june-2009-hearts-of-fire by KathleenMaples

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									June 2009- Hearts of Fire




HEARTS OF FIRE

How does a heart grow cold?   You still have your testimony.  You still believe the Word.  You
still hold to your doctrine.  You have maintained your integrity.  Yet something is lacking, your
heart is not burning for God.

Your heart smites you, often, that you are not nearly as close to God as you should be.  Much of
the time, the words of your mouth are not compatible with the desires of your heart.  You tell
God things that your heart is not ready for.

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up,
and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with
twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly (Isaiah
6:1 - 2).

Reading this portion of scripture, I discerned that the Holy Ghost was speaking directly to me. 
He said, "You have a privilege that angels do not have!"  "What is that Lord?"  I said.  The Lord
told me, "These angels in Isaiah covered their face, but what I've done for you through the blood
of Jesus is so remarkable that you can look upon me with an open face."  I thought, "Oh God! I
don't understand, but whatever it means Lord, please let me understand it.  Let it happen; let
me look upon You with an open face!"

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the
midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.  Then
flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the
tongs from off the altar:  And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips;
and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me (Isaiah 6:5 - 8).

 When Isaiah found himself undone, and in need of help, God did something significant; God
took a live coal, from His altar, and touched the lips of Isaiah. Now this is what I pray you
understand.  If God, using an Old Testament shadow - a live coal from the altar, which is a type
of Jesus' blood, and with it transformed Isaiah's life, then why couldn't God, from the altar of
Jesus' blood and the fire of the Holy Ghost, not much more transform our lives today?  If God
could take a coal and change a man's life, then surely God can take the Holy Ghost and change
a man's life.

THE ANSWER FOR A COLD HEART

The answer for a cold heart is the heat of the Holy Ghost.  If God was able to transform Isaiah
with a live coal then how much more is God able to transform your heart with the blood of Jesus
and the Baptism in the Holy Ghost?

The only thing hindering one's transformation is a sincere cry from a broken heart.  Just as with
Isaiah, transformation comes when men recognize the ruined condition of the age, and of their
own hearts, and appeal desperately to God for help, "Woe is me.  I am undone!"  God, I desire



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transformation, but not the kind of transformation that man brings.  Man tries to bring change by
his ingenuity.  He devises stipulations, regulations, and performances.  Every person in your life
has expectations of what you ought to be, how you ought to act, how you ought to speak, and
how you ought to live.  You can feel the pressure of conforming yourself to their image.  Please
listen to me, stipulations, regulations, and religious performances may make a Pharisee but
they will never make a Christian!

Christians are made by God!  The people who have seen God have experienced a supernatural
transformation.  When you see holiness, your eyes are quickly taken off all admirable people
and you say, "God, all of the holy people that I've ever seen, they don't hold a candle to you. 
Here I am trying to be like them and yet You are infinitely beyond any one I have ever seen!"

Then, you do the only thing you can do.  It is the first act of true worship.  You fall on your face
before God and cry out to Him confessing that you are undone!  If you've seen holiness, if
you've ever seen His face, if you've ever heard His cry then you are the most desperate.

One of the things that I found common with all those who had great prayer lives was an urgent
sense of worship!  They had burning hearts!  Though a heightened sense of duty may cause
many to pray, the truly great men and women who sought God did so because they were
desperate for God Himself!  The people mighty in prayer were not mighty people.  They didn't
consider themselves great, but broken and needy!  

Their motive for prayer was not for the work.  They would have prayed if they had no work to
do.  It was not for the sermon, the message, or even the outreach; it was desperation for God. 
They developed a keen sense of, "I've just got to be with God, with the Living God.  When can I
come and appear before you?"

How contrary these great worshippers were from most prayer movements today.  Today people
are trying to produce something, to make their church great, to make their ministry great.  They
want to be great, but this is not desperation for God.  It is desperation for their own glory!  But, 
how wonderful is the presence of God to those burning hearts who have no other motive than to
just rest in the presence of God!  The cure for sickness is in His presence! The cure for
depression is in His presence.  In the presence of God is fullness of joy!

GOD LIVES IN YOUR HEART

Jesus said that though He was going away He would also be with you in the person of the Holy
Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is your comforter, your friend, your companion, your power, your wisdom,
your healer.  He is everything to you.  He is with you in every situation.  He will never leave
you.  He is going to live inside of you.  What news could be more superior to the fact that the
living God wants to live inside of you?

The Holy Ghost takes a man and wraps himself in that man.  The living God, the sovereign
God, the uncreated being in this universe, has wrapped himself in your skin.  He lives inside of
you.




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Of course you are not God.  You are not divine.  God, who is divine, has come to make your life
His temple.  Now one thing that must occur is transformation.  If this God really does reside
inside of your heart, then your life must be transformed!  Fire is evidence of the transformation. 
Fire always has a reference to the holiness of God. God is a consuming fire.

