fire of God - we either dread it or we desire it, but we
must all experience it. Whether today, as God's children, or for
all eternity, if we're not. It is either mercy, or judgment. We
embrace it, or we suffer agony. It is either cleansing, or torture.
It is either empowerment, or destruction. We invite it, or we run
from it. But we cannot get away from it. It is a certainty - and
for Christians a necessity - that we will experience God's fire,
whether in the here and now or in the life to come.
As Christians, we all need to open our hearts to His cleansing
fire that burns up all impurities, everything that is not pleasing
to Him; it brings light into the dark areas so that there remains
no darkness in us. Time and time again He sends His fire to go to
the next layer...
But today I'm not talking about the purifying fire. These
past three weeks the fire of God has been our topic - twice it was
an essential part of my sermon, and then yesterday Emmanuel preached
after having been visited by the Lord, and BECAME himself a fire.
The Lord desires to set us on fire - no, He even REQUIRES
us to be on fire! Have you ever noticed that verse in Mark 9:49
(see above)? We know that Jesus came to bring fire, to baptize us
with fire, and in that verse He talks about us being SALTED with
fire. If we are not on fire for God, if we're not a bright shining
light, a blazing torch in a dark world, then we're not fulfilling
our calling of doing the works of Jesus. We're not fulfilling our
calling of being salt, and Jesus says salt that has lost its saltiness
is good for nothing, but to be thrown away.
How salty are you? Does your salt make a difference in
the world around you? If you have lost your saltiness, you need
to be "salted with fire" again. When the fire of God comes
down on you, you will start burning again. Your saltiness will be
restored. How big is the flame inside of you? How visible is it
to the world around you? Have you emptied yourself so that His flame
can shine through you? Or are you full of junk that keeps the flame
from being visible inside you? What do people around you see?
A person filled with blazing fire, so transparent that
only God's fire can be seen; a fire that shines so brightly that
no darkness can stand it or stay. And fire cannot be contained easily.
It spreads. It spreads from you to those around you, and multiplies,
Is that a good description of who you are?
Do you DESIRE for this to be a description of you?
What keeps you?
Climb up on the altar, being the living sacrifice, and invite the
fire of God to come down to consume you. Are you ready to die to
have it? Without it, you're already dead, so what do you have to
lose? Well, only your comfort, your self-centeredness, your own
But oh, is it worth it! Go ahead! I cheer you on! Become
a blazing fire to set this world on fire, to usher in the Harvest
and ultimately His return! The time for playing church is over.
It is time to grow up!
OF REVIVAL IN MALI
My heart is full of joy, full of excitement, at the sparks
of revival I'm seeing here in Mali. I have now been here for over
2 years. I came with the fire of God, a fire that over time would
grow smaller because of all the fire-extinguishers working against
it, so I would go back to the US to rekindle the flame and restart
the cycle upon my return. I became frustrated at the fire not spreading,
not even to my own team.
Just over two weeks ago, we did a symbolic act of erecting
an altar of God in the middle of the church/house, where the fire
would NEVER go out! That night was very significant for me, as the
oil of Holy Spirit was poured on the fire inside of me, so that
it flared up brightly again and removed all the fire-extinguishing
stuff (see NEW HOPE FOR A NEW CHAPTER).
Two days later we could already see a change in our team
prayer meeting, as also a week later, with the theme of FIRE coming
up again and again. This past Saturday, we were worshipping the
Lord, with prophetic song flowing, when Emma spoke up, starting
to share the visitation from the Lord he had on Friday. It was the
first of a 3-day fast he was doing (reason see below). He heard
a Voice telling him several times to read Isa 58 before he finally
did, and he was amazed, as the Lord started speaking to him. And
then Emma saw Jesus Himself in front of him, and he took Emma's
hand. When He did, the power of God hit Emma. The Lord spoke many
things to him, most of which he hasn't shared. I've asked Emma to
write down all that happened with his own words, whatever he can
share, and I will pass it on to you.
So, it's Saturday night, Emma is sharing all this, while
the Lord is telling me what to do next. God changed what I had planned
for that night. There were Simeon, Paul, Seybou, Emma and I. First,
I knew that Emma had to preach that Sunday, and then that he had
to pray for each one of us. The presence of God had already increased
in the room, as we were around the spot where we had erected the
altar two plus weeks earlier. I kept playing softly, while Emma
started praying for the first one, then the second and third. I
stayed near him, behind him, as a support. The power of God was
visibly on Emma as he prayed, flowing through him. Emma was regathering
his forces, while we were singing softly, when Simon-Pierre walked
in. Amazing timing! Simon-Pierre was in our Bible School last year,
but now we hardly see him (he is doing his final year at High School).
