Fire carriers – Rachel Hickson at the Message Prayer day

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What are Fire Carriers?

People who carry presence, passion and power

Lk 3:16
We are meant to be baptised with the Holy Spirit and with fire! Fire and water mix in God’s economy.

Stay wet – monastic
And on fire – mission

When dry people carry fire it’s dangerous.

But we get wet and put our feet on Britain’s dry ground.
Isaiah 44:3
This is not just for us, it’s for our descendents.

Wet people burn!

If we are dry and we burn we get burnt out. Some people are scary for all the wrong reasons. So stay wet in the presence of God
1 Kings 18:33-38
The prophets of Baal were the new spirituality.
They set up a dry altar. Prayed to the God of fire.

Elijah says – wet it again and again. Let the water overflow. It’s seriously wet! Because you have serious challenges and God wants to put some serious fire on you. Fire that touches you touches everything around you.
Are you a fire carrier?

It’s great to touch the dry ground – but we have to be wet first.

Ps 42:2
Are you thirsty?!

Where can I go?! Ever feel that?

Acts 3:19
Change your mind and priority. Think different!
Be far more determined to be close to Jesus.

Don’t look at who you are – you can’t even preach one sermon without Him!

God has a call on you and he wants you to hit the mark. The designation on your life is different to anyone else’s.

Have a time of refreshing!

Dt 28:12
Let the rain fall – open up heaven I’ve me!

2. God wants you to be Passionate People

You will make friends, and others will hate your passion.
Nothing great was ever accomplished with Passion.

The Enemy wants to silence true passion.
Passion is irritating. It causes a response. Others get their status quo threatened and want us to calm down. Like the crowd in Mk10:48 – who tried to calm Bartimaeus’ shout.

What’s the cry in you?
The Jesus shout!

Acts 4 – here was a passionate church. And a passionate church is usually a persecuted church. History tells us this. We think miracles are all we need. But look at Acts 4:16-20

Jesus is always the name they want to shut up and spread it. But Peter & John say ‘We have a Passion for that name!’

You carry a heavenly virus
It lives on dead people
Those who have died to our name
And come alive to his name.

There will never be an innoculation that works against this virus.

Jer 20:9
There’s a fire inside you. When we yet to hold it in, we get weary. Our weariness comes because we stopped letting Jesus out. We are Jesus people.

Don’t run out of steam
Don’t lose the main thing!

3. Be Power Carriers

Isaiah 8:18
We are for signs and wonders in the land!
Let signs & wonders be the children, the twins we walk around with.

Signs and wonders are extraordinary events that make people Wonder about God!

So many people need that key of hope to unlock the gates.

Mk 16:17-18
We are to change atmospheres!
To set people free from whatever torments them.

Be people of Presence. Passion and Power to make a difference.

Still Small Voice

Get listening
Get listening

I’ve struggled with this.

We’ve been looking at the life of Elijah – go to the church website if you want to download the talks. This was the one I most wrestled with. His dark night of the soul. As he’s wandered into a wilderness place (ever been there?).

God speaks. God is present, glorious, in his word.

Not in howling wind,shattering the mountain. No  – not there.

Not in the earthquake. Not in the fire.

What does this mean? In 1 Kings 19. The King James Version calls it, “A still, small voice…” That’s 17th century English for a breeze. Literally – a calm, tiny (small as a grain of dust), voice.

That’s how God speaks to Elijah, in that internal audible way. Like a thought, an impression that comes..

then blows away again

and you wonder

Was that just me?

You have to get quiet to hear it.

And I’m often too busy, to hurried and harried. My heart’s already full. Full of what leaves me empty so I fill my diary again.

But when I slow down and listen, that little voice always speaks.
Always says pretty much the same thing

To me, anyway…

“I love you, I’m your Father. You’re my child.”

Always the same, always the same. That’s what he always says to me. The little voice of unconditional love.

He calls me ‘Man of God – then he says, ‘I’m your Father, I love you so much. You’re mine.”

