Cooking Up a Storm
by Dan Hayne
T he language of God’s Spirit can come to us in many forms. Some of the ways God
speaks to His people can include secular formats. Recently I found God speaking to me
through a documentary broadcast by the Weather Channel on the subject of the great
Chicago fire of 1871.

The Chicago Fire of 1871

The Chicago fire began near the O’Leary family’s property. Aided by a drought, strong
southwestern winds, and the fact that most of the structures in the city were made of
wood, what began as a small blaze soon developed into a ‘perfect firestorm’.

Scientists researching this fire explain that the heat from a fire creates an updraft. The
updraft will cause a vacuum at ground level resulting in ground winds rushing in from
all directions to fill the vacuum. As long as there is fuel to feed the fire, the fire will
grow in intensity.

In the case of the Chicago fire, the strong southwest winds drove the fire northeast
into the city where more and more fuel in the form of wooden structures fed the fire.
It eventually grew to the point that ground winds of up to 160 miles per hour were
rushing into the fire. At this stage, the flames of the fire began to generate into a
tornado and ground temperatures soared as high as 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Creating Spiritual Updrafts

I couldn’t help but think that there must be ways to produce spiritual updrafts that
can prompt God to move in a mighty way on the earth. As I began to look into this
idea, I ran across the concept of New Testament forms of sacrifice. I heard one Bible
scholar say that whenever you have sacrifice fire shows up. Let’s look into the
potential of what New Testament sacrifice can do.

In the Strong’s Greek-Hebrew Dictionary, our English word ‘sacrifice’ comes from the
Greek root ‘thuo’ which means to rush, breathe hard, blow, smoke, and by implication
it means to sacrifice by fire.

Much like how we build a fire by blowing on its embers and coals until it finally bursts
into flames, by sacrificing again and again we can begin to see God’s breath blow and
breathe hard on spiritual embers that will eventually generate a flame that can develop
into an inferno.

So, we see that built into the definition of sacrifice there is an element of fire which can
generate a heavenly updraft. Following the model of the Chicago fire, the updraft
creates a vacuum at ground level (or on the earth where we are) bringing the winds or
breath of God’s Spirit to rush, breathe hard or blow into the fire that was created
from the sacrifice.

Nine Forms of New Testament Sacrifice

I began to wonder what might be some of the things we can do in the realm of
modern day sacrifices that could create spiritual updrafts. Here is a list of nine forms of
New Testament sacrifices I found:

1. Prayers and 2. Giving generous gifts to the poor.

Acts 10:4 AMP
…And the angel said to him, Your prayers and your
[generous] gifts to the poor have come up [as a sacrifice] to
God and have been remembered by Him.

3. Meeting someone’s needs who is expanding God’s Kingdom in the earth.

Phil 4:8 NKJV
Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from  
Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma,
an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

4. Praising God.

Heb 13:15 NKJV
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise
to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

5. Doing good and 6. Sharing.

Heb 13:16 NKJV
But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices
God is well pleased.

7. Presenting yourself to God in holiness and worship.

Rom 12:1 NASU
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present
your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is
your spiritual service of worship.

8. Being an imitator of God and 9. Walking in love.

Eph 5:1-2 NKJV
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself
for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling

One thing that fires do is this: They change the appearance of everything that they
touch. If we can continue to sacrifice or send spiritual fuel into the fire of God in these
nine areas, it can lead to an updraft--one that could eventually develop into a spiritual
firestorm changing the look of everything in its path and causing the breath of God to
rush across the land.
...or How to Create a Spiritual Updraft
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