 God is the most passionate being in the universe.  He is hot with fire, hot with love, hot with
holiness.  Everything in His being is intensified to absolute perfection! Nothing is lacking. 
Nothing is simmered to a low degree; everything is hot and full,

Jesus comes into your life, and when He baptizes you in the Holy Ghost, He excites every
spiritual faculty you have.  The baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire is the most profound thing
that could ever happen to a Christian, because everything that is latent becomes aroused! 
Everything is at full potential, burning, hot!

God does not come to a person's life leaving him unchanged.  He comes into a life and burns
the dross, purges the life, and sets it on fire.  Christ Jesus is set forth in his Excellency, in His
glory and you're so excited ... you're so full!  You're so in love with God.  Your heart and mouth
are now together.  They are saying the same thing.  They mean the same thing.  Now, when
God says, "Seek my face." your heart says, "Your face God, I will seek."  This is the
worshipping heart.  It is a ministry on fire.  It is a preacher on fire.  It is a Sunday School teacher
on fire.  It is a children's church teacher on fire.  It is a choir on fire.  It is a praise team on fire. 
The Holy Ghost and fire is the only answer to the coldness in religion.

SUPERNATURAL TRANSFORMATIONS

I was invited to preach in Wales.  A particular church was celebrating an anniversary and I was
asked to preach the weekend services.  I could discern the presence of the Holy Ghost during
the services.  The atmosphere of God began to increase as the service went on, growing
stronger and stronger.  The intensity of the Holy Spirit was there.

During the Friday night meetings I noticed a group of ladies in the altar.  They were troubled
women who obviously had suffered much under a life of oppression and sin.  Yet in the altar,
God came and touched them with the blood of Jesus and transformed their lives.  Their very
countenance changed, even before they arose from praying!  They came back Saturday
morning and then again Saturday night.  There was freedom in their life.  One of these young
ladies said to me, "When I was 13 years old I ran away from home. My father and my uncles
sexually abused me since I was 9 years old. I knew that there could be nothing worse than this
so I ran away, to live on the streets.  At thirteen years old I fled for my life!  I met a man while on
the streets who was willing to take me in.  Realizing he could make some easy money, he
prostituted me to all of his friends."

She considered her life so worthless that suicide became her only desire.  After many failed
attempts she considered that even hell did not want her!  She was dirty, shamed, and worn out! 
Living on drugs and alcohol, she lay in the altar before God and cried for Him to have mercy on
her.  She was broken and helpless.




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She said to me, "Friday night you preached about the blood of this Savior.  He is the only one I
had never been to, but Friday night I came to Him.  In one moment He did for me what no drug
has ever done!  I stood up clean for the first time in my memory. I was clean. I was whole. I was
put together!"  

Now you tell me, who else but the Holy Ghost can do that?  I told the pastor, "With your
permission, would you allow me the authority to run the Sunday night service?  I know what
God wants to do and it will be different than any service we've had."  He prayed about it and
gave me the liberty to follow the Spirit.  It was a unique service.  The service was filled with
everything: healings, deliverances, salvations, testimonies, spontaneous things happening all
over the place; I've never been in a service like that.

Earlier that day the pastor told me that the Sunday morning service was usually great but
Sunday nights very few people ever showed up, maybe 15-20 people.  I said fine, we will still
obey the Lord.  Sunday night, when we arrived at the church, there was no place to stand! 
People were in the parking lots, they were lining the sidewalks, they were looking and listening
through the windows.  Great things happened that night: cripples were healed, lives were
touched, but the most unique thing that I saw was a man who sat on the third row to my right.  I
had not seen the man in any previous service and had a keen awareness to keep my eye on
him, for it was very obvious that he was filled with anger.

During one of the altar calls he came forward.  Knowing the man was a potential problem, I
made my way to him quickly.  I asked him, "Sir, what can I do to help you?"  It was then that he
said frankly, "Tonight, I came here to kill you!"  I just stood there.

Then he said, "But instead, something is happening to me.  I think I've died."  When he said
that, he fell on me crying, weeping, and wailing.  I simply stood there and held him thinking,
"Why would this man want to kill me?"  Suddenly, that woman who was so transformed Friday
night came, and looking up into his face said, "I want you to know ... I forgive you for everything
you did to me.  I'm not the same person.  Jesus cleansed me."  She turned to me and said,
"This is the man who has prostituted me since I was 13 years old."

He then said, "That is why I wanted to kill you.  I believed that you were the reason she had not
come home.  You were the preacher who stole my business!  But tonight God has saved my
life!"

I'm telling you, that's the fire of the Holy Ghost, that's the ability of God.  God alone has the
ability to burn in our lives and transform us and to put us back together.

ARE YOU WORKING IN VAIN

So what if we do all the things that we have to do:   set our own agendas, mark through our
calendars, living such busy lives, yet not one time did our heart really burn for God.  Not one
time were our spirits aroused and awakened to full capacity, to simply look upon Jesus Christ.