It’s all I need to hear. I expect to hear it in eternity.

Thanks, Daddy.

One thing leads to another

Ahab “considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam”

So what? Probably doesn’t mean much to you?

Last night we started a sermon series looking at the life of the fiery prophet Elijah (You can download talks from Ivy Manchester on itunes or from our website).

I said that in order to understand him you have to understand the culture and time he was living in (and to understand yourself you have know that too). Often we live unaware of our context – like a fish doesn’t know it’s wet!

Elijah lived in a very dark place, spiritually. It had been the jewel of God’s plan, the nation of Israel – intended to shine brightly for all nations, but for years now the lights were all going out. King Ahab was despicably evil, and his wife Jezebel made him look like a softy.

His story links back to Jeroboam, seven kings back, 58 years beforehand. Jeroboam who’d served Solomon refused to serve his son, and set himself up as king over ‘the ten tribes’ (The first North/ South divide?). Fearful that the people he now ruled might go to the temple in Jerusalem to worship, and to protect his position, Jeroboam set up ‘alternative worship.’ Not the kind where everyone sniffs incense, walks in a labyrinth and meditates on Kum By Yah over and over, but the kind that involved worshipping baby cows made of gold.

Anyone looking at their Bible would have known that worship of a golden calf wasn’t going to go down well with the real God. But he wasn’t bothered about that book. He wanted to do what was popular, what pleased the crowds, what kept them all coming. That’s what mattered most to Jeroboam, building his own kingdom.

He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.

He didn’t deny the reality of God, but in order to please the people, he mixed the worship of God with elements of popular paganism of his day. After all, it’s all the same God really… whatever works for you…

He made up a religion of convenience that suited his lifestyle. Under Jeroboam anyone could be a priest – it didn’t matter what God’s word says. As long as their hearts are right. And worship – anyone can worship, whenever and however they want – as long as they’re sincere… it doesn’t matter what God’s word or his prophets said. Because God’s really like a big cuddly baby cow who’s just there to provide for us and help us, and he never requires anything from us…

There’s a word for this. APOSTASY. From two Greek words that mean ‘Stand apart.’ He stood apart from what God had said, made his own way. And the nation followed. There are consequences of bad leadership, in a family, in business and in a nation.

His policy was in place for all the kings of Israel who followed him for generations! Jeroboam ends up being known as ‘the man who led Israel to sin.’

Principle? One thing leads to another. By the time of Ahab worship was by cultic sex with prostitutes, and child sacrifice.A downward spiral.

There were some good Kings in Judah, but not in Israel. And when I say bad leadership or good – what do i mean? Well the way the Bible defines good is this, time and again, the assesment boils down to whether they followed the Word of God, or made their own way apart from him.

For example, in the kingdom of Judah – King Asa “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in his ways.” That’s what caused the nation to prosper.

But in Israel it just goes from bad to worse and the lights keep getting put out one by one until you get to a guy called King Omri (1 Kings 16:25) – the verdict? The worst yet!

Until his son, Ahab comes along – he will only listen to prophets who tell him what he wants to hear, and he considers the sins of his ancestor Jeroboam to be trivial.

When things occur in our generation that previous generations would have been appalled at, watch out!


If you’re a Brit – you might remember Mary Whitehouse?

When I was a teenager she was lampooned and became a byword for out of touch prudishness, but she was an Elijah for her day; I wonder what she would think of the sins that are nowadays considered trivial in our land? The effect that has on children?

Ahab worshipped Baal, the god of sex and convenience and money – and the children were sacrificed to him. Who is responsible for the state of our nation’s morality today? We are. The people who allow downward spirals to drift further down without raising an objection or even an eyebrow. The church has too often stood by rather than stood up to be counted, because the spirit of the age permits no tolerance of anyone who questions its edicts.

The spiritual darkness deepens and becomes tangible from one generation to another – until the Lord God puts the lights on. So Elijah (a person like us) stood before the king to declare, “The LORD lives – before Him I stand!” may the Elijahs rise again!