River of Fire

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Ask the group the questions in black.

Words in italics are written to help give some guidance and ideas.

Read out loud the text in blue.

Have someone read out the Scripture passages.

Introduction

If God guaranteed you an answer to any question, what question would you ask?

Gather thoughts. Ask why? This is not the time to answer those questions, but just to get people thinking.

People are curious about many things, but when it comes down to it, two of the most basic questions of life are: Who am I and why am I here?

Can you answer those questions with total confidence?

Who am I?

The question “Who am I” is a question of identity. Your identity is simply who you think you are.

When you think about your life, what influences have shaped your identity (who you think you are)?

This could be parents, teachers, sports coaches, pastors, friends, the world etc.

Share something about who you think you are.

Let people share at whatever level they are willing. Simply listen.

We all begin creating our sense of identity from birth, mainly based on our interactions with other people. The things we believe about ourselves can be both positive and negative.

So for now, we know that the “who am I” question is about identity. Over the coming weeks, we are going to explore this more.

Why am I Here?

The second question “Why am I here?” deals with our sense of purpose.

Think about things that people have created and their purpose? What comes to mind?

Share ideas. Choose any examples such as toasters, cars, lightbulbs, roads, houses etc.

Can you think of anything that has no purpose at all?

There is nothing that has been created that has no purpose. Things like space junk may seem to have no purpose now, but they did once have a purpose.

We have been created, so what is our purpose?

Gather thoughts. Ask, “what makes you think that?”

Does something that is created have the ability to determine its own purpose?

Use an example from above to pose the question. Can a toaster decide to be a jug instead?

Design

We can only come to a true sense of identity and purpose when we first understand our design. Think about a lion.

What is a lion designed to do?

To hunt animals. No healthy lion defies its design to become a vegetarian! It never happens.

What gives a lion the ability to be a hunter?

Its whole body is designed to hunt from tooth to claw. The lion’s identity as a hunter comes from its design.

In the same way, our sense of identity and purpose is connected to our design.

Do we begin life with an understanding of our design?

No, newborn babies have no knowledge or understanding of purpose or design.

How do babies learn about their physical design?

Babies and infants learn their physical design by watching people around them. In fact, studies have shown that if an infant does not hear someone talking, they will not learn to talk. If they do not see a person walking, they will not learn to walk.

The same is true spiritually. When we first begin to follow Jesus and are born again, we are like spiritual infants, and we learn our design by looking at people who we consider “spiritual.”

In our spiritual infancy, how can we be sure that the people around us are or were actually living in their spiritual design?

We really can’t be sure. Babies do not have the capacity to question their design. Because they are so vulnerable, there is a great responsibility to protect babies and nurture them in truth.

What if we have not truly learned our design? Imagine that you discover an object you’ve never seen before and you don’t know what it is designed to do.

How could you find out?

You would ask the person who made it!

Read these Bible verses together:

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Who is the Creator of the universe and of us?

God.

As our Creator, we owe our existence to God. We are not random products of chance. We have been wonderfully created by a God who has a clear design for our lives. And as our Creator, He alone holds the answers to those questions “who am I and why am I here?” The only way we can discover our design is to ask the One who designed us.

So, how does God reveal our design to us?

Gather thoughts.

Our Mirror

Look up the following passage in James.

James 1:22-24

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

What is the purpose of a mirror in the natural realm?

To see what you physically look like.

So, if you want to see a spiritual reflection of yourself, what is the spiritual mirror that you look into?

The word of God.

The Word is a spiritual mirror that shows us our natural face. The word “natural” used in this verse is the Greek word “genesis” meaning “source, origin or birth”. You could say that when we look into the mirror of the Word, we see our genesis face. We see our true identity and purpose as God originally designed it.

Summary

There are two questions we need to answer: Who am I? and Why am I here? These are questions of identity and purpose. Only our Creator has the right to determine who we are and why we are here, our design. So, over the coming studies, we are going to look into the mirror of the Word to find out how God answers these questions.

Questions for Further Discussion

Has there ever been a time in your life when you consciously asked yourself Who am I? or Why am I here?

Do you have any early memories of believing that God is Creator?

What do you think spiritual infants need most?

 

1 In the Beginning—Homework

Reflect

Read these verses from Psalm 139 and reflect on the questions below.

Psalm 139:13-14

For You formed my inmost being;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You,

for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

What do these verses reveal about the value of your life?

