13 September 2016


By John Ollis

Yesterday, we began a new series of blogs on the ministry of the Holy Spirit as reflected in the symbols used in the Scriptures to denote an aspect of the Spirit’s ministry. We looked at the symbol of wind, now today we look at the symbol of fire.
The fire speaks of the holiness of God, whereby the Holy Spirit is sent forth in judgement to purge, purify and enliven the Believer.
In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist speaks prophetically that the day will come when the Messiah Jesus would baptize believers with the Holy Spirit and FIRE. Following the verse in Acts 2:2 regarding the Wind of the Spirit, we read that tongues of fire sat on each of the 120 in the upper room. To be filled with the Spirit requires the believer’s heart to be purified, I would also go on and  say that to maintain a Spirit filled life we must seek to walk in purity before the Lord.  The write to Hebrews in 12:29 declares For our God is a consuming fire.
The Prophet Malachi in chapter 3:2-33 declares He is like a refiner’s fire, (and like a launderer’s soap) He will purify the sons of Levi (Priests) and purge them as gold and silver that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. Peter tells us we are all royal priests (1Peter 2:5&9). The refining process is very interesting. At least in the past the precious metal was put in a vat and heat was applied, and the rubbish (alloy) would begin to rise to the surface, The refiner would then take a rake (called a muck rake) and scoop off the impurities, more heat would be applied, and more rubbish would rise to the surface, and again removed by the muck rake. The refiner knew when the precious metal was pure when he could see his face reflected in the gold or silver.
This is so like the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and probably many times through our lifetime He comes to us as a refiner’s fire. The longer I am a believer the more I am aware of the depravity and deceitfulness (the muck)  of my heart (Jer.17:9) and can look back and see how the refiner’s fire has been applied to my life, sometimes the Lord even uses sickness and pain (if we respond positively) to purify us.Sadly, I have not always responded positively to the fire, it is so easy to blame others, or the evil one and not take personal responsibility for the muck God wants to remove from our lives.
Let me encourage you to look at Hebrews 12:5-11. Because the Lord loves us so much, he needs to discipline us, (just like our parents did with us, and as we did with our children) to deal with the mixture and rubbish in our lives,  verse 10 tells us that as a result of us responding to His dealings we can be “partakers of His holiness”  and the end result is the “peaceable fruit of righteousness”. verse 11.
Let us not react to the FIRE but ask the Lord for His grace to recognise it is from Him, for He wants to work in our life to make us more like Jesus,  He wants to see Jesus reflected in our life. (just like the refiner’s looks for his reflection in the precious metal).
So much modern preaching is all about prosperity and being a winner, but does not mention the processes  that God has to use to bring us to that place.
I trust this series of blogs will be a blessing and challenge to you, please respond and let me hear your thoughts and comments.