ONLINE Sunday Service (M912) | Mount Zion Church | 26 April 2020 | FERVENT IN SPIRIT | Romans 12:11
One of the most important thing to have at the end times is a fervent spirit! Proverbs told us like this: The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit Pro.18:14? If people have a weak spirit in this challenging time, they will find it is too difficult for them to survive. But if we have a fervent spirit, we will be able to survive and revive through these difficult moment.
A fervent spirit is also called as a boiling spirit, and that could only be happened when we let Holy Spirit keep burning inside us! Paul urged the believers in Romans not lagging in diligence, to be fervent in spirit, and serving the Lord Rm.12:11. As the challenges will arise at the end times, we must see this verse as a command instead of encouragement!
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 NKJV
WHAT IS A FERVENT SPIRIT?
A fervent spirit is a spirit that can’t be quenched by anything and must keep burning during the race of our life!
During the Olympic, the flame must be keep burning for the duration of the games, but it is then extinguished during the Olympic closing ceremony.
Our life is like a race! Paul said that we must run with endurance for the race that is already set before us Heb.12:1. A fervent spirit is the spirit that can be found in Paul who finished 3 big journeys during his ministry, plus 1 final journey to Rome!
Fervent also means to be hot, boiling with heat (Greek: zeō). Not just any hot, but it must be hot enough to make something boil. What is the temperature of your spirit right now? Every liquid has its own boiling point. What is your boiling point? Holy Spirit will bring us there!
The opposite of the fervent spirit is a cold spirit, frozen spirit, broken spirit. What can make our spirit being cold? Jesus said that the increasing of sins and wickedness at the end times will be a danger for people to be cold Mat.24:12. Also a big problem could potentially turn someone’s heart to be cold, even frozen!
If we remember what happened with Jacob, his heart was frozen because of sadness. He got the biggest tragedy in his life as Joseph, his most beloved son, was reported died and he assumed that a wild animal had tore Joseph and killed him. So, when the truth was revealed, and the 11 brothers brought home a very good news, his heart was frozen, because he did not believe it, he could not believe it. His heart was frozen until he went out from his tent and saw a big parade of blessings from Egypt that Joseph sent Gen.45:26-27. A chronic pain and difficulties may turn someone to be another kind of person. It can kill their spirit!
Let’s pray so this long time of challenging situation will not kill our spirit! That’s why it is very important for us to let Holy Spirit stir and burn our heart more than ever before. We definitely need the anointing of Holy Spirit more than ever before to keep our spirit burn and fervent.
FIRE OF PENTECOST
Pentecost is not only a history! What happened in the day of Pentecost in the upper room 2,000 years ago was the ignition for the new dimension of how the Holy Spirit will work after the redemption. The same Holy Spirit is keep working until now even His works will become bigger and will reach the peak at the latter rain.
The works of the Holy Spirit in the day of Pentecost was seen as a fire upon each of disciples in the upper room Ac.2:3. Moses also got his heavenly calling through a burning bush since the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of the bush Ex.3:2. Approaching to His second coming, Jesus will also reveal Himself as the refiner’s fire Mal.3:2. The fire will make us pure, that fire will refine us!
The secret of having a fervent spirit is simply means that we must let the Holy Spirit keep stirring our heart and keep burning our spirit. We can’t make our own spirit be fervent without the presence of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit dwell in someone’s life, He will definitely burn up that person for the glory of God!
Peter and the disciples were totally changed after the day of Pentecost. Peter was changed from a coward to be a great leader of the early church! Before, he was afraid, even with a servant girl in the high priest’s courtyard, but then, he was very brave to declare Jesus as the Messiah in the presence of Sanhedrin.
The early church did not get any support from anyone except from the Holy Spirit! They faced so many troubles, challenges, even jails. But they survived for many years until the Gospel was heard by nations.