What does it mean for you to be a unique creation?

Is it important for you to know “who am I” and “why am I here?” Why or why not?

Do you spend time looking into the mirror of the Word? Is this a focus for you?

Pray

As you begin these studies, ask God to reveal your identity and your purpose/design in life to you in a fresh and deeper way. Share with Him your desires for your own spiritual growth.

In 2017, as I was travelling God showed me a vision of Tahiti. I saw a river of fire flowing down the side of a volcano. When I arrived at my destination, a young boy gave me a picture he had drawn of an errupting volcano. Later that year, I felt God call me to go to Tahiti.  

The word God gave me was that the jungles had overgrown the ancient foundations upon which He always wanted to build His church. The true foundation is Jesus Christ: the Rock. The wise builders who build upon the rock are those who both hear and obey His voice. In this way, building upon Jesus is not just basing our lives on His teachings or what we believe about Him. To build upon Jesus is to be in living relationship with God, where we hear His voice and obey. It is to be fully devoted to obeying the new command to love one another.

Why would Jesus call us to love one another instead of loving Him? It is because the Spirit of Jesus lives within His people. He shares the suffering and need of His people so that we can love Him by meeting the needs of His people. This is the primary way He wants to be loved. Yes, He enjoys our worship, but He is not only seeking our love through word or song. He wants to receive our love through our actions as we sacrificially meet the need He is sharing with His people. When we truly believe that the Spirit of Jesus is present in His people, we will naturally begin to love Jesus through one another. Only then we will be building on the firm foundation of the Rock of Christ.

World on Fire

All through Polynesia, the jungle has overgrown these ancient foundations. Over the last 2000 years, we drifted away from the design. As time past, our focus moved from relationship to ritual and from love to liturgy. We lost the heart of Christ and built our temples with dead bricks instead of living stones. And because we all did church in the same way, we never stopped to question: Are we getting this right? 

But now, everything is about to change. God is releasing His river of fire –an intense outpouring of His consuming love—over the islands of Polynesia, just as He is all over the world. And He is releasing this fire of love through His people. This is not like a revival that we catch by visiting an “on-fire church.” This is a river that we become a part of as we commit our lives to becoming channels of God’s love. As we let His love burn within us, we will naturally begin to meet in ways that let the love of God flow between us. And love flows strongest in the smallest numbers. 

While in Tahiti, I was taken to the home of a woman who was sick. Because of her illness, she spent her days in a chair, praying for Polynesia. As I arrived, the Holy Spirit spoke.

“This woman is like Simeon and Anna in the temple. Tell her that what she has been praying for has begun to come to pass.”

I passed on the message and she was deeply encouraged.

“Can I ask what you have been praying for? What has begun to come to pass?” I asked.

“God has shown me a great wave of His Spirit coming across the islands. It is a wave of His love. But it will only happen in small groups,” she replied.

All over the world God is bringing revival on His terms and in His way. He is reviving the Body of Christ by bringing us back into life as He designed, both individually and corporately. As individuals, He is restoring us into a life of wholehearted love and unity with Him. And as families of faith, He is restoring His corporate design and leading His people to truly love one another. 

Fire from the Throne

Daniel 7:9-10 (NASB)

“I kept looking
Until thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
His vesture was like white snow
And the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was ablaze with flames,
Its wheels were a burning fire.
A river of fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him;
Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;
The court sat,
And the books were opened.”

In Scripture, fire is used to represent the love of God in all its refining, consuming power. It burns away the dross and purifies the gold within our lives. In this passage, we see that the river of fire flows from the throne of God. The throne represents the place of God’s rule and reign. 

When the Spirit of Jesus comes to live within us, our hearts become His throne-room. Jesus is only truly enthroned within us when we are wholly deovted to His will of love. Only when can pray from our heart, “Let your will be done,” does Jesus become the king over our lives. Then the river of fire starts to flow in its full force through us. As we obey His voice, every word and action will carry the fire of His love that will burn away people’s defenses. The mountains of the heart will melt like wax and the strongholds of the mind will fall before the relentless flow of love. 

This is how we will “catch the fire.” Revival will not be an experience that happens to us, but a life that we enter into as we say: “Let your will be done. Father, if you will make it possible, I will love Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Together let us live the rest of this life with the simple goal of loving Jesus through His people. And let it all be to your glory and great delight!”

 


This post is taken from material taken from And He Will and One AnotherGet your free copy.


 

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