I hear a FIRE ALARM is going off in the spirit realm; for some it's a good thing, for some it's disruptive. For some, they are running TOWARDS the fire—they are following the LOUD, interrupting sound of the alarm. It awakens them from apathy and slumber. It awakens them from routine and ritual. It awakens entire churches—it's confrontational and "alarming" in nature. It's loud and, to some, obnoxious.
In the same way a natural fire alarm interrupts what we've been doing, demanding our attention and action, the fire alarm in the spirit interrupts what we've been doing spiritually. It interrupts the show, the spectacle, the programs. The FIRE of the Holy Spirit interrupts "cookie cutter Christianity," calling us out of routine and into the depths of the unknown. The fire alarm is calling us out of predictability and summoning us into the SMOKE on the mountain.
This fire alarm, however, is doing the opposite of what a natural fire alarm does. In the spirit, the fire alarm is meant to call you, like Moses, INTO the unknown realms of His glory.
Venture into the Unknown
On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. Exodus 19:16
At Mount Sinai, a "fire alarm" went off. The people trembled and drew back, but Moses drew near. Moses had tasted the fire before at the burning bush (Exodus 3). Even though Mount Sinai looked ominous and Moses had no guarantees, he would rather venture into the FIRE and THUNDER and LIGHTNING of the unknown where GOD was PRESENT, than stay on the sidelines of comfort where God WASN'T.
There Israel encamped before the mountain, while Moses went up to God. (Exodus 19:2-3)
Moses is your invitation. Jesus opened the door of access so you could, at ANY time, go UP to God and boldly enter the realm of His glory! We are not waiting for a move of God; God is waiting for a move of people. The Church needs to shift from waiting for an expression or manifestation of God's FIRE that is comfortable and on her terms and instead, turn aside like Moses did as the Spirit of God begins to move—perhaps in unfamiliar and unpredictable ways.
Don't Be Content at the "Foot of the Mountain!"
Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. (Exodus 19:17)
With this FIRE ALARM going off, I see people "taking a stand" in the Church—either FOR or AGAINST the Holy Spirit's movement. He is so loving and embracing, though. People who took stands against the Spirit in ONE SEASON are now desperate to encounter Him. They are desperate to venture into the realm of His glory instead of sitting on the safety of sidelines. It means interruption, risk and the unknown. It means shakings and rumblings. It means unusual manifestations of His presence breaking out. It means dealing with demonic spirits and fleshly attention-seekers.
Pastors and Leaders: this is for you as well. The Lord is calling people individually and collectively into UNTAPPED and UNACCESSED REALMS of His glory where His presence is given priority. Moses had priority for the presence of God even when it terrified him. When Moses turns aside and listens to the voice that comes out of the burning bush we see that "...Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God" (Exodus 3:6). Even though he was afraid because the experience was unusual and the encounter was unfamiliar, he didn't run. He didn't take a stand at a distance; he moved towards the fire. The voice of the Lord is summoning His people—all of His people—into the fire of divine encounter.
Don't take a stand AT THE FOOT of the mountain when, in fact, every barrier has been removed for you to BOLDLY approach the throne of God (see Hebrews 4.16).
The Spirit is Hovering, Brooding and Testing the Waters!
Some want to run away when they hear the fire alarm going off. I see churches withfire alarms going off AS the Holy Spirit starts to move. Even as the movement of the Spirit begins to manifest, even in the most timid ways, fire alarms will go off. This fire alarm is very sensitive to anything that would confront the norm. Even a little smoke sets it off. The fire alarm upsets the status quo of how we've "ALWAYS done life, ministry and church". The fire alarm immediately recognizes the invasive movement of the Spirit, threatening our programs and protocols and agendas.
The question: is the alarm a call to run away or a summons to turn aside?
The Lord is not saying to throw out all agenda and protocol; He's simply looking to infuse them with the life, breath and effectiveness of Heaven. Continue your sermon series, worship sets, tithes and offering, announcements, etc. What matters is giving the Spirit's movement absolute priority—and hosting Him on HIS TERMS—so that when the fire alarm goes off, you move with His movement rather than shut it down.
