The Fire Of God In Our Day
Every age must have its own proof of the majesty and power of God in the church of Jesus Christ. It is not enough to give witness of God’s power in days gone by. The unbelieving world wants to see a living demonstration of the power of God today. We cannot inherit the evidences; we must create them.
The Prophet Elijah did not stand and remind the people on Mount Carmel of the wonders that God had wrought for their fathers in delivering them from Egypt and from the power of Pharaoh. He did not remind them of the miracles of the Red Sea and of Jordan. No! The past is dead and buried and there is no resurrection. We can delve into the past for instruction and inspiration, but we must not live there.
Dwelling in the past and living on a past experience is both futile and dangerous. We must serve and worship a God of an up-to-date experience, a God who is working mightily now. The cry goes up around us, "Where is the God of Israel today?" Every age demands its own proof, and we must supply it for our own generation.
God’s people must have the fire of God in their midst. The church was born in fire and in the fire only can she live and conquer. Without the fire of the Almighty she will use all carnal measures and expediencies in order to camouflage her weakness. Without the fire of God she is a poor sickly thing. Without the fire of God she lies helpless on the battlefield.
Our opportunities to evangelize were never so glorious. Our tasks were never so great. But at this momentous crisis in the world’s history we stagger helplessly amid it all. We have lost our note of authority, the secret of our wisdom, and the might of miracles, because of our woeful neglect of the Spirit of God. We possess a theology of the Spirit but have little or no consciousness of His presence and power.
It is useless to advertise the banquet if there is nothing to eat. It is useless to call the people if the living Christ is not in the midst of us. It is His presence that makes the feast. The energy of the flesh can promote amusements, organize programs, and raise millions of dollars for the work of the Lord, but it is the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes a temple The Temple of the Living God. Our palatial buildings which we think suggest progress are no criterion that the living God is among us.
Taken from The Fire Of God by James A. Stewart. Copyright © 1966. Used by permission. Publications by James A. Stewart are available from Revival Literature, P.O. Box 6068, Asheville NC 28816.