I know what people say.  I know exactly what they say, "You Christians, you have to be



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balanced. You have to watch out for those preachers, they'll make you a lunatic!  Some of those
Christians can be absolutely crazy."

What is a crazy person?  I'm not a doctor, but one of the things that define crazy is to hear
voices others don't hear.  They see things others don't see.  Well, I do hear voices that the
world doesn't hear.  I see a world that the world doesn't see.  If that makes me crazy then I
guess I am, but it is funny how a world that is so messed up can actually accuse people who
have their lives put back together as being crazy! Call me crazy, I'm in pretty good company. 
They called Paul crazy.  They said he was a fool for Christ.

 You can be crazy about sports.  You can be crazy about politics; the world thinks that crazy is
ok.  But, they want to tell you that something is wrong with you if you are crazy about Jesus!  

Well then, call me crazy!  I want God to burn in my heart.  I desire for every faculty of my
spiritual life to be awakened to Jesus Christ.  I want my ears to be so sensitive that I hear His
whisper.   I want to touch Him.   I want to feel Him.   I want to smell Him.  I want to taste Him. I
want to walk with Him.  And whatever it takes for this to occur in me, then God let it happen,
because there is nothing else worth having in life!

This transformation happened to others, others who have gone before us.  Why would
Livingston live in Africa with a diseased body?  Why, when they wanted to bring him back to the
comforts of Europe, would he choose to stay in the fever infested jungles of Africa?  Why would
he refuse the comfort?  Was it for the work's sake?  Whitfield preached himself to death.  Why,
was it from a sense of duty? Wesley preached on the tombstones in Europe.  Why, did he do it
because churches wouldn't open their doors to him? Andrew Bonnar died in the middle of his
sermon.  While he was begging people to prayer his heart exploded!

What drove these men? What drove Amy Carmichael to India? What drives people to prayer
meetings? What drives people to fast?   Is it the work?  No!  It's the love of God!  It is a God of
fire who consumes their hearts!

GOD IS FIRE

Holiness is associated with fire.  Our God is a consuming fire.  The institution of the New
Covenant was heralded by a prophet of fire.  The promise of the Father is a baptism of fire! God
makes His ministers flames of fire!  God burns us, He excites every passion.

Countless numbers of the redeemed will barely give up a dollar to the God who gave them His
life.  However, a person who has been baptized in Holy Ghost fire has no problem giving.   Do
you want to follow a God who promises to change your eternal destiny but cannot change your
life?  What kind of God do the youths of our day serve?   Young people today are crying out,
they are sick of the traditionalism, they are sick of religion, they are sick of formality and hype. 
They want something real.  That is why great numbers of young people are involved in the
occult.  You can see them everywhere; they have been marked with tattoos.  Giving themselves
over to dark powers they have been pierced through, not by Holy Ghost power, but by a cheap
power that has caused them to cut their flesh and mar their bodies.



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Please allow me the following illustration.  Picture a young boy, sitting bored among a group of
people.  Suddenly the most gorgeous girl walks through the door.  Every passion is awakened
in that young man.  He now becomes alert to everything, "How does my hair look?  How do I
look?  Does she notice me?  What do I say if she comes up to me?"  His breathing increases. 
His heart rate rises.  Suddenly his whole world changed.

That and more is what happens when a man sees God!  Every spiritual faculty is excited and
aroused.  There's nothing like it! There's nothing like it in the world! I want to follow a real God.  
I want to follow and worship a God who can burn my heart.  This God is the only God - Jesus
Christ!

God save us from self-absorption.  Save us from ourselves.  Save us from burn-out and fatigue
and all of these pitiful things that religious people are living for today. Give us a baptism in fire.




 "Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell ...
I want to run a rescue shop
Within a yard of hell.
- C.T. Studd
Jim Elliot wrote,

Am I ignitable?  God deliver me from the dread asbestos of "other things."  Saturate me
with the oil of the Spirit that I may be a flame.  But flame is transient, often short-lived. 
Canst thou bear this, my soul - short life?  In me there dwells the Spirit of the Great
Short-Lived, Whose zeal for God's house consumed Him.  "Make me Thy fuel, Flame of
God."

"Father, take my life, yea, my blood if Thou wilt, and consume it with Thine enveloping
fire.  I would not save it for it is not mine to save.  Have it, Lord, have it all.  Pour out my
life as an oblation for the world.  Blood is only of value as it flows before Thine altar."




When Elijah had to convince the nation of Israel that Jehovah was God, he brought fire on the
earth.  Today we must convince our nation that Jesus is Lord of all.  Just as Elijah called fire
from heaven, so must the church today.  The fire must consume the altar - your life must be the
offering on the altar.  The fire must come upon you!

Lee Shipp

Thursday, May 28, 2009




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