What makes their spirit so powerful and can’t be extinguished by anything? The answer is the presence of God in them. Paul wrote:
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 NKJV
That was the evidence of the mighty works of the Holy Spirit within believers! That was the true proof of the fire of Pentecost! As we are now preparing to celebrate the day of Pentecost at 31st May, let’s pray so that Holy Spirit will touch our life, baptize them who have not received it, and refresh all of us, so that our spirit will be fervent! Maybe we will celebrate Pentecost this year differently, but let’s believe that the same Holy Spirit is able to touch and refresh us from wherever we are, and we may see this moment as a new dimension of Holy Spirit movement. Just like what had happened in the day of Moses when for some reason Eldad and Medad could not come to the tabernacle and had remained in their camp. Somehow, the Spirit rested upon them and they prophesied in the camp Num.11:26-27. Holy Spirit is more than able to touch us from wherever we are, not only in the church building, but also in our home as we join each online church service.
Let’s pray so that this challenge moments will be a turning point for us to reignite the fire of Holy Spirit. The devil tried in some ways to draw people away from the presence of God, but let’s push ourselves closer to God. Let’s use what we can use, let’s use the blessed technology that we can have now to keep ourselves in the right track of the work of Holy Spirit. Maybe we feel weird to do the church service in the front of TV, to do the prayer meeting with our smartphone, but let’s keep moving forward and do not forsake the assembly.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching Heb.10:24-25.”
THE PROPHET OF FIRE; HOW TO KEEP THE FIRE BURNING
Back to the days of Old Testament, we know a prophet who was also known as the prophet of fire, he was Elijah! He brought the heart of Israel away from Baal and back to God as he prayed and asked for a fire! Later, we learned that he was caught up by a chariot of fire and ascended to heaven 2Ki.2:11. John and James also recalled Elijah for the fire that came down from heaven in his days Luk.9:54.
Elijah was a prophet that was very fervent for the Lord. He was known for praying fervently so that we are urged to pray fervently just like Elijah!
16 The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:16-18 NKJV
Elijah was not a god, he was a man with nature like ours. But he prayed earnestly, he prayed fervently, and he got something from his prayer. His prayer was heard, and his petition was granted. He prayed, and the rain stopped. He prayed again, and the rain happened! How powerful is that!
So, what is the relation between fervent spirit and fervent prayer? No matter how big the fire at first, if we don’t keep putting something in it, it will disappear! Prayer will light up our spirit, prayer will create more space for the Holy Spirit to move mightily within us, so that our spirit will be fervent, and we will not give up with any challenges! Elijah finished his life and his ministry perfectly, he had that fervent spirit because he also had that fervent prayer life! A committed prayer life will sharpen our spirit so that we will always have power to overcome our problems Ecc.10:10.
Back to the pattern of the Tabernacle, we may learn that there are 2 altars that will never be turned off, they are altar of burnt offering and altar of incense.
For the 1st altar outside the tent, the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings, so the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out Lev.6:12.
And for the 2nd altar inside the tent, twice a day, Aaron as the high priest must go into the Holy Place and keep the incense keep burning as a perpetual incense before the Lord Ex.30:8. That altar of incense represents the prayer life of the believers who walk in the spirit, live inside the Holy Place.
As we keep walking to the Most Hole Place, the most inner part of the Tabernacle, let’s always remember that we must always put our flesh in the 1st altar, not fulfilling the lusts of sin, and we must put incense in the 2nd altar, bring up our prayer, our praise and worship, so that the fire of Holy Spirit keep burning in our life.
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
As now we are facing lots of challenges more than ever before, even more challenges to come at the end times, let’s get ready and open our life for Holy Spirit to work mightily inside us so that our spirit will keep boiling! The work of Holy Spirit will definitely transform our life and renew our mind Rm.12:1. To be transformed and to be changed will annoy our flesh, but that’s how Holy Spirit want to move in our life. Do not let all these challenges sink us down, instead let’s be fervent in spirit!
Whenever you feel that your spirit getting weaker, please check the temperature of your spirit, please check if the fire still there or it already quenched out by the challenges of your life. It should not be like that! You may ask Holy Spirit to help you ignite again that fire, come to His presence with all of your heart, and give a good and enough time to do His works in your life. It is not something instant, even the disciples waited for about 10 days in the upper room, but it is definitely something that very worth to wait.
Let’s keep that fire burning in our life. Let’s dedicate a good time every day in our life so that we can give enough space for Holy Spirit to move freely in our life. Our spirit will not be broken as Holy Spirit will strengthen it, even keep it burning, so that we will be more than able to survive and revive in any challenges ahead. AMEN.