Moses was tending his sheep on the far side of the desert by Mount Horeb, the mountain of God, when he saw the fire. Strange, he thought. It’s burning, yet not burning. The Bible tells us ‘the bush was not consumed’ (Exodus 3:2). Cautiously he approached the fire, and heard a voice call his name. ‘And Moses said, ‘Here I am’. ‘Do not come any closer’, God said, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground’ (Exodus 3:5). “Moses. Don’t come any closer. You are standing on holy ground.” Moses hid his face in godly fear.
An encounter with God is an awesome experience. He knows us from the beginning and can see right into heart. There’s nowhere to hide. God said to Moses, “I will be with you ... you will worship God on this mountain” (Exodus 3:12).
Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea on dry land, pursued by the Egyptians, and the Lord closed up the sea behind them. Pharaoh’s entire army was drowned. They continued through the desert, led a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The presence of Almighty God went before them. ‘Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people’ (Exodus 13:22), and they were led all the way to the promised land, following the fire.
After Jesus was taken into heaven the disciples returned to Jerusalem and were all together in one place. They were staying in an upper room, constantly in prayer, and the fire of God fell upon them. ‘Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them’ (Acts 2:2-3). Filled with the Holy Spirit they became a group of bold, God-fearing men who challenged the world. Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Acts 1:8). The fire of God had entered their hearts.
When I was a young Christian, I attended an outreach meeting where the speaker invited questions from the audience. I was bold enough to stand up and ask, “How can I receive the Holy Spirit?” The speaker looked towards me and said, “Where there’s a hunger and a thirst, God will meet it.” I was hungry and I was thirsty.
Shortly afterwards I had a strong urge to attend the early service at my local church, at eight o’clock in the morning! There were about a dozen people in the congregation, mostly elderly ladies. As the service began, I became aware of the powerful presence of God. It was as if the roof of the church was lifted off and God Himself was coming down in all His glory. Tears began trickling down my face and a fire burned in my spirit. Afterwards I drove off into the hills, full of the joy of the Lord, and walked over the hilltops praising God. The fire of God had entered my heart.
‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’ (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, may Your fire fall on me afresh today and burn up all the dross within me, that I may serve You in a newness of life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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