They may even desire what you obviously have. And when enough people come together who are on “Fire for the Lord,” there is potential to light neighborhoods and communities on fire, and actually change the world around you.
The best part is that when you begin freely sacrificing daily to your Heavenly Father you will begin to feel his Sacred Fire burning inside of your soul and spirit. At that time there will be no more doubt in your mind or in the mind of others that Yahweh has indeed come to dwell inside of you, because you will feel his actual presence within you, and his presence will be seen, by others, dwelling over you.
Whenever I burn in my back yard, I try to isolate the fire so that I don’t set the neighborhood ablaze. However, in the case of the Holy Spirit’s Fire, my Heavenly Father has taught me that HIS FIRE is one that I definitely WANT to get out of control.
So I challenge you, my family and friends, to tend to the Sacred Fire burning within you daily. Never forget that it is Yahweh's Holy Spirit Fire that has given you life. Make it a habit to daily sacrifice your time, words, actions, will, talents, money and possessions to your Heavenly Father, in return for his incredible free gift of salvation, righteousness, communication, and eternal life through his Son Jesus Christ. And, when you make your daily sacrifices take special notice of the warmth that fills your soul and spirit. At that moment you can be sure that Yahweh’s Sacred Fire within you just consumed your freewill offering and is burning brightly. “Job well done!”