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Many Still Lack the Fire!

By Vance Havner

      It is true that Pentecost, historically, took place once for all. So did Calvary. But each individual must personally appropriate the blood by faith and so must each believer receive by faith the Spirit for power. The promise of the Spirit is received by faith (Gal. 3: 14). It is an experience of spiritual thirst, then coming to Christ, drinking of the Spirit by faith, believing and overflowing (John 7: 37-39). So the blood and bread must be accompanied by fire. We have fundamentalism and facts; we have activity and earnestness and sincerity; we even have blood-washed and blood-nourished Christians, well-taught in the Word, WHO STILL LACK FIRE. Some are prejudiced against it, identifying any definite experience of the Spirit with fanaticism. Some see nothing but a gradual growth in grace. Some mistake the indwelling of the Spirit for the infilling. Some have "received" with a cheap and easy "believism" who somehow did not receive after all. For many reasons the church is largely behind closed doors as before Pentecost, and believers try to stir up a fire from their own sparks instead of being set on fire of God.

      We are not here advocating some wild and weird emotional experience, but we do hold that he who seeks to burn out for God will have to go deeper than sentence prayers and occasional wishful thinking. There must be a holy burning and a consuming longing for the fullness of the Spirit. Tears and fastings and all night prayers have no value of themselves, but God will reward the man who forgets all else seeking the double portion of "power with God and men." It is not that God is stingy and must be coaxed, for He "giveth liberally and upbraideth not." It is that we ourselves are so shallow and sinful that we need to tarry before Him until our restless natures can be stilled and the clamor of outside voices be deadened so that we can hear His voice. Such a state is not easily reached, and the men God uses have paid a price in wrestlings and prevailing prayer. But it is such men who rise from their knees confident of His power and go forth to speak with authority and not as the scribes.

      I saw a human life ablaze with God; I felt a power divine As through an empty vessel of frail clay I saw God's glory shine. Then woke I from a dream, and cried aloud: "My Father, give to me The blessing of a life consumed by God, That I may live for Thee!"

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