A Kindled Fire, But Not Burning UP

14 Nov

Luke 12: 49-50
49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!

Was Jesus really wanting to fast forward to the end of history where all of creation is plunged into eternity? Last week’s blog gave a quick overview of the question and concluded: maybe. However, he knew the Father had a plan in place to increase the glory of the kingdom through the Son’s obedience and the Father’s patience. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, speaking of Jesus, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Ever since Jesus agreed to hold back on judgment’s fire, you, me, and all who have come to a place of forgiveness, mercy, and grace comprise that joy set before him.

But what about the other possible fire Jesus wanted to release? A fire that had to be held back until Jesus experienced the baptism he had to undergo (his death, burial, and resurrection). I see a likeness to King David (the man after God’s own heart). David had a burning desire to build a temple for God’s house. God refused to let him, but assigned it to David’s son. Jesus seemed to be saying he wished he could see—while he was yet alive—the new temple made by God without the hands of men (the Church) that would be birthed after Jesus’s final baptism.

Many interpret John the Baptist’s prophesy that Jesus would baptize in the spirit and fire as being fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. On that day, while the disciples were hidden in a room, the Holy Spirit came in like cloven tongues of fire lighting on the heads of each one in the room. They began speaking in other languages. Spilling out into the street, they faced a crowd of people who had begun to gather there. Thousands were added to the newly birthed Church that day.

I say such understanding cuts short what really happened. Each believer became filled with a multi-purpose fire of God. Consider examples recorded elsewhere throughout the Bible.

1. Genesis 1:1-4 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.” So, too, we lived in the darkness of sin, stumbling through life until we turn our hearts to the Lord. Jesus—who said he is the life and the light—and he fills us with his light.

2. Exodus 3:2-3 The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush;


and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” Because of the light placed within us—the fire of God’s glory and the awesome grace given to us—we should become a curiosity. People should be able to see the fire that burns within and doesn’t consume us.

3. Exodus 10:21-23 “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.” Where the Lord is, there is light.

4. Revelation 21:23 “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” I can’t add a thing.

Jesus kindled the fire on Pentecost in his Church. Each believer. And they went from there to turn the world upside down. What has happened to that fire today? What can we expect? What did I mean by muti-purpose fire? I will get into these and other questions in following posts.

What does “being on fire for the Lord” suggest to you? I would love to hear your thoughts, too.

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One Response to “A Kindled Fire, But Not Burning UP”


  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 bad is a good thing, right?; Baptism […]


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