John promised that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire! (Luke 3:16).
Jesus continues to pour out the Holy Spirit upon His people all over the world. This includes the fire that comes with the Spirit. When I was recently in Cuba doing crusades and ministry in the Las Tunas District, the fire of God came upon us in many wonderful ways. This Holy Fire is still spreading through their churches.
Holy Fire can mean many things to us: cleansing, authority and power, guidance, revelation, wisdom…for me it can be summed up in the presence of God. When the glory of His majesty enters the sanctuary we are drawn to worship Jesus, to give Him our love and our service. We desire to stay in His presence for we were created to be one with our Creator.
During our ministry time in Cuba, we experienced the presence of God throughout our services. People were saved, healed, baptized in the Holy Spirit and awakened to God’s presence. The uninhibited and joyous worship drew us close to Him in praise and celebration as we read of it in heaven in Revelation 4 and 5.
Times of preaching and prayer opened our hearts to His truth and the meaning of life in Jesus as we know Him through His Word. We ministered to hungry and thirsty people longing to be satisfied as only God can feed us the bread of life and give us living waters that express the touch of His presence.
The answers we often seek in our times of emptiness or need for forgiveness, to be awakened to the love of God and to live for His purposes, can only be known in His presence.
I had one such experience on Saturday morning at Las Tunas Church in Cuba during their fasting and prayer. The church was full of God’s people singing and praying, crying out for His presence to come to them and to Cuba.
For me His presence began just before the service. I was drawn to kneel at the front steps of the church that led up to the altar. As I knelt before our Lord to pray, His presence came upon me. I started to weep and shake as tears of cleansing expressed my need for Him to renew my inner oneness with my Lord.
I have experienced this cleansing a few times in my 42 years of following Jesus. When I first encountered Jesus and went back to church, I would sit in the service and weep these tears of cleansing as the Holy Spirit restored my soul by removing my worldly desires and sinful habits to strengthen me in my new life in Christ.
In Zambia I have known tears of cleansing. At the end of one of our services as I preached the glory of God came upon us. At the close of the message the entire congregation and myself suddenly found ourselves lying prostrate on the floor weighted down by His glory. For a half hour or more we wept and wailed in His presence. When we finally stood together, at our feet there were puddles of tears of glory.
When our service in Las Tunas started I stood to worship our King Jesus. This led to prayer and then to preaching by one of my ministry partners Kenneth Bennet, who gave an impassioned word on running the race to the end with strength and endurance in the Spirit.
At some point the weight of God’s glory began to press upon me. His presence grew stronger and stronger until I could no longer stand. I went and knelt at the same spot I had been earlier. God’s weighted glory kept pressing down upon me.
I could not kneel with my arms holding my upper body any longer. I lay flat on the top stair as He kept pushing down on me. I was being crushed by the weight of His glory on my chest, but it was not a hurting experience. Instead, He was crushing all of the inner division out of me.
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that our greatest problem is we try to serve two masters. We were created to serve only one Master. God made us in His image. The Lord our God is One! Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and His Father are one.
I submitted to His presence and His work of grace as throughout the service I lay in glory. When the service ended, I could not move. I was a man undone as Isaiah was in his vision of the Lord of Hosts, Jesus Christ, in Isaiah 6.
Most of the people left the sanctuary. I remained without moving. I was crushed, but not in pain. I was light and free inside. God had removed the inner division from me. I was one within and one with God. My friends came to help me stand, but I did not want to lose this sense of His glory. I desired to linger in His presence.
Finally, they helped me stand. They half carried me as we walked out of the sanctuary. I was weak, but free in the Spirit of God. My flesh was crucified as His Spirit filled me.
I believe this is what God is doing in Las Tunas preparing His people to carry the Holy Fire of His message of life to a people without hope and dead in their false ideology of secular humanism. You cannot replace the Creator with the creature as Paul writes in Romans 1 without terrible judgment.
This is the state of much of the world today. The nations have been seduced into a theology of man without God. We can create our own gateway to God, so we have redefined God in our image.
Entertainment in the church or in our culture cannot fill the void of God’s presence. Humanity’s new Babel of self-idolatry in social media and in every fabric of our culture has pushed away the presence of God. We have replaced the shields of gold with bronze imitations as the Jews did after Jerusalem was sacked. They acted as though nothing had changed.
Jesus is coming soon. He is preparing His people for His return by Holy Fire, reminding us of our need for His presence. This is the most precious gift of all, the pearl of great price. May our hunger for Jesus draw in His presence to prepare us to meet Him in His glory.
Our King’s return is imminent. Are you ready? Seek Him with all of your heart. This needs to be a desperate longing that only God can give you and fulfill. Put to death your love for the world and put on Christ to love the Father as Jesus loves Him. His presence will come in His glory, to renew His oneness as He is doing in Las Tunas, Cuba.
Blake Lorenz was raised in the church but never knew Jesus Christ. His god was himself and sports. After he was released from the Chicago Cubs organization, he says his life fell to pieces. In this crisis he cried out to Jesus and gave Him his life. He came into his room and he literally met Jesus Christ. He surrounded him with His love and told him to go into the world to call people to follow Him. He says God has blessed him to be a pastor and evangelist for 38 years in Central Florida and around the world. He just released a new novel called “Greater Love,” which can be purchased on Amazon. All proceeds go to our mission and evangelism ministries across the world.