“On fire for God”. I’ve heard this phrase many times as a Christian, but I’ve recently gained a whole new perspective on it. So what does it mean? Well, before studying Acts chapter two, I always thought it simply meant “excited about God”. That’s definitely true, there’s no doubt that a person who is “on fire” for the Lord is excited, but is it simply that simple?
Seeing the followers of Christ experience the Holy Spirit come upon them through the text was very eye opening. There was an audible sound before the visual “tongues of fire” came, teaching us that before we can do the work of the Lord we need to hear the Word of the Lord. As Romans chapter ten clearly tells us, faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. But how are we to hear without preaching, and how is one to preach without being sent? It all starts with the Word of God, and is a beautiful continuous cycle. After hearing the sound of the mighty rushing wind, then appeared the tongues of fire – representative of the purifying presence of God. Here is where it starts to get interesting…
Being a woman, I tend to look at things a little differently. Things aren’t so factual for me, but tend to be more touchy-feely. My husband likes to call me the “softer side of Sears” during the Q&A at Verse By Verse, simply because I look at things this way. I tend to look for the “picture” or symbolism when studying, and put myself right in the midst of the story in order to “feel it” better. So, call me a woman. Facts are great, but I love application.
So this tongues of fire thing really gets me. Each individual believer now is experiencing the presence of God, which Jesus promised back in chapter one. What was the purpose for that again? “You will be my witnesses…” (Acts 1:8) These believers were experiencing God’s presence, each of them you could say was now symbolically “on fire for God”, and what was the result? They immediately became witnesses for Christ as the Spirit gave them utterance. They began “telling the mighty works of God”. (2:11) They had heard the Word of the Lord and now they are able to do the work of the Lord. VERY cool.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence either that even now when you see a person who is truly “on fire” for the Living God, you always see them talking about the mighty works that God has done in their life, and most importantly sharing the Gospel. Trust me, you don’t want to miss the conclusion to Acts chapter 2. This is the exclamation to God’s tongues of fire sentence! As John alluded to last Monday, 3,000 people are about to be saved – the result of these believers being “on fire for God”.
See you there!