Many Christians pray for years that revival would come to their church, community, and personal lives. They are devoted to praying for God’s presence to come in power. They are part of prayer meetings that cry out for God to bring the fires of revival to their land. They continually contend for God “to do it again” for their generation. And on and on it goes without experiencing the breakthrough they long for.
I believe that it is time for us to experience “the more” that God has for each and every one of us, as well as in our churches and communities. I believe that this is a “Now” time for the fires of revival to spread across our land into every heart.
It is time for Firestarters.
I believe God wants to equip, empower, and activate Firestarters to receive and release the presence and power of God in revival fashion that engulfs our nation and the world.
"God wants us to have an encounter, so that we become an encounter, so that others can have an encounter."
In other words, God wants to consume us in His fiery passionate love, so that we look, speak, and do, what He does — representing Him fully through a demonstration of signs and wonders, miracles, healing, and prophetic insights, that represent His kindness and love that leads to repentance and transformation.
So, how does one go about starting a fire that will become a wildfire that will bring about the level of revival that we desire? How do we become a Firestarter?
Step 1 in Starting a Fire
Collect the Wood
A fire can only start where there is enough fuel to get it going. We need wood in order to start a fire. We need resources. Too many attempt to start a fire with what they currently have at their disposal. Sure, reading Scripture, prayer, attending worship services are instrumental in providing a foundation for a fire, but we also need the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
On the day of Pentecost, the early Church was conducting a worship service, praying continually and reminding themselves of the promise of Scripture for revival, but it wasn’t until the Holy Spirit showed up that the fire started.
We need to find anointed wood.
Sometimes that requires traveling to collect what is not ready available in the place where we live. Bill Johnson points out that, “Wise men still travel.” The wise men who searched for Jesus on that first Christmas, realized they did not have enough where they were – so they went to go get it — Him.
I’m not suggesting that you leave your church or community in search of some revival hot spot. On the other hand, I am encouraging you to go and visit a church or city where revival is taking place, collect some of their wood/resources, and then bring it back to start a fire where you live.
Places like Bethel Church in Redding, California, Harvest Rock, in Pasadena, California, Airport Christian Fellowship in Toronto, Canada, IHOP in Kansas City, Missouri are just a few of the places where you can find good revival wood to burn with.
Attending schools like Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, Global School of Supernatural Ministry, Harvest School of Missions, as well as conferences in which revival themes are taught and practiced are essential in getting the resources you need to start wild fires where you live.
Step 2 in Starting a Fire
Apply Lighter Fluid
The oil of joy/gladness is the best fuel for lighting fires (Hebrews 1:8,9). Cultivating revival is best done in and through God’s presence — not a program. In His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). It makes sense then that God is going to respond to His children who are welcoming Him with celebration, laughter, and thankfulness.
Nehemiah was adamant on this point when he told the Israelites to stop mourning and grieving in their pursuit of God, but rather, celebrate with party foods and drink. He commanded them to laugh because the joy of the Lord is where our empowerment comes (Nehemiah 8:1-13; Psalm 126).
I want to encourage you to try and get happy in God’s presence the next time you are praying for revival as though God really does want to show up and do good things in your midst. He is smiling on you, dancing around you, and enthusiastically happy to reveal His goodness by healing, prophesying, and setting people free to know their true identity and destiny.
Applying laughter to your prayers is a sure way of lighting the fire of revival.
Step 3 in Starting a Fire
Strike the match
We will never have a fire without risk. At some point we have to light the fire. God has given us the catalyst for revival, but we must do our part in striking the match. Mike Bickle once said, “Christians are oftentimes taught well beyond their obedience.” We can talk about revival until the second coming, but until we take some risk to release revival in our midst, we will never experience the fullness of God’s presence and power that we so desperately want and need.
Striking the match looks like prophesying over someone even when you don’t feel the unction or ability to do so. I can’t tell you how many times I have begun a prophetic word with, “I believe the Lord wants you to know…”, and then get the download for the rest of it.
Too many times we are waiting for the word before we step out into a revival lifestyle, when God is waiting for us to step out, strike the match, so that He can light the fire.
Firestarter Instruction Guide
1. Collect as many revival resources as you can to add to your fire.
2. Add the fuel of joy, gladness, and laughter to your revival prayers
3. Take some risk in striking the match to release revival by prophesying or healing someone
I would love to hear some testimonies about how you have started some fires in your church and community. Happy Firestarting! To purchase the Firestarters program today click here!
1. Passion Pledged
Christians are normally either motivated my guilt or passion. Guilt says, “You have to be a Firestarter.” Passion says, “You get to be a Firestarter.” Becoming a Firestarter is not succumbing to a guilt trip, but pursuing passion – a hunger and thirst for the “Fire” of God – His presence starting a fire in us. Firestarters is not a “have to,” but a “get to.” Being a Firestarter is simply allowing His fire to grow in us everyday. It is cultivating passion. Joel Osteen observes that, “One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..” Firestarters stay hungry and thirsty for God’s goodness to become manifest in them and through them.
2. Purpose Pursuit
If we aim at nothing, we will most likely hit it. Rick Warren states that,“Without a purpose, life is a motion without meaning, activity without direction, and events without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty, and pointless.” Becoming a Firestarter is simply focusing on the fire. Firestarters are not more gifted, anointed, “holy,” or pure, than anyone else. No, Firestarters are simply pursuing the fire. Firestarters have made their purpose pursuing God’s presence demonstrated in practical signs and wonders, miracles, healing, and prophetic expressions that communicate God’s powerful and passionate fiery love.
