The Fire


Disciples of Jesus live life in the company of the Holy Spirit - God living within us -  learning how to listen, follow and be shaped by Him.

One evening Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher, had an encounter with God so powerful that he wrote it down and sewed into his jacket to be carried wherever he went. One word stands out from his meeting with God:


As followers of Jesus we receive the Holy Spirit. He is like a fire who warms our hearts and illuminates all parts of our lives - He is the burning presence of God within us.

Experiencing the work of the Spirit is wonderful. He is a constant reminder of whose we are - because too often we forget. He is a refiner whose work is to mould and shape us to be more like Jesus and to do what Jesus did. He is our guiding light - the Counsellor who aids us on our way.

We can’t be disciples under our own steam, we need the power of the Holy Spirit and discipleship is about  ‘keeping on being filled’.

But the Holy Spirit equips us in other ways. He gives to each of us gifts that we ‘fan into flame’ as we use them for the Kingdom. It is through the Spirit that we find a different quality of life, filled with the fruits He causes to grow in us.

Following Jesus is life ‘in the Spirit’ - life ‘under the influence’ of God.

Discipleship is about the fire.

But what do you see as you look at this image?

As you talk with Jesus what is He teaching you?

Are there particular Bible verses that you find helpful in the light of this image, or is there a part of the scriptures that further illuminates this icon?

Here are some bible passages that we believe are at the heart of what this icon is all about.

  • Acts 2.3 - “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them”
  • Ephesians 5.17-19 - “Don’t fill yourself up with wine. Getting drunk will lead to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”
  • Acts 2:1-4 - When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
  • Jeremiah 20.9 - “there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.”
  • Gal 5:22-25 - the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
  • Exodus 13.21 - “…and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.”
  • 1 Cor 12.7 - “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
  • 2 Tim 1:6 - For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

Questions and Practices: How can we live in the light of The Fire?

It is important that these Icons don’t just invite us to reflect but that they move us into action. Below you will find some practices to be explored on your own or in groups and some questions that you and others may wish to reflect upon:

  • The scriptures teach us that we are to keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5.18) - are you regularly asking for the Holy Spirit to fill you? Why not ask now? And remember to give Him time and space - don’t rush!

  • Is there an area of your life where you need to ask for the Holy Spirit to help you? Do you need healing?

  • Learning to listen for the guidance of the Spirit and obediently following takes practice - how are you learning to listen and follow? You may want to ask someone else to join you in learning to listen and follow His prompts.

  • Are you creating space for silence and solitude in which to hear the Lord? Are their other habits/practices/spiritual disciplines you could take up to help you be more sensitive to His presence in your life?

  • Is there an area of your life where you know that you are being disobedient or you feel defeated? Down through the years Christians have often practiced a daily ‘examen’ where they invite the Holy Spirit to reflect upon the day with them and show them what they need to address. (you will find an example of an examen in the worksheets at the end of this booklet)

  • Are you growing in holiness - does your character look more and more like Jesus?

  • Is there anything that you need to confess and seek God’s forgiveness over?

  • Are you aware of the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit has given you - and are there new gifts you would like? How could you make use of this gift in your local Church or Connect group?

  • The Holy Spirit helps us to pray and intercede for others - how are you regularly praying and interceding?

  • The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - which of these fruit do you need more of?

  • Being filled with the Holy Spirit means that we surrender ourselves into God’s hand and leading - is fear and anxiety holding you back? Are you trying to grasp or control things?

  • How are you going to practice the fire?

How are you going to practice The Fire?