Day Five: Filled with Consuming Fire

Hebrews 12:28-29 – “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire.’”

“I’ll never forget one such personal experience with God years ago when I was new to the ministry. I was praying alone before a Tuesday evening service. At that time, the church was housed in a little rundown building, and I knew we would have fewer than ten people attending that night’s prayer meeting. I had been praying that God would draw more people to the church and increase the enthusiasm of the congregation. As I prayed, the Spirit worked. He went right to my core and seemed to say, “The main problem is not the lack of people and their spiritual immaturity. You’re the one who needs to be changed first. You’re lacking in compassion for the people, and you do not love them the way I want you to. In your insecurity, you’re just trying to get through another meeting.” Talk about fire! Talk about penetration! That wasn’t easy to hear. I ended up on my face before God. I had come to ask God to help me with all of the people problems of the church, and instead his fire penetrated to my problem. When the Spirit works in our lives, he keeps us away from superficial excuses and the blame games we like to play. Fire burns away the false and leads us to the truth.”

Today pray asking the Lord come like a consuming fire, and lead you into deeper truth.


Day Four: Filled with Living Water

John 7:37-39 (MSG) – “On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)”

“In the Old Testament, where there was no water, there was no life. People died during droughts. Likewise, unless the living water of the Spirit is flowing in us, we and our churches will have an absence of spiritual life and little vitality. Just as in the Mojave Desert, no water equals no life, no growth, and no fruit. We can attend church regularly and have perfect doctrine, but without the Holy Spirit to water us, we will wither and die. Jesus talked openly about the life-giving properties of the Spirit. “On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them’” (John 7: 37-39). By “rivers of living water,” Jesus was referring to the Spirit that believers would later receive. When the Spirit of God comes, we have new life. Without the Spirit of God, we’re left to struggle with our self-effort, which is riddled by moral weakness and sinful tendencies. But when the Spirit comes, we have joy, hope, and power. Notice that Jesus doesn’t refer to a drop of water but to “rivers of living water.” Like a river, the Spirit flows-a force of power that comes into us and then flows out so we can be a blessing to others.”

Today, pray for the living water to overflow in you-with new joy, hope, and power!


Day Three: Filled with Liquid Love

Ephesians 3:17-19 – “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

The following is an excerpt of Charles Finney’s testimony-the famous minister during the 2nd Great Awakening.

“There was no fire, and no light, in the room; nevertheless it appeared to me as if it were perfectly light. As I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It did not occur to me then, nor did it for some time afterward, that it was wholly a mental state. On the contrary it seemed to me that I saw him as I would see any other man.

“He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet…I fell down at his feet and poured out my soul to him. I wept aloud like a child, and made such confessions as I could with my choked utterance. It seemed to me that I bathed his feet with my tears; and yet I had no distinct impression that I touched him, that I recollect…

“As I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love; for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.

“No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, “I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.” I said, “Lord, I cannot bear any more;” yet I had no fear of death.

How long I continued in this state, with this baptism continuing to roll over me and go through me, I do not know. But I know it was late in the evening when a member of my choir…came into the office to see me…He found me in this state of loud weeping, and said to me, “Mr. Finney, what ails you?” I could make him no answer for some time. He then said, “Are you in pain?” I gathered myself up as best I could, and replied, “No, but so happy that I cannot live.”

Today pray this passage: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”


Day Two: Full of the Holy Spirit’s Control

2 Timothy 1:6-7 – “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. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

“When God takes control of a life or a church, he takes control through the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is the Helper Jesus sent to do the job. When we fear giving control to the Spirit, we really fear God’s control over our lives. When we refuse to yield to the Spirit, we miss out on the holy excitement of living beyond ourselves. As Paul told Timothy, God did not give him the spirit of timidity; rather, he gave power, love, and self-discipline. Notice, God is the one who gives those gifts, and it is only through the Holy Spirit working in our hearts that we receive them. We cannot live the life God desires for us without the presence of the Holy Spirit, but with him in control of our lives, our hope is in his power and his gifts are available for us to receive. Would you like to love more deeply and more freely? Do you wish to have more self-discipline? Are your life and ministry producing fruit? For those things to happen, you have to surrender to the Helper. But oh the rewards that come when you hand control of your life to the Holy Spirit. The Spirit waits to fulfill the mission he was sent to do-to govern the affairs of every born-again believer.

I encourage you to get alone with God today and spend some time praying about who or what is in control of your life. You and I are going to be controlled by something. There is no question about that. So before you go any further, decide now whom you will yield to. Tell God your questions about being controlled by the Spirit. Present him with your hopes and longings for something more.”  (J. Cymbala, Spirit’s Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit.Kindle Location, 549)


Day One: Living in the Fullness of the Holy Spirit

Philippians 2:12-13 – “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

“The irony of Spirit-filled living is that we have to give up power in order to gain a greater power. How many times in your Christian walk have you come to a place where you struggled to do something, so you just tried harder? Have you ever tried harder to have the self-discipline to read your Bible more or pray longer? Have you ever tried harder to love an unlovely person? Have you ever tried harder to be bold when you felt afraid? How did that work out for you? Trying harder has never gone well for me. Christianity is not a self-effort religion but rather one of power-the ability and might of the Spirit. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil. 2: 13). The Spirit is the only one who can produce self-discipline, love, and boldness. But to do so, he has to control us daily. We can’t rest on a religious experience we had years or even months ago.” (J. Cymbala, Spirit’s Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit. Kindle Location, 527)

Today, pray asking for the fullness of the Spirit to lead you, control you, and empower you. Ask the Lord for greater consistency in your walk with the Lord.