3. Power Possessed
Firestarters seek to demonstrate God’s love the way that Jesus does – through a demonstration of power that proves His love and care. Bill Johnson says, “We owe the world an encounter.” Firestarters are possessed by an encounter of God’s fiery powerful presence that releases an encounter of God’s fiery powerful presence to others around us in supernatural ways that help them.
4. Persistent Practice
Competency only comes through continual, persistent practice. Firestarters are not perfect, but are willing to continue to take risk in starting fires. The pathway of risk is the primary way we step into our supernatural destiny as Firestarters. Firestarters do not give up when they have setbacks or disappointments. No, Firestarters continue to learn and grow in a supernatural lifestyle. Jack Hayford once said, “We don’t fail when we fall, but we only fail when we fail to get back up.” Firestarters get back up and try again.
5. Pledged Perseverance
Disappointment and discouragement are two common reasons Firestarters are sometimes detained and derailed from their supernatural destiny. Firestarters have pledged to make the Firestarter Curriculum a lifestyle rather than just a class event. Certainly the Firestarter Curriculum is essential in providing the foundation for stepping into supernatural ministry, but pledging to persevere in spite of setbacks and obstacles is key to becoming a life-long Firestarter. Anyone can do something for a season, but Firestarters have chosen a life path. That’s what I love about people like Heidi Baker, Mother Theresa, Reinhard Bonnke, and John Wimber. They pledged to persevere.
Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Fruit, however, does not grow overnight — it must be cultivated over time. Similarly, the fruit of joy must be cultivated daily if we expect to see it produced in our lives. Like any fruit-bearing tree, once a seed is planted, we must subject ourselves to the constant watering of the Holy Spirit, being continually filled with His presence in order for the fruit of joy to mature in our lives (Ephesians 5:18).
We have a part in cultivating the fruit of joy in our lives. In Psalm 103, David declares, “Praise the Lord, O my soul.” David was basically saying “Soul, I know that you do not want to praise God right now, but you are not in charge of my life — I am. So, I will bless the Lord.” Everything we do in the Kingdom is done by choice through our will. We love, forgive, serve, give, and praise God by choice, through faith, with the grace that God gives us to be able to do it. This is true for joy as well. Joy is not an optional fruit of the spirit that we can just forget about.
Many places I travel, people have a difficult time with the issue of joy; however, the subject of joy is not lacking in the Bible. In fact, Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness above all his companions. I have come to see that a glad Jesus really messes with people’s theology. It is interesting that we will focus on Jesus through the lens of turning the tables over in the temple or rebuking the Pharisees, but the very thing that He came to accomplish on this earth involved being an embodiment of the fullness of joy. Jesus is joy manifested in flesh, and we are called, like Jesus, to carry and release the joy of the Lord everywhere we go.
Are you still having a tough time with the issue of joy? Here are some verses to saturate your life with the truth about the power of joy.
Nehemiah 8:10- The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Psalm 16:11- In His Presence is fullness of joy.
Romans 14:17- The Kingdom of God is not eat or drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
As you go throughout your day today, meditate on these verses. Give yourself opportunities to grow in the joy of the Lord by getting in His Presence and soaking it all up. What you spend your time putting in is what will come out. If you are so focused on your circumstances or that problem in your life that you don’t allow yourself to experience the joy of the Lord, then I have a suggestion for you- Take a BIG drink!
Joy is the medicine from Heaven provided to help us live full and well lives. It is God’s nutritious Heavenly fruit to overcome the affects of sin and death. It is important, then, to take our daily dose of joy in increasing measure to ensure that we are carrying His presence and power.
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As believers risk finding the lost Treasures, churches are springing up in Muslim countries, as well as many other parts of the world. Missionaries in the Far East are using the Treasure Hunt to find and remove child prostitutes then showing them the love of God.
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Following are the top April Fool’s Day pranks ever played on the public:
1957: The respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a huge spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a strand of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
1996: The Taco Bell Corporation announced it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known, he said, as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
1998: Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, “many others requested their own ‘right handed’ version.”
1976: The British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth’s own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.
2008: The BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they “spend the winter basking in the tropical sun.” A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.
1975: Australia’s This Day Tonight news program revealed that the country would soon be converting to “metric time.” Under the new system there would be 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days. Furthermore, seconds would become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays. The report included an interview with Deputy Premier Des Corcoran who praised the new time system. The Adelaide townhall was even shown sporting a new 10-hour metric clock face. The thumbnail (found at TelevisionAU.com) shows TDT Adelaide reporter Nigel Starck posing with a smaller metric clock. TDT received numerous calls from viewers who fell for the hoax. One frustrated viewer wanted to know how he could convert his newly purchased digital clock to metric time.
No one knows the exact origin of April Fools’ Day – lots of theories
Controversy over the calendar year beginning on April 1 instead of January 1
Julius Caesar, in 45 B.C., instituted Jan. 1 as the beginning of the new-year – when the new senate took office.
The Gregorian/Roman Calendar became the Western/Christian calendar – started Jan. 1, which was a combination of lunar cycle and Julian calendar
From Ancient Babylonian/Mesopotamian Cultures in B.C. times to Mid Evil times, many cultures celebrated the beginning of the New Year at the end of March (several of the celebrations would end on 4/1) or like the Assyrians – on 4/1 (Feasts of Fertility – New Birth)
The Christians would call these people “fools” for believing the year started in Spring
At some point those who had adopted the Roman/Christian calendar would play practical jokes on the “ignorant” people who still held to “heathen” calendars.