He has never come on a Saturday night before! As he walked in, I
knew he was next to be prayed for. Emma started praying, and the
compassion on God came down on him, a spirit of intercession for
Simon-Pierre, and he started sobbing and trembling while praying
for Simon-Pierre. It was very powerful. After that, Emma laid down
on the floor and I told him to stay there and refill, and I'd pray
for him. Little time later Emma was back up, and I had him pray
for me. The Lord filled me with His joy, filled Emma with joy, and
Paul as well, as we were on the floor or on our knees. The fire
of God had come down!
Emma and Marie leading Bambara worship this Sunday
Could the fire spread outside the four walls of the house?
I long to see my team on fire, and the fire spread across the country
and beyond. Whenever we share a visitation, that same realm comes
again, and so I had high hopes for the service on Sunday. Emma preached
on Isaiah 58 and some of the revelation God gave him. Then I wrapped
it up and tied it into the other sermons on fire. We had some new
people there, and attendance was slightly up - to about 25 from
20. I told them to prepare for next Sunday, when I'd be preaching
on Pentecost, and receiving God's fire, to become like Jesus. Last
week I had asked who'd go out and find a sick person to pray for
this week, and nearly everyone raised their hands. When I asked
who had done it, only Elisabeth raised her hand - and the man was
I invited people to come forward if they wanted the fire
of God, and handed the mic to Emma, coaching him on what to do.
He started praying fervently, and the power of God came upon him.
He laid his hands on every person, but only few really received,
rather than being spectators. Faithful Paul was interpreting the
whole time. When Emma stopped, and people dispersed, I looked at
Paul and said, "YOU". I grabbed him, and Emma and I started
praying for him. The power of God came, and he fell on the ground.
Awesome God! God did a deep work in Paul while the team was here
in November, and I rejoice in seeing the changes in him. That is
the first time ever anyone has fallen in the Spirit in a service
(I know it's not that significant).
So, there have been sparks of revival. Paul himself had
a visitation of Jesus the night after his baptism, then Emma, then
seeing the power of God on Emma and flowing through Emma, seeing
Emma's prayer life change... Now I long to see the rest of our team
being set on fire as well. Regarding Simeon, there has also been
significant progress. Ever since his confession, bringing things
to light, his peace and joy are back. He is now finally looking
for a job. Praise God!
LAND - This week I'm going
with another pastor to the office where we'll see which plots of
land are available to be given to churches, and we need to pick
one right away. Pray for guidance so that I'll pick the one God
has chosen! After that, we still need to go through the paper week
before it's actually ours.
- The one on the picture will be available to buy in February. It
has more than 200,000 km already, but has been maintained well by
the mission agency selling it. Its age and other factors will be
reflected in the price (not fixed yet) of around $12,000.
EVENTS - see the left column, and the calendar page of my
new website for always up-to-date information.
PARTY FOR STREET CHILDREN - Since they are used to coming
on Wednesdays, we will celebrate with them on December 21st. They'll
hear the Christmas story, receive a meal, clothes and shoes, watch
a movie, sing and play games, have a chance to give their lives
to the Lord and receive prayer.
- I'm now working with Sekouba (photo) nearly every day to teach
him reading and writing. It is very difficult for him. Now that
we have a computer everyone can use, I have ordered some software
that will help him and others learn in a fun and efficient ways.
I believe we will soon have to start teaching them in a school-like
fashion several times a week. We saved Paul's sister Marie-Madeleine
from Quranic school under the condition of giving her an education.
Paul himself has his finals this week, and his school fees for the
next trimester have to be paid soon. If you would like to sponsor
him, contact me. His school fees are $300 per year.
- We're contending for his miraculous, creative healing. Hama is
Seybou's 4-year-old son who was born with his left hand and foot
withered, paralyzed, not usable. God's given me such a love for
the boy, as well as the conviction that he will RUN. Now other team
members are picking up the same burden and gift of faith, and we've
also asked the whole church to join us in prayer. Please join your
prayers to ours so that Hama will RUN for the glory of God!
TRAVELS - To my surprise, the Lord directed me to go to Pasadena,
CA, in January (instead of England), to attend a pastors' retreat
& prophetic conference at the HIM headquarters. I'm excited
at the opportunity to be refreshed, receive ministry and network
with other like-minded people, as well as reconnecting with friends