Don't Lose the Fire!
Often times church most things in our life come down to our passion. A person who is passionate about something will do almost anything to accomplish it. Things that seem insurmountable will be done. Some things are done by faith, and some out of pure passion. Now church we all know that we as human beings if we want to do something we will, and on the contrary if we don’t want to do something we won’t. I heard an old mother say one time you can’t make grown folks do anything. Can I get a witness in here? I would like to add to that too in that you can’t stop a grown person from doing anything either. My precept point is simple in that before the pandemic hit Wortham was packed. We were almost getting to the place where we might have needed extra room in some services. Then the pandemic hit, and many experienced something new. Church in pajamas. Oh my how easy is it to stay home in pjs and listen to a sermon click a button and give then go on about your day. I totally get it, because it was easier for me to wear a dress shirt but have on basketball shorts and flip flops on and could preach with all of my resources at the click of a button. I didn’t have to worry about some members frowning while other members rejoiced. I didn’t have worry about who led what song and who got their feelings hurt because we didn’t call their name. I didn’t have to worry about if the air was going to act crazy at the church that morning or if the sound system or computers needed updating. It was easy for me too church, but as a pastor and leader being filled with the Holy Ghost I could see fires slowly going from a flame to a small pilot light. I had to remember what the writer of Hebrews 10:25 “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” I remembered that fellowship was important. I remembered that encouraging your brother and sister was important. I remembered that loving on one another is still important, and it’s hard to do that through a screen. Some and many still do think I am crazy, but I can see things that some people cannot. God has given His leaders vision to see beyond the right now, and that’s why I seem crazy when I fought to open the church back up earlier than some thought was comfortable. That’s why I fight to have church, because I can see flames of the Holy Spirit burning low. I want to decree and declare in this place that as long as I am leader I will always do all I can to keep the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in this church and in our hearts! Call me what you want, but don’t lose the Fire!
Paul in this text is writing a second epistle to the church at Corinth. Corinth was that church . They had a good number of people, and a diverse church with rich, poor, Jew, Greek, and spiritually gifted. Paul is declaring the power of the gospel does not come through the letter but the Spirit. Some of the Jewish folks in the spectrum of that church was trying to turn folks back to tradition and religion while Paul was teaching relationship and spirit. In this Paul is declaring something that is precious to the Corinthian people, because many of them once experienced what he was alluding to. When Paul says now the Lord is the spirit He sets in motion a theological exhortation. In that it declares trinitarian ideal of the Spirit and the Son in Jesus are connected or combined. This theology then says that we have to make sure we always acknowledge and obey the spirit, because it’s the spirit that gives us Liberty! When you understand that you are bound by sin until the Spirit which is the Lord sets you free then you get what Paul is saying! Let me break it down a bit.
When I think about the spirit I think about Fire. Matthew 3:11 Says “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” See the water buries you with Christ and you arise new in Christ, but also the Spirit or Fire is what purifies us. This purifying fire is what removes the extra weight that holds many of us back. We need the Holy Ghost to burn some things off of us so that we can move freely and operate freely! When you put fire to Gold the only thing that is burned of is the impurities, but the pure Gold will come through. Somebody look at your neighbor and say come on through!! In this season God is about to bring what’s real out, because you will know what you have when the Fire hits it!
The spirit is like unto Fire because of the witnesses in Acts 2:3-4 “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” This fire that most folks don’t want to believe in is the fire that started the church. This Fire of the Holy Ghost came from heaven because Jesus told his disciples I will not leave you comfortless, but they didn’t know they would need to be comfortable in the fire! This fire has uninterrupted praise! Watch this Liberty. They were so free to shout and speak in tongues until they came out of a place of hiding and fell out into the streets where the crowd was because God never intended for the fire to just be for them, but he say go and preach the gospel to all nations! This Fiery presence and praise caused 3000 souls to be saved that day, and that’s why the devil fights the spirit and praise. That’s why the devil wants you to stay home because he knows if we get together on one accord, and get filled with the Fire of the Holy Ghost and give God a fire purified praise that this nation, our state, our communities, our homes, and our churches will be shaken! I don’t care who fights against it. You have to make it up in your mind. I will not lose the Fire! Tell somebody don’t lose The Fire!
When Paul says, Where the spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty. He speaks actually in a dichotomous way. He is talking about freedom from Sin. Which is bondage spiritually, but he is also dealing with physical bondage which is slavery. Now we have to understand that the key to true Liberty which in the Greek is Euletheria or Euletheros. Which comes from the Greek understanding of Freedom or delivering or person of nobility. So When Paul says liberty it means much more than it does to us today. When I first worked on this scripture I was going to preach it last Sunday, but God paused me. The reason I believe he did is because in America we have a poison going around talking about liberty and religion, but not referencing Liberty in relationship and referencing all humanity as noble person who are free and a part of the family of God. Notice when someone becomes free the first thing the enemy does is try to recapture you. In the antebellum south they would hunt down people who had ran to freedom. Now they mentally bind you by creating fear and anxiety due to circumstances we face. The church did not have one issue with anything until Praise and the spirit broke out. Let the spirit start moving, let momentum start shifting, let things start going well, and I guarantee that the enemy is trying to sneak in or destroy what God has built. Just like the Corinthian church the rich folks wanted the poor and spiritually gifted to quit speaking in tongues and shouting. The Judaisers worked to divide them by saying you aren’t really saved, because you don’t do all of the religious stuff. Paul says no no church in our text when he says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” That’s what the devil is fighting that’s what the enemy is trying to stop here at Wortham and every church. He wants us to be divided over nothing, because he is distracting us from what we really need and that is the Holy Ghost fire! That dynamic power that explosive worship and praise. That push to be free from the couch, the pajamas, the bedside baptist, free from complaining, free from fighting over nothing, free from fear, free from anxiety, free from hate, and all of that and make your way out to God’s let us all bring our little flames and make a Holy Ghost engulfing consuming fire! I am telling you church I refuse to, but I am encouraging you Not to lose The Fire!