Baptism of fire: preparing for the next Azusa Street Revival

fireBy Jennifer A Miskov, Ph D — Originally published in Charisma News

[notice]The influential Azusa Street Revival of 1906 will be commemorated at the huge Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on April 9, 2016 at an event organised by The Call, a prayer movement that has gathered hundreds of thousands of people across America for times of prayer, fasting, repentance and worship since 2000. Author and founding director of Silver to Gold, Jennifer Miskov, reflects on the outpouring at Azusa Street, Los Angeles, 11o years ago and what she believes will be the next great move of God. [/notice]

The Azusa Street Revival was catalytic and played a significant part in the expansion of the Pentecostal movement around the world. This revival was marked by a hunger to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. People from around the world flocked to Los Angeles to be a part of this great move of God and to receive impartation to take back to their nations.

They, like many in the early church in Acts (see Acts 2), waited on the Lord until they were baptized in the Holy Spirit and also spoke in tongues. This all-consuming encounter with God drew people in to a revival that swept across the world.

I have been struck lately by Matthew 3:11-12, in which John the Baptist said:

“I indeed baptize you with water to repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean His floor and gather His wheat into the granary, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Purifying fire
While Azusa Street was marked with a baptism of the Holy Spirit, I believe that the next great move of God will be marked with a baptism of fire. Fire purifies, refines, sanctifies and makes holy. It causes all the dross to dissipate and only the gold to emerge.

Asking for the baptism of fire strips off any enemy of the cross of Christ, even good things that are distractions. There’s no greater way to be surrendered than when we are willing to ask God to send His fire over every detail of our lives, relationships, dreams and thoughts and ask Him to burn away anything that is not from Him for this season. When we realize the price He has paid for us (Rom. 8:32), we will be willing to become living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1), and we will continue to lay our lives on the altar to burn for Him continually.

It says in Leviticus 6:8-13: The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.

What would happen if we lived in a baptism of fire daily? What does it look like to be a burning one in this generation?

There is more for each one of us today. I believe God is asking us to call out for the fire of God to come and consume anything that might get in the way of all He wants to do in our lives. I encourage you right now to ask for the fire of God to fall upon you and for this fire to burn away any bitterness, unforgiveness, double-mindedness, offense, fear, shame, insecurity, disappointment, hopelessness and discouragement. Ask God to search your heart to see if there is anything holding you back from all that He has. Wait on Him for a few minutes.

As the Holy Spirit brings up people and situations, go and be reconciled today. If someone has an offense against you, go and make amends quickly. Give no foothold for the devil in this time of great awakening that’s coming. Always remember that our battle is never against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:10-18) and that you have authority in Christ to tear down every stronghold or enemy of God that tries to oppose you (Rom. 8:31). Stay deeply connected and knit together with the body of Christ in this season, for they will also be your armor bearers.

When the fire falls, the pruning begins and you feel the pain of things leaving in your life you were once comfortable with, ask for even more fire. He wants to purify us so we are prepared to carry what He is about to pour out across the earth. He is looking for pure and holy vessels He can possess and fill with His Holy Spirit and with fire. I encourage you to pray the following prayer out loud:

God, I ask right now for a fresh baptism of fire over my life. Let your fire fall on every single detail of my life. Burn away anything and everything that is not in line with You in Jesus’ name. Purify with fire all of my relationships, thoughts, dreams, desires and situations. Burn away anything that is contrary to your nature or that will hold me back from all that You want to do in and through my life in this season. I surrender all and ask for the fire of consecration to come and set me apart as a burning one for You. Let my love for You be marked by purity, holiness and a burning passion. Fill and possess me with Your Holy Spirit and with fire. I am all Yours. My life is in Your hands. Have Your way in my life today whatever it looks like and no matter the cost, all for Your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

I encourage you to get involved in TheCall Azusa to take part in re-digging this well of revival at Azusa Street to bring America back to God in our day.

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