In our day, the fire of the Holy Spirit has not been extinguished. The conflagration has not been contained. The Son, radiant light, image of the Father’s glory, proclaimed that He came to this earth to cast a fire upon it, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth, and how I would that it were already blazing.” (Luke 12:49, NKJV). There is nothing lukewarm about God’s revelation. There is nothing tepid about the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
It was in the form of fiery tongues that the Spirit came at Pentecost, (Acts 2). The fire of the Spirit descended upon a timorous group of men and women and turned them from cowardly followers to courageous saints. With their minds and hearts enkindled with a burning love, ardent zeal and joyful lifestyle, they turned the world right side up.
Jesus came to light a fire within our spirit. Thomas Dubay writes, “[Christ] has come to light a fire within us, a burning love, a consuming yearning.” He has sent His Spirit, symbolized by a blazing fire, to light a fire within our spirit that we would be consumed by His love.
Always radical and total, never reduced to fractions, the Spirit of God longs to light a fire that burns within the disciple. It is not halfway but total; it is not perfunctory but committed; it is not halfhearted but wholehearted. As the experience of history attests, true transformations in the world and in the Church continue to come only through men and women on fire—that is, those people who have a lively, dynamic intimacy with Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
Indeed, even at this very moment, deep and lasting changes in the world and in the Church are being brought by men and women who are burning interiorly. As a consequence of a deep, abiding, intimate prayer life empowered by the Holy Spirit, they are humble saints who are renewing the face of the earth in supernatural ways.
Kindling the fire within,
Steve Holt D.D. MA