It was Christmas morning, and I got up earlier than everyone else. I went outside and walked around and prayed. Our Christmas outreach, banquet and candlelight service had all gone really well, and I was thankful. I decided to start a fire in our little fire pit. It had been raining, so some of the wood was a bit wet. I got the fire going but some of the new branches that I put on the fire took a while to get burning.

I noticed something coming out of the ends of the branches that I had broken and cut. It was like the heat of the fire was driving out the moisture, so that they could burn well.

Looking at a fire always makes me think of the "fire" of genuine revival. When I try to light a fire with lighter fluid, I notice that it flares up quickly but soon dies out. That's what happens to many individuals seeking spiritual revival — a quick flash of intense flame, but then the fire dies out. At other times, however, I have seen white, hot, coals fueling a pulsating fire deep in the middle of the flame. That's what I want revival to be like in my heart — deep, hot, pulsating, and sustaining fire.

Many of us desire revival fire because it excites us and "fires us up" spiritually. But, the fire in the pit that day was doing something else as it heated up the wet wood. The fire was getting rid of things that were hindering the branch from burning — it was actually forcing the moisture out of the wood. That's what more of us need: not just the excitement of the moment, but real "revival fire" to burn within our hearts and lead us to repent of what is wrong in our hearts and our behaviors. If the fire of God's Holy Spirit forces out the junk, we will burn brighter and longer with genuine revival so we can live for Him.

Jesus came to the earth, not to momentarily excite us, but to save us and to change us. Let's let the purifying work of His Holy Spirit do its work of genuine revival, so that we can burn bright for Him.

If the fire of God's Holy Spirit forces out the junk ...

[John the baptizer said] "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He [Jesus] who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Matthew 3:11 NKJV).