BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
“One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. ‘This is amazing,’ Moses said to himself. ‘Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it’” (Exodus 3:1-3 NLT).
What attracted Moses to the bush? Fire! However, it was not just ordinary fire, but a strange fire. He saw the bush burning but not consumed. Without this fire, Moses wouldn’t have gone near the bush to watch what was happening because nothing would be happening! This strange fire arrested Moses’ attention.
You need the fire of God to fall upon your life, ministry, business, etc. to attract the right people to you in life. I have discovered that anywhere fire is burning, especially a great fire, people always gather. If for instance a house is on fire, a crowd must gather at the scene even if they don’t like the person whose house is burning. Most times, they gather to see how to assist to put out the fire. Fire always attracts people!
What is true of physical fire is also true of heavenly fire. It is impossible for fire from heaven to fall upon a life and the person will remain the same. He may have been alone before but once fire falls, the story will change. The heavenly fire attracted people from Jerusalem, every section of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley (Matthew 3:5) to see John the Baptist (Matthew 11:7-8), “the burning and shining lamp” (John 5:35), who was burning for God. He was set on fire in the wilderness in solitude. He was alone with God.
Romans 12:1 says we should present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice – not dead – pleasing and acceptable unto the LORD. In the Bible, one mark that God has accepted a sacrifice is that fire falls upon it. When God cut a covenant with Abraham, the Bible says, “After the sun went down and darkness fell, Abram saw a smoking firepot and a flaming torch pass between the halves of the carcasses” (Genesis 15:17 NLT).
In Leviticus 9:24, fire also fell upon the sacrifice, a sign of God’s acceptance of the sacrifice. “Then Moses and Aaron went into the Tabernacle, and when they came back out, they blessed the people again, and the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole community. Fire blazed forth from the Lord’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground” (NLT).
In Judges 13:19-20, fire fell upon the sacrifice of Manoah and his wife. The angel ascended in the flame of the fire. “Then Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered it on a rock as a sacrifice to the Lord. And as Manoah and his wife watched, the Lord did an amazing thing. As the flames from the altar shot up toward the sky, the angel of the Lord ascended in the fire. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell with their faces to the ground” (NLT).
At Solomon’s dedication of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 7, God accepted the sacrifice by sending down fire upon it. No one was in doubt that God had accepted the offering. “When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, ‘He is good! His faithful love endures forever!’” (2 Chronicles 7:1-4 NLT).
God received Elijah’s sacrifice on Mount Carmel by fire. Fire fell on it. Fire fell on it. As a living sacrifice, fire must fall on you, too. “Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench! And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, ‘The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!’” (1 Kings 18:38-39 NLT). What a fire! It had great intensity and power that it not only burnt young bull, wood and dust but also stones and water.
Fire must fall upon you not to destroy you but to empower you for the works of God to be revealed in you, to announce you. That fire will be the mark of heaven on you. When the fire from heaven falls upon you, the power of God will be seen in you (John 9:3 NLT). The Amplified renders the latter portion of John 9:3 thus: “…that the workings of God should be manifested (displayed and illustrated) in him.”
On the day of Pentecost, the work of God was manifested, displayed and illustrated by fire in the disciples that gathered in the upper house (Acts 2). As they were ‘burning’, people gathered to watch them because, as I have said, wherever fire is burning, people automatically gather there. Peter began to speak to the crowd and 3,000 were saved just in one meeting. It was unprecedented!
Ministers on fire!
Hebrews 1:14 says angels are all ministering spirits; and God calls His angels a flame of fire. “And of the angels He says: ‘Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire’” (Hebrews 1:7 NKJV). The New Living Translation says, “God calls his angels ‘messengers swift as the wind, and servants made of flaming fire.’” This is a reference to Psalm 104:4.
If you are a minister or servant of God, you should be a flame of fire. You should be ‘burning’ – God will ‘set you ablaze’ If you are a child of God, you should be a flame of fire. No one plays with fire. “Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire? Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet?” (Proverbs 6:27-28 NLT).
Fire generates fear – the more the fire, the greater the fear. Moses recalls how afraid the children of Israel were of the fire from Mount Sinai: “At the mountain the Lord spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire. I stood as an intermediary between you and the Lord, for you were afraid of the fire and did not want to approach the mountain. He spoke to me, and I passed his words on to you” (Deuteronomy 5:4-5 NLT). Therefore, when God’s fire falls upon you, your fear will come upon every enemy. No one comes near you to do you harm; no fly rests on a life coal.
