Don’t look now but you’re on fire!


John & Jerald

[Unlike the California fires that lick their tongues with devastation in fast and furious ways, the fire of the Holy Spirit spreads life and requires to be known as something other than us. It is powerful and gives everlasting life and never ever destroys.]

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. (Acts 2:1-4)

They were all wondering how they would know when the Holy Spirit came. Well, it was pretty easy to tell. If you were on fire — literally — you had the Holy Spirit. Now today, we don’t explode into flames when we receive the Holy Spirit, but God does give us each a special gift, and when we use it, it’s like being on fire. The fire is symbolic of the gift and the energy to use it that comes from the Spirit.

My wife, Marti, has the gift of leadership. When she leads something that is ordained by God, like she’s doing now with this campaign on the Book of Acts, she’s on fire. You can barely touch her. I have the gift of prophecy, and when I stand up to teach or sit down to write about the will and the word of God, I’m on fire. Look out!

You might be on fire when you give mercy to someone; or when you serve someone; or even when you administrate, if that is your spiritual gift. Your spiritual gift ignites God’s power in you and gives you extraordinary ability to help other people. It happens every time. Think about it: What sets you on fire? That’s your spiritual gift, and once you identify it, you’ll be able to use it more often and more wisely and efficiently.

I came home earlier this week to find a man on fire in my kitchen talking to my wife. He came to our house to sell magazines, but Marti found out about his faith and he lit up with his story. After being a Christian for only six months, he has already recorded a song and a video about his conversion experience in which God snatched him from the jaws of suicide. Now he’s selling magazines to support his family, but he’s really on fire to tell his story. His name is Jerald Perkins and you’ll be hearing more about him. We’re going to tell you soon how you can get ahold of his video. You’ll be moved.

You’re on fire to do something in representing God in the world. What is it? Let us know. We’d like to encourage you. And if you don’t know what your gift is yet, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to you. And ask those who are close to you. They’ll tell you in what way you minister to them.

This is the season for action. This is the Book of Action. The world is waiting.

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8 Responses to Don’t look now but you’re on fire!

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Looking forward to learning more about Jerald Perkins.

  2. Mike says:

    It’s kind of funny that you would be talking about Spiritual Gifts. In recent days I have been wondering what path God is directing me at this point in my life. I use to think that worship is my gift, but music is just my natural talent. I thought I had the gift of preaching, but discovered I’m mainly a story teller. There was a time when I believed that maybe teaching was my gift, I am a natural teacher but it’s not a gift. But what I have discovered is that God puts me in the path of other people to connect with them and encourage them or to plant a seed. As both a pastor and teacher God has taken me places that I never thought that I’d go or ever wanted to go. Some he has given to me for just a moment while others have become friends and adopted some orphans along the way who are like my own children. I’m not sure what to call the gift, maybe the gift of falling in other people’s way? For me there have been some positive reasons for not being apart of a local church fellowship, I am sorry to say I don’t miss being pastor of a church, maybe because it wa never my gift just God’s way to move me around. I’m waiting to see if he has another big move for me or not, whatever he wants.

  3. jwfisch says:

    The freedom of not being the pastor of a local church is that you are free from the pressure to meet everyone’s expectations of what the pastor should be like. I would say that your gifts are probably Encouragement and Mercy. At least that’s what I would deduce from what you’ve said here.

  4. “The movement of the Spirit of God in the hearts of men and women often calls them to act against the spirit of their times or causes them to anticipate a spirit which is yet in the making. In a moment of dedication they are given wisdom and courage to dare a deed that challenges and to kindle a hope that inspires.”
    Howard Thurman – ‘Footprints of a Dream: The Story of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples’ (1959) p.7

    “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
    Howard Thurman – as quoted in ‘Violence Unveiled’ (1996) by Gil Bailie, p. xv

  5. Sandie says:

    Like you and Marti, I was called as teacher, prophet and leader…all of which have made me unpopular at times. Like you John, I can lose my empathy for others when I know God has spoken…just ask Bobby.We have also been blessed with music talents which I have used to play out my leading. In addition, God has blessed me with the ability to use words effectively (at least most of the time) in speaking and writing. I can create and teach studies. But in the past few years, I (we) feel put on the shelf. My job as youth director ended, our CMA chapter (of which I was Chaplain) folded, and physical injuries have sidelined us. When we bought our RV I really believed a new chapter in ministry was opened – I saw ministering in music and sharing the Word around a campfire in the future. Then came my latest surgery and recovery. I can’t remember the last time Bobby picked up his guitar, or when I sang a note. The only time/place I am led to share totally what is in my heart is here in The Catch. I do minister to our friends and neighbors with encouragement as they deal with life – right now I am speaking to a major upheaval within our family. I just feel time passing and being wasted. My frustration with my physical pain seems to be sucking the life out of me. The time we spend daily in the Word as a couple is where I try to renew my hope and faith. I know it all has a purpose and God will use it as He leads me to minister in the future…but oh, I am so tired. I hope my words give hope to someone…that believers do crash and burn (sometimes through no fault of their own), but they will rise from the ashes…God has promised it and He doesn’t lie. Phillipians 1:6.

    • Jill says:

      Sandie, I am always blessed by your comments on the Catch. You are a key reason why I even look to the comments section, and my heart always leaps when I see your name there because I know there is a nugget awaiting me. Praying for you, my sister in Christ.

      • Sandie says:

        Oh Jill…you don’t know how much your comment is a balm to my spirit! I am crying tears of comfort and affirmation as I begin my day. I pray those ‘nuggets’ inspire you to ‘get out of the boat’ as Peter did.I will be compelled for the rest of my life to continually step over the side of the boat, no matter how much time I spend thrashing underwater and gasping for breath…for I know Jesus is always there at the reach of my flailing hands I pray courage and joy into your life. Thank you for sharing this walk with me. Jeremiah 29:11

  6. jwfisch says:

    So glad to see you guys encouraging each other!

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