(Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash)
for our God is a consuming fire.
Music is often an emotional experience. So when we sing and ask for the fire of God to fall on us, we may or may not understand what we are asking. In the song, Do What You Want To, we sing, "All-consuming fire fall, fall on us." In another song, Fire, Fall Down, the chorus in the song says, "Fire, fall down (3x) on us we pray." It is sung over and over. One other song is Fear is a Liar and in that song, the words, "Let your fire fall and cast out all my fear," is repeated several times. What does it mean to ask for the fire of God to fall on us?
ASK FOR THE FIRE
One person in favor of the fire of God says, "Asking for God’s fire is a big thing, but for those of us who are serious about forsaking ourselves and following after Jesus, I think it’s a wonderful and appropriate thing for us to ask from God. We just need to be mindful that when we sing and pray “fire, fall down” we are not asking for a warm glow of affection for God. We are asking for his blazing, consuming, awesome presence. We are asking for God to come as rightful judge. We are asking for Him to look with pleasure on the meager offerings we bring before Him. And we are asking for God to draw near to us in His fullness and to burn up everything in our lives that is displeasing to him so that we can know Him more and walk in closer step with Him." (source)
DON'T ASK FOR THE FIRE
An opposite view comes from a person in the comment section of Jesus Culture singing the song, Fire, Fall Down where this person says, "Every time Scripture records fire falling from heaven it never ends well for us." They go on to site several Scriptures:
2 Kings 1:12 - Elijah replied to them, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
Rev 20:19 - And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them
Numbers 16:35 - And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men offering the incense.
Job 1:16 - While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Luke 9:54 - When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?"
And I will add another Scripture:
Leviticus 10:2 - When Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu disobeyed the Lord by burning the wrong kind of fire, "fire blazed forth from the Lord's presence and burned them up, and they died there before the Lord."
SCRIPTURES ABOUT FIRE
Others in the comment section chimed in with their own views of why asking for the fire to fall on you is biblical. One response is, " God's Fire can be a good thing too, and of course in this instance the song is talking about fire as a good thing... Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and [with] fire." Praise God that as believers we don't need to be afraid of God's wrath of fire!"
But in Matthew 3:11, the word "fire" is not a reference to the Holy Spirit. In context, it is a reference to judgment as seen in v. 10 and v.12. John the Baptist is warning the Pharisees and Sadducees of what will happen if they refuse to repent of their sins (v. 7-9).
Another Scripture used to say that asking for the fire is a good thing is in Acts 2:2-3. This was the day of Pentecost. If you look closely at v.3, you will see that it says, "what looked like flames or tongues of fire (NLT)," or in the NASB, "there appeared to them tongues as of fire." The NIV says pretty much the same thing, "They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire." Nowhere does this verse claim there was fire or that it is something we should ask for.
EXPERIENCE THE FIRE
I watched a video of an "apostle" putting his hands on a man's chest and yelling "FIRE," and the man fell over. They picked him up and did the same thing again, and the man started screaming and taking off his jacket as he ran away like he was on fire. This is thought to be a good thing. The "fire" is taught to be a cleansing fire that burns away every impurity and makes you more like Christ. This kind of thing is happening at churches and conferences within the New Apostolic Reformation. Is this what you want to happen when you ask for the fire to fall on you? Do you think it won't? Is it just symbolic? I don't know.
Those who believe in asking for the fire of God say it is also the burning love of God; a love you can feel. One Scripture passage they use is 2 Kings 1:10 & 12. King Ahaziah comes into power after King Ahab dies. He falls and injures himself and sends some men to the temple of Baal-zebub to find out if he will recover. God tells Elijah to confront the messengers and say, "Is there no God in Israel? Why are you going to the temple of Baal-zebub? Tell the king he will never leave his bed again because he will surely die." When the messengers report to Ahaziah what Elijah said, the king sends a captain with fifty men to arrest Elijah. The captain says to Elijah, "Man of God, the king has commanded you to come with us, and Elijah replies, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men." And fire fell from heaven and killed them all. Those who teach that the fire is the burning love of God say this is an example of God showing His love for Elijah. And He will do it for us too. Did Elijah feel this burning love? Is this what the story is teaching or why it's being told?
There are others verses we could talk about, and maybe I will in a future post. For now, you can see, there are two sides to every Scripture. The Bible can be twisted to make it say what you want it to say. As believers, we are told to make every effort to handle the Word of truth accurately (2 Timothy 2:15). So, what is the truth? What does it mean to ask for the fire of God to fall on you?