Run Towards the Fire!
As the fire alarm goes off in the Church, people are going to run...somewhere. People will either run towards the Lord or away from Him. And if our church communities speak against the movement of the Spirit and encourage people to move away from the Spirit, that puts them in danger of missing—yes missing—what God is doing in this season. This is a hard word, but there is great grace on it as well.
Repentance and humility are INSTANT KEYS to getting on board with the move of God, regardless of how much you have been against it in the past. I see the Lord literally changing and tenderizing the hearts of His people, so that as they hear the fire alarm, they respond by running TOWARDS the fire, in Jesus' Name!
Fire Alarm: The Call to Filled Altars
I see altars filled...and it's glorious. I see large, influential churches where the pastors, leaders and the people, are so hungry for the presence of God, they put aside their cares and concerns of what the fire might look like—and they go after it.
I see distinct moments in gatherings where the Spirit begins to brood. He starts to touch, and with His touch, comes a choice. I see pastors and leaders watching their communities get subtly touched by the Spirit and know in their hearts that all it will take is ONE MOVE to partner with God to see a RUMBLING of the Spirit released in their midst. One decision to partner with the movement of the Spirit will shift and change everything. One choice to turn aside, not turn away. I see this happening. I see during praise and worship and even the preaching, moments where God moves, the pastors and leaders see this and they say, "YES, at any cost. YES!"
I see their YES opening floodgates of divine presence that produces filled altars. I see this YES actually removing ceilings over the Church. In the spirit, I see ceilings breaking off entire church communities—ceilings that were not placed there by God.
These ceilings represent our attempts to control and regulate church culture according to what we think is most effective—and more so, these ceilings have been built to actually "protect" the Church from the unexpected and the unusual. But I see the collective hunger of the Church, both from the people who attend our services and the pastors and leaders, breaking through the ceiling!
I clearly see pastors and leaders (especially those of non-denominational mega-churches) in their offices, almost like with the window shades closed and lights out, wailing in travail, "GOD, THERE HAS GOT TO BE MORE!" I hear the cry of John Kilpatrick on pastors and leaders in this season. John Kilpatrick was pastor of Brownsville Assembly of God during the historic Brownsville Revival, and before revival broke out, he would go over to the church in the middle of the night, lay down on the front row and CRY OUT, "There has GOT TO BE MORE! OH GOD! I NEED YOU, LORD!"
I see pastors and leaders running to the altars. As they express their hunger, I see this breaking something open in the spirit realm, causing congregations to flood the altars.
The Moses Company: Go Into the Fire!
Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. (Exodus 19:18-20)
God is looking for a Moses company—a Moses people who see the smoke and fire. A people who hear the rumblings and thunderings. Yes, a people even startled by the dramatic nature of the manifestations. Smoke. Fire. Thunder. Lightning. And then the SOUND OF THE TRUMPET—the FIRE ALARM!
Two choices: run away, or run towards. The decision is clear. We hear the fire alarm and we run to where the fire is burning!
Larry Sparks is publisher for Destiny Image, a Spirit-filled publishing house pioneered by Don Nori Sr. in 1983 with a mandate to publish the prophets. Larry is fueled by a vision to help the Church community create space for the Holy Spirit to move in freedom, power and revival fire, providing every Christian with an opportunity to have a life-changing encounter in the presence of God. In addition to publishing, Larry is a regular contributor to Charisma Magazine, he conducts seminars on revival, hosts regional Renewing South Florida gatherings, and has been featured on Sid Roth's It's Supernatural, TBN, CBN, the ElijahList, and Cornerstone TV. He earned a Master of Divinity from Regent University and enjoys life in Texas with his beautiful wife and daughter. He is author of Breakthrough Faith and co-author of The Fire That Never Sleeps with John Kilpatrick and Dr. Michael Brown.
This blog originally published by Elijah List. To read the original post, click here.