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BURN, BABY, BURN!

 

By Coach Dave Daubenmire
May 15, 2008

NewsWithViews.com

Leadership is intimidated by passion.

I see it over and over. The one thing that most leaders want to avoid is a crowd of people who really believe something. It is so much easier to be in charge when the natives aren’t restless.

That is especially true in our churches. Lord knows we could use a little passion in the place but “wildfire” is the last thing the pulpit wants to deal with today.

May 11th, Mother’s Day, was Pentecost Sunday. It is the once-a-year celebration of the arrival of the Promise of Jesus that he would send a “Comforter” that would baptize believers in fire.

I hate to be picky but I think I need to make something clear. The popular line that “Jesus lives in my heart” is not exactly accurate. Jesus is no longer here. In fact, he said that it was important that He go away. Until he “went away” it was not possible for the Comforter to come. Who or what is the Comforter? It is the Holy Spirit which arrived on the Day of Pentecost. It is the Holy Spirit that lives in your heart. Jesus sits at the right hand of God. Hence, Jesus lives in your heart only through the person of the Holy Spirit.

And that is a good thing. Jesus was a person. The “Comforter” is a Spirit. Spirit and flesh are not the same.

Remember what Jesus said to Nicodemas? “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

The “flesh” is limited by time and space. Jesus, the man, could only be one place at a time. That is why He said it would be better if He left. Ten days after His departure He sent the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is like the wind. He can be anywhere…and….everywhere at the same time. Wherever I go, He goes. Wherever you go, He goes. He is in me as I write and in true believers as you read. He is like the wind. Wow, what a concept!

But the Holy Spirit is more than wind. The Holy Spirit is fire! (You probably know where I am headed with this one.) Most churches and church leaders aren’t interested in the “baptism by fire.” They are much more comfortable with the “controlled burn” of the structured Sunday morning church service.

No wonder so much of our preaching today seems lukewarm. Things cool off pretty quickly when you remove the fire.

Jesus is the one who described the Holy Spirit as fire. In fact, when the Holy Spirit fell, “there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them, He came in the form of a flame. The Holy Spirit is fire…our God is a consuming fire…that’s why some jokingly say they are “fire-baptized.”

But sadly, the fire is not welcome in most churches today. I deal with it all the time. “You’re too hot, Coach!” I’ve had more than one church leader tell me. “You scare folks.”

“That’s okay, I tell them. “Just let them come and watch me burn.”

You know, I have never had anyone tell me that I am too fanatical about my favorite sports team.

Let me say it again. Leadership is intimidated by passion.

Talk of the Holy Ghost makes folks nervous. You can go anywhere you want and talk about “God” but when you bring up the “Holy Ghost” sparks start to fly. (Pardon the pun.)

Fire generates heat. Heat generates power. Jesus said “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Ever ask yourself “Where is the power?” The Holy Ghost is the power. Is He welcome in your church? Is He allowed to burn when He wants to burn or are there those in your church who want to control the flame?

Like a backyard Barb-B-Q some want to control the knob on the gas so that the food doesn’t get burnt. Paul said the Holy Ghost would burn off all wood, stubble, and hay.”

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”


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I wonder, are we afraid of the Holy Ghost or just ignorant of Him? If Jesus told us that the Holy Ghost was the power why wouldn’t we want to plug in to Him?

“You get the Holy Ghost at salvation.” many people tell me.

My response is usually, “Really? Then a lot of folks aren’t saved because I see very little evidence of the Power in their lives.”

“Man, Coach are you ever on fire for the Lord!” Folks often say after hearing me speak. I always wonder why that seems so unusual?

When is the Holy Ghost allowed to show up in your church? When you walk into your church do they hand you a bulletin with the “order of service?” Are all of your “services” structured the same way? At what point is the Holy Ghost invited in?

But, you see, that is the point! The Holy Ghost dwells inside you. He doesn’t have to be invited in…you should carry Him in. Remember, He is like the wind. He is everywhere!

Relax. I am not a Charismaniac! But if the Holy Ghost baptism is real I think I would like to have it.

A friend of mine, Rob, shared a story with me the other day. He attended a church service a few weeks ago and during the scheduled “praise and worship” portion of the program something dramatic happened. It seems that a friend who accompanied him to church began to speak out loudly in what could only be described as “tongues.” “Coach,” He replayed to me later. “That had never happened to her before. She said it was uncontrollable. If she didn’t speak out she felt she was going to burst.”

According to Rob, it didn’t take long for one of the Elders to come up to her and asked her to leave. “We don’t believe in that here.” He scolded her. “You will have to be quiet or leave.” Wild fire.

“Coach,” Rob sighed. “What if that really was the Holy Ghost speaking through her? They said it was the Devil speaking. She loves Jesus! Is He not welcome in the Church?”

I’ll let you answer Rob.

Here is what I know. God is bigger than we have allowed Him to be. Jesus promised us that we would do greater works than Him. ….Jesus healed the sick, cleansed lepers, raised the dead, opened blind eyes, transformed lives….and said we would do greater things!

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you….”

I don’t want to get into a debate about tongues. There are much more learned men than I who can handle that. But let me say this. Many denominations will say that the gift of tongues has ceased. I’m ok with that.

But what about the fire? What about the power? Have they ceased as well?

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Let’s tell the Truth. There is very little power in the Church. Instead of being flames of fires, we have become firemen. A controlled burn, a low impact flame, a smoldering power, that is what we have relegated the Holy Ghost to in today's Church.

“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine….”

The Holy Spirit of God is a “little light,” huh? Come on, Church. No fire, no power.

Burn, Baby, Burn!

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Do you think like a Christian or a humanist? Did the Founders really separate Church and State? Is Judicial tyranny ruining America? Check out these great teachings by the Coach

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Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.

E-Mail: coach@ptsalt.com


 

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But sadly, the fire is not welcome in most churches today. I deal with it all the time. “You’re too hot, Coach!” I’ve had more than one church leader tell me. “You scare folks.”