I hear people often say, “The church just needs to get back to the way things were in the church of Acts.” Energetic Christian leaders whip their followers into a frenzy over wanting another anointing, another experience, a fresh fire to fall, another revival, and many other trite terms for, “Uh, things ain’t going so hot around here.”
Could it be that we are more fixated on some flash in the pan experience, to soothe our lack of faith, obedience and love for God? By the way, as spectacular and awe-inspiring as Pentecost was, I’m not so sure that many that claim they long for Pentecostal fire to fall, and a return to the days of the church in Acts, know what they are longing for. Leonard Ravenhill nails it when he said, “People say, ‘We want another Pentecost.’ I don’t believe them for a minute. Pentecost in the New Testament is tied in with persecution, poverty and prison! If we have another Pentecost and it was real, we’d all be in jaiI within a month. We’re such an accommodating Christianity today. Anyone can live around a Christian. They couldn’t in the day of Pentecost when these people were around.”
I think that when people are asking for the fire of God to fall, all too often they are thinking that they want something more akin to a first kiss, a Honeymoon, or a day at the spa; in actuality, the fire of God is the sort of fire that consumes all wood, hay, and stubble in a believer’s life. Pentecost’s fire has not gone out. The river of fire that began on the fiftieth day after the resurrection, is still flowing, but, as Elijah of old, we must often ask seven times before our prayer is heard. And if after seven times it is still unanswered, ask again, 70 times 7. As the Scottish revival preacher, Andrew Bonar proclaimed in his powerful message on Pentecost, “And if the Spirit is at work, when we say to believers, this is God’s message, ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy,’ there will follow ‘the sound as of a mighty breathing,’ filling the whole temple of the soul.”
So, you want the fire of the day of Pentecost to fall upon your life? Well, be ready, for when the Spirit of Holiness dwells within a man or a woman, they are entirely consumed with the things of God, and all other pursuits are subservient (or else abandoned altogether) to that one singular blaze: “to know Him and make Him known.” You want Pentecost for real? Well, be prepared for the Spirit of God to purge you of all selfishness, and fleshly living. When believers live holy lives, very rarely does it land them in the good favor of society. Instead, Pentecost–for real lands people in prisons and sees them singing at midnight until the whole place is shaken from the inner fountain of Joy in Christ that cannot be suppressed!