Friday, March 5, 2010

Behavior Modification vs Baptism of Fire

There is always more to learn and there is always more that the Father wants to pour out.

When I first received the Holy Spirit, the bible took on a whole new life in front of my eyes and opened up. As I have grown and the walls within my heart have come down and my mind has been expanded by the presence of God I have received deeper revelation and I know there is always more to come.

Much like when we go to school we grasp numbers in KG or Grade 1, over time we will learn more difficult concepts, multipication, algebra etc. So it is in the Kingdom. We come to the Father and we learn according to the level we are at. He is so kind. The Holy Spirit just blew me away this weekend with these verses though. They really brought breakthrough in my mindsets.

Matthew 3:11 - (John the Baptist talking about Jesus) "He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire..."


He then goes onto say vs12 "He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat... gathering the wheat into His barn but burning the chaff in never-ending fire..."

Now perhaps I am the only one to misread this but the way I used to read that was this - Jesus will come one day and separate the redeemd - from the bad, evil people at the end of the world.

But actually I believe its saying something different completely.

We (our hearts) are a field. Jesus separates the wheat (our godly characteristics that His spirit produces or even the characteristics we carry in the natural, love, grace, selflessness, ) from the chaff (our evil nature of self love, self glorification, greed, etc - and also the wounds that life has inflicted on us that have created mindsets that are ungodly such a hate, misogynist, racism, cyclical abuse etc).

The "Good News" is that old covenant is done - He doesn't just tell us "don't live that way, don't think that way" - legalism never produces love.
Instead He died to set us free - literally free and now we receive His Spirit to help us to purify us, if we allow Him to baptise us with fire will burn up the chaff.

This will bring such freedom to our souls - so that as Christians with the power of the Holy SPirit resting in us can be the most free people on earth. He who the Son sets free is free indeed! What would the church as a whole look like if His children were crying out for the purifying baptism of fire? I'm not saying Christians as a whole don't walk in some level of freedom.. but there is greater freedom to be had. How the people around us would be impacted without us saying a thing, if we were to press into the promises of the bible like this one - the baptism of fire.. a freedom that is NOT behaviour modification or just "Try your best" but a freedom in our Spirits would be so profound that unbelievers would say "You must have God with you because you are so different and so free."

I'm not saying that we shouldn't avoid sin - we should..but behaviour modification is not transformation. Our efforts to be pure please the Lord, but if when we fail - it leads us into deep condemnation then it defeats the purpose. We must make every effort to not sin - but realise that the transformation is HIS job - and trust in the work that He is doing - while crying out for more, and not despising it when the fire comes (which is not always a walk in the park... getting emotional/spiritual/mental healing can be overwhelming).

Its SO important that we don't walk in legalism as it either puffs us up when we succeed or it defeats us when we fail. Not only that but the focus is so egocentric that it would be easy to fall back into the judaic steps of the Pharisees and become self-righteous and condemning of others. While we should try to live a Holy Life - when we fail, we must repent and cry out for more of His Spirit and more of the baptism of fire to burn up the "chaff" - calling the chaff out by name - there is such an unbelievable power in very specific, strategic prayer.


True breakthrough comes from knowing who we are in Christ. This will cause us to neither become puffed up of defeated - realising its because of who HEs (and not what we've done) that we have authority and freedom. Knowing we are already loved (not doing good in an attempt to be loved - or to keep in God's good books). We need to get past the self-condemnation that causes us to hide from His presence and realise He has already done everything to show He loves us - He has placed His own Spirit within our Jars of Clay. WE have creations power at our fingertips to be completely and radically transformed.

Doing church, knowing the bible, leading, serving etc is all good.. but if we are not "God Different" (by this I mean different from the world in a way that they could not emmulate because our Spirit transformation is such a Divine thing) - then why should an unbeliever look at us as say "Truly God is with them - I want that".

As I mentioned in my previous posts many unbelievers are walking in greater levels of compassion and mercy than believers. Father God just waits for us to cry out and ask Him for a heart transformation that will make our hearts like His - Jesus always, always asked people specifically for the healing they wanted to receive, He never forced it on anyone .. but perhaps we are too busy trying to please Him to ask? By climbing up into His presence like Mary, sitting on Papa's lap and beholding Him we can become changed, but often the church wants instead to polish His shoes like Martha and show Him what good sons and daughters we are.

Whats more, if we ourselves haven't experienced the breakthrough ourselves then what are we calling people into the Kingdom for? Is it really just a heaven/hell issue? Jesus called the Kingdom of Heaven down to earth "Your Kingdom come..." we are to experience the presence of our Father now - not to wait until Heaven. That gift is for now! Now is that 'gospel' - good news! Much better news than "accept Jesus - live a well behaved life and if you do you'll go to heaven"

Has our aim become that we just convert people to be "church goers" (essentially comfortable christians) who at best just have to go through a short prayer and then behaviour modification? then if all goes well, soon they will lead bible study, sing in the choir, maybe even street evangelize and lead someone else into the same life style.

*Once again I want to reiterate, this is not a salvation or a denominational issue, I'm not calling a Christian's salvation or relationship with Jesus into question but rather saying.. Do you want more freedom? And how badly do you want it? Enough to pursue and ask for more... enough to get still and listen to the heart beat of God and pray inline with what He is saying... Enough to ask and ask and ask (Luke 18.1-8) Enough to believe like a child for the impossible...

These unbelievers... could we instead invite them into radical freedom that comes from spending time in the loving, grace-filled presence of an Almighty God. A truth and a freedom, a love, that is so powerful that no matter how great their problems are (drug dealers, prostitutes, trafficked women and children, HIV victims, alcoholics), no matter how impossible the problems are (mental / terminal illness) that Jesus died to set them free.
That THEY too would have life and life more abundantly.

Are we "hearing" about God... or "tasting and seeing that He is Good" Psalm 34:8

Job 42:5 "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you."

Suggestions to pray into ~ or to Contemplate
*a baptism of fire - specifically speak freedom in these areas Lord (list them>>>)
*a greater outpouring, sensitivity and awareness of the Holy Spirit
*a heart expansion that will allow me to love like Jesus
*ungodly mindsets broken (list them >>>)

thank-you for the authority of your name Jesus, its in your name we ask and pray~ Amen