HEARTS AFLAME: DIVINE POWER FOR MISSIONS
God Answers with Fire
By ANDRE DE WINNE
John the Baptiser said of Jesus: “He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Matthew 3:11).
The fulfilment of this prophecy is found in the book of Acts. What appeared as tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost ignited a movement, and by the end of the book it had already reached Rome, the heart of the empire of those days. It is a pattern that has been repeated many times in Church history.
On 24 May 1738, at a quarter before nine in the evening, John Wesley felt his heart ‘strangely warmed’ as he was attending a talk where someone was reading what Martin Luther had written about faith. The spiritual fire that was lit in his heart went on to transform the lives of thousands of people in his lifetime; millions more, in later generations, were reached for Jesus through the mission initiatives that flowed out of the Wesleyan renewal.
There are many other people, filled with the Holy Spirit and with fire, whose life and ministry gave the impetus for a new outreach to the masses who are lost without Christ. From 1904 to 1906 a great revival took place in Wales. G. Campbell Morgan, the pastor of a large church in London heard about it and went to Wales to check it out for himself. On his return to London, he concluded the report to his congregation with these words:
“Are we ready for God? ( . . .) I have talked out of my heart. I have tried to talk of fire that cannot be described. I have tried to talk out of the tremendous sense that God is abroad, and I talk out of the desire that I cannot express – that somewhere, some when, somehow, He may put out His hand, and shake this city for the salvation of men.”
Today God is still stretching out His hand to save many people in Africa, in China, in Iran, in Indonesia, in Algeria and other places, even where we least expect it, in spite of political, cultural or religious barriers, and often in the face of fierce persecution.
Such a move of God does not come about through clever techniques, powerful publicity or efficient organisation, even if all these things have their place. The key factor is an all-consuming desire, a hunger and a thirst for God and for His glory. To such a desire, God answers with fire.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
ANDRE DE WINNE pastors a Pentecostal Church in Brugge, his home town in Belgium. He spent 30 years in Singapore and led the work of SCGM from 1994 to 2005.
SCGM 40TH ANNIVERSARY DEVOTIONAL CAMPAIGN
40 FRiends of SCGM have been invited to take part in our 40-Day Devotional Project to help raise funds for SCGM’s 40th Anniversary. Each day starting 20 November 2020 to 31 December 2020, SCGM will publish one devotion written by our 40 FRiends in our FundRaising effort and celebration of God’s goodness and provision over the last 40 years!
Through their devotional reflections, we pray that our FRiends of SCGM40 will bless and encourage many to reflect upon God’s Presence, Protection, Provision, Purification and Power in Missions.