Five Minute Friday: SEND

There’s not much point being sent out empty-handed, or worse, ill-equipped.  But God’s preparation for us isn’t always quite what we’re looking for…

(I’m taking five minutes once more with the Five Minute Friday #fmfparty gang to write unedited on a theme sent out by Kate Motaung.  The word-prompt today is SEND. You can join in too – here’s how.)

GO

I work with a mission organisation, so it’s not surprising that my thoughts wander at first to Isaiah saying ‘Lord, here I am, send me.‘  I’m saturated in an environment of sending… but that’s not where my thoughts land.  What I consider is the fiery coal that God sent to Isaiah first, before he could even make such a statement.  God sent the cleansing flame.

There’s a rousing hymn, perhaps you know it: ‘Send the fire.’  Here are a few lines:

To make our weak hearts strong and brave
Send the fire
To live a dying world to save
Send the fire today
Oh see us on Your altar lay
We give our lives to You today
So crown the offering now we pray
Send the fire today (full lyrics below)

It’s tempting to sing such a hymn and expect a fireworks display from heaven, power breaking out, unction and enthusiasm to start to brim, and, well, once God’s answered such a plea, for everything to go swimmingly.  I think it’s different.  I think when the fire comes, we start to cry… the right sort of tears.  The tears of helplessness and dependency.  The tears of end-of-myself-but-start-of-Gods-work.

(Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji)  Christians pray for starving North Koreans during a prayer session

(Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji) Christians pray for starving North Koreans during a prayer session

I’m praying ‘Lord, send the fire today’.  But I’m somewhat hesitant about how his answer might feel.  Glorious, I expect.  Like being in a spiritual tumble-dryer or spin setting, maybe.  Tearful probably.  I have in my minds eye the tear-stained faces of intercession being poured out from the persecuted church – how they pray for the fire – their lives depend on it.  Now that’s glory.  That’s true fireworks.

For God to send us in His power, another sort of sending-from-heaven needs to happen first.  I want to make sure I’m at home to receive it.

STOP

Send the Fire

O God of burning cleansing flame
Send the fire
Your blood-bought gift today we claim
Send the fire today
Look down and see this waiting host
And send the promised Holy Ghost
We need another Pentecost
Send the fire today
Send the fire today

Verse 2
God of Elijah hear our cry
Send the fire
And make us fit to live or die
Send the fire today
To burn up every trace of sin
To bring the light and glory in
The revolution now begin
Send the fire today
Send the fire today

Verse 3
It’s fire we want for fire we plead
Send the fire
The fire will meet our every need
Send the fire today
For strength to always do what’s right
For grace to conquer in the fight
For power to walk the world in white
Send the fire today
Send the fire today

Verse 4
To make our weak hearts strong and brave
Send the fire
To live a dying world to save
Send the fire today
Oh see us on Your altar lay
We give our lives to You today
So crown the offering now we pray
Send the fire today
Send the fire today
Send the fire today

1994 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

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