Elijah is an example of a minister who was a flaming fire. His ministry was a ministry of fire; no enemy could toy with him. In 2 Kings 1, two sets of 50 soldiers led by their captains were consumed by fire commanded by Elijah. “But Elijah replied to the captain, ‘If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!’ Then fire fell from heaven and killed them all. So the king sent another captain with fifty men. The captain said to him, ‘Man of God, the king demands that you come down at once.’ Elijah replied, ‘If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!” And again the fire of God fell from heaven and killed them all’” (2 Kings 1:10-12 NLT).
Hear what God said concerning Israel and Edom: “The people of Israel will be a raging fire, and Edom a field of dry stubble. The descendants of Joseph will be a flame roaring across the field, devouring everything. There will be no survivors in Edom. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Obadiah 18 NLT).
You need fire
Whether or not you are a minister of the gospel, you need the fire of God. Whatever your calling is, you need the fire from heaven to fall on you. You need the fire to fulfill your life assignment; the fire that will help you to make impact. Fire that will announce you! The fire that will attract the right people to you and drive away the wrong people! The fire that will attract favour and help to you and repel hatred and hostility!
Psalm 68:2 says, “Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God” (NLT). Wax always melts before fire. That is how the enemy of your destiny will melt before you when the fire from heaven falls upon your life. The fire will burn them as fire burns the wood. That is why the psalmist cried unto God: “O my God, scatter them like tumbleweed, like chaff before the wind! As a fire burns a forest and as a flame sets mountains ablaze…” (Psalm 83:14 NLT). This was exactly what the fire from heaven did to the 250 men burning incense who were with Dathan, Korah and Abiram in their rebellion against Moses and Aaron. They were consumed by fire. “Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense” (Numbers 16:35 NLT).
You need to pray fervently that fire from heaven will fall on you. It is not for pastors alone. Every child of God needs it in order to become who God wants them to be. There is an enemy of your destiny. Only the fire of heaven falling upon you will make you a terror to him. The Fire from heaven must break forth from you and consume every foe round about (Psalm 97:3).
Fire will expose hidden things
Have you noticed that wherever fire is burning every living animal in the place especially those that are hiding are forced to come out by the heat the fire is generating? The fire has not touched them but just the heat is enough to eject them. They will not wait for the fire but will be looking for any means of escape. The Bible gives us such an example of the power of fire to force out any hidden thing: “As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand” (Acts 28:3 NLT).
Please, note that nobody knew that poisonous snake was among those sticks gathered but when the fire began to burn, the poisonous snake could not hide any longer; it was forced out without any resistance. What is the relevance of this to this message? When the LORD causes the fire from heaven to fall upon you, any hidden thing in your life that is not supposed to be there will be ejected; it will flee. All foreigners will be afraid and leave their hideouts because of the heat of the fire (Psalm 18:45). And when this fire is operating in your life, ‘foreigners’ will flee and submit to the power of this fire. Sicknesses, diseases, demons, etc. will flee. Fire from heaven will bring empowerment, healing, deliverance, victory, advancement, success, etc.
“Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?” (Proverbs 6:27-28 NKJV). This scripture is talking about the effect of fire. Though the context of the scripture is with regard to adultery, an inference can be drawn with regard to divine fire.
When you take the fire from heaven to your bosom, you cannot but start burning. All impurities or sins in your life shall be cleansed. Fire will consume things that are not of God in you. You will begin to walk in holiness.
You need this fire. With all your devotion, you need to call on heaven for this fire. Your heart-cry henceforth as you present your body to God as a living sacrifice (not a dead sacrifice) pleasing and acceptable unto the LORD should be: O fire from heaven, fall on me! O LORD my Father, set me on fire!
If this fire falls on you like it fell on the apostles on the Day of Pentecost, it will change your life and the lives of others you’ll become a blessing to.
Not only should the fire fall on you, you must keep it aflame like the fire on the altar of God in the days of the Israelites. “Meanwhile, the fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must never go out. Each morning the priest will add fresh wood to the fire and arrange the burnt offering on it. He will then burn the fat of the peace offerings on it. Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out” (Leviticus 6:12-13 NLT).
Revelation 4:5 says, “Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God” (NKJV). You must be like these lamps burning before the throne of God. You must keep burning through regular fellowship with God in prayer especially private prayer, constant feeding on the word of God, meditation, and uncompromising obedience to the Word of God and the voice of His Spirit. May the fire of God fall upon you this season. May God set you ablaze. May you keep burning eternally.
If you’re not born again, I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start to attend a Bible-believing, Bible -teaching church. There, they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent and confess my sins. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I’ll be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947