by Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D.
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 into a revival that swept across the world.
I have been struck lately by Matthew 3:11-12 where John the Baptist said,
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and He will clear the threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable 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, 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 (see Romans 8:32), we will be willing to become living sacrifices (see Romans 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, hopeless, or 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, today go and be reconciled. 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 (see Ephesians 6:10-18) and that you have authority in Christ to tear down every stronghold or enemy of God that tries to oppose you (see Romans 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 and the pruning begins and you feel the pain of things leaving in your life that 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 that He can possess and fill with His Holy Spirit and with fire. I encourage you to pray the following prayer outloud:
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 The Call Azusa to take part in re-digging this well of revival at Azusa Street to bring American back to God in our day.
*To learn more about the Azusa Street Revival and Baptism of the Holy Spirit for today see Spirit Flood: Rebirth of Spirit Baptism for the 21st Century in Light of the Azusa Street Revival and the Life of Carrie Judd Montgomery)
*To read about an encounter when fire fell on the sacrifice in a ministry school totally consecrated to God, see A Time of New Birth: Consecration with Rees Howells and the Welsh Revival