Fire in the Church

5 Apr


Unexpected Interruption

The prayer meeting started out no differently from any other one I have attended, but when I closed my eyes and quieted my heart, I saw an image of a burning bush in my mind. Not expecting anything, I said in my heart, “If that’s you, God, what does it mean?”

“I want my church to be like that,” came a reply.

I don’t think I contributed much to the prayer meeting that night. I could not shake what had happened any more than I could stop trying to think what it all possibly meant—to me and to the church as a whole.

Review Moses’ Account

Later I looked up the story of Moses and the burning bush in the book of Exodus. I needed to refresh my mind of the details and see if I had overlooked something. In summary, Moses, while tending his flock, decided to turn aside to see what this thing was—a bush engulfed in flames but not consumed. There the Lord met him and changed his life forever. God revealed His plan for Israel that would be accomplished through Moses.

As I thought about this scene, I tried to imagine what God could have meant by saying he wants Christians to be that burning bush. In my simplest understanding, the fire in the bush was the glory of God. The curious phenomenon was irresistible to Moses; he had to stop what he was doing and check it out. I then imagined Christians—yes, even you and me—so full of God’s presence that we become a curiosity drawing others to him.

The Challenge

Not long into my exploring the meaning, I came across a question Peter wrote that caused me to choke on the words. After describing to the churches the fervent heat of God’s final judgment, Peter asks, “What manner of people should we then be in all godliness and holiness?” (2 Peter 3:11 NKJV),  I wondered how the Church in Peter’s day responded. Surely some in the churches receiving his letter had seen Jesus alive, perhaps witnessed his miracles, his crucifixion, or even seen him after his resurrection.

Then I thought of the condition of the Church today. Far too many Christians, myself included too often, try to see how far from Jesus they can get and still be called Christian. When the Church fits into the world better than it impacts the world, Christians need to evaluate where they stand in comparison to God’s blueprint for his Church.

Is It Possible?

If God’s plan is for the Church to become like the burning bush, then why are we not seeing it? I’ve come to believe an untapped potential exists for the church because of unbelief. Jesus made some hard to believe statements regarding his true followers. These have many in the church in state of denial. We examine his claims through our weaknesses instead of our faith. We filter them in our human nature and self-focused behavior. Even when we say we believe the whole Bible, we pick through the teachings to select what we will obey. In doing so, we make Jesus and the Father out to be liars while hiding behind sayings like: “Jesus was God; I’m only human” and “It’s just the way I am, take it or leave it.” We should instead be finding the answer to Peter’s drilling question and begin to believe it for our own lives.

If I were sitting across from you right now, I would make and maintain eye contact for soul to connect with soul and say, Now more than ever the church must measure itself against God’s blueprint; we can no longer have it as we or the world want it to be.


One Response to “Fire in the Church”


  1. America in Bible Prophesy | Boosterclub Blog -

    […] blogs: Baptism of Fire blogs: Fire in the Church; What did Jesus wish?; A kindled fire, but not burning up; Fire in God’s hands; Fire destroys the […]


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