There was a time when the humble little match could be ignited by striking against any surface. You see it all the time in the old westerns; macho cowboy strikes a match from his boot, lights his cigarette, and strolls away with that slow, Joe Cool gait.
Eventually, the original strike-anywhere match was replaced, however, when it was discovered that the highly volatile white phosphorus on the tip could ignite itself just when matches rubbed together in the box. The phosphorus was also poisonous when ingested; when men working in the match plants handled it or breathed it in, it slowly ate away their bones and left them physically ill or eventually dead. Others, learning of its deadly properties, misused the power of the white phosphorus match tips to commit suicide or to kill others. The United States actually forbade the import of the original formula white phosphorus matches early in the 20th Century.
The new match tips were made of a different combustible substance coated in wax, and the ignition key now became red phosphorus, a less powerful chemical than its white cousin. The final difference lay in the fact that the special red phosphorus was the only surface whose friction could ignite the matches. To this day, the little strip of reddish-brown that you see on the edge of the matchbox or match pack is the only friction that can “set it off.” Safety matches. Although you can now buy a different version of a strike-anywhere match, which too is coated to prevent accidental combustion, it only looks like the original. Its properties are very different.
Spiritually-speaking, what kind of match are YOU? Do you catch fire only when you’re in church? Do you only allow yourself to be ignited in a special setting? Do you require the right music, the dim lights, the fog machine to “feel” the Holy Spirit? Outside those conditions, are you coated with a layer of carnality so that you have no potential to erupt into the flame of God without the backing of the Church to set you off?
I challenge you to go back to the original formula! Of COURSE it’s deadly when misused. The Holy Spirit is not to be toyed with. When the flesh tries to “handle” Him, the outcome is never good. His power is to be reverenced, never treated as a common thing. However, when you allow Him to become rich and full and operational in your life, you won’t find yourself restricting His flow when you are outside the box of the church walls. When He fills you, baptizes you, He doesn’t require the music, the stained-glass windows, or the goosebumps to erupt! He IS the fire which can show up anywhere! The Holy Spirit gives us power for service. The Holy Spirit is the “Go Ye” enabler in Matthew 28:19.
Our greatest danger of extinction lies in a watered-down experience with God. We’ve become so politically-correct, so reserved, so afraid of being thought of as obnoxious or weird by others, that we operate in only a very limited capacity. Healings and miracles are down exponentially because faith and the power of the Holy Ghost have had a “cap” put on them by the desire to blend in. If the devil can succeed in corralling that power into a church building and nowhere else, then he succeeds in having dominion everywhere else!
However…there is an awakening happening. A generation of people living in these last days are so hungry for the Holy Spirit to be operational that they are returning to the original formula. As they do, they are discovering that new wine can’t be contained with our “old wineskins” of religious etiquette and tradition. No, the power of the Holy Spirit has to be housed in a place capable of expansion, because He is “working” and needs some room! Not even the restrictions of our nation’s new creed of universalism and tolerance can harness the Real Thing! If others try to operate under a counterfeit, or if they should desire to remain boxed-in and proper, YOU BE AN ANYWHERE CHRISTIAN! Operate in power! We have work to do!
I challenge you today to ask God to fill you with the original, unwaxed, unlimited formula:
“Heavenly Father, I am tired of operating in limited power. There are sick people who need to be healed, evil spirits to be cast out, strongholds to be broken, and lives set free by Your salvation. Most of these people are not inside the church building, so I need to be able to shine Your light other places as well. I’m realizing more and more that a ‘less-volatile’ formula of You isn’t going to do it. I don’t want to have a form of godliness but no power. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit today. Make me dangerous to the works of darkness. Make me so combustible that I’m liable to erupt in the grocery store, the city square, even in front of the drug dealers and dignitaries and others who are kept ‘safe’ from witnessing You at work! I receive You, Holy Spirit, and I will not quench You when You are trying to operate outside the walls of the church. I will not misuse You or treat You as common, because You are holy. I will keep a clean temple and sanctify my mind so that You feel welcome. I will open my ears, eyes, and mouth to Your control. Allow me to hear Your voice, and to hear the silent cries of those who are ripe for the harvest. Allow me to see others as You see, and to discern what isn’t detectable by the naked eye. I will speak Your Word with boldness and not hide Your dominion in my life. I surrender all of me to Your use. Use me to light a huge fire everywhere You want to operate! In Jesus’ name I freely receive, Amen.”
Note: Scientific Facts obtained from Wikipedia.