God is A Consuming Fire
Introduction: The Devouring Flame
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29
When we think of the many things that God can be and is; we do not hesitate to describe Him as Love, as Peace, as The Shepherd, as Strength, as Spirit, just to name a few; but in all of our description we rarely recant that He is Fire.
If we could imagine for a moment the mystery and beauty of a rainbow, displaying its seven colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet; each color speaking independently of itself, yet having the ability to speak in depth of the other. Red when combined with yellow can bring forth Orange; while when Yellow with Blue reveals the color of green; a never ending tapestry of glory of each housed within the other. In other words; God in all that He is as Love, Peace, The Shepherd, as Strength or as Spirit, when combined with one other aspect of Himself; provides us with a holistic understanding of the many facets of God.
God as Love and as The Shepherd, is The Loving-Shepherd; or The Shepherd of Peace and Love, and when we continue to explore other qualities about God, we see that He is Holy, He is Righteous, He is Fire. God is a Righteous-Holy-Fire. God is awesome when we explore the ability of His “character” names to blend with one another. My friend, God is Love, but He is more than Love, God is Peace, but He is more than Peace; just as the rainbow is more than just Red or Orange, it is all the colors seen and not seen.
But what of His characteristics as Fire?
Surely this cannot be a literal fire, yet God speaks to us in a language we can understand, giving us a picture of Himself as the burning presence. Moses saw this awesome display of God when he engaged Him upon the mountain that burned with fire (see, Exodus 19:20), and the term “consuming fire,” used in Deuteronomy 4:24) in the Hebrew tongue is “a devouring flame.”
Does this mean that God as fire is destructive? No, let not the carnal mind engage you here, but rather let us see with the eye of the Holy Spirit to understand fully the mystery of God as “A Devouring Flame.”
Do we ignore the wonder of all of His other names when we Read in Hebrews 12:29 that OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE; or in reverse “A CONSUMING FIRE IS OUR GOD?” No we must see the whole picture of God as Love, as Peace, as Strength, as The Shepherd; and as Fire!
Thanks be to God for the power of this truth, when we allow it to work within us the mystery of Godliness, which is Christ in us THE EXPECTATION OF GLORY (Colossians 1:27).
One thing we must understand about God is this; HE THAT COMES TO GOD MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS…..AND THAT HE IS……..A REWARDER OF HIM THAT DILLIGENTLY SEEK HIM.
The CONSUMMING FIRE THAT GOD IS will see that THE SEEKER obtains the reward that comes with seeking GOD DILLIGENTLY. In this day and time we do not have a moment to waste on being passive and reserved when it comes to seeking God, because doing so only makes the FIRE OF HIS BURNING more intense. Many of us seek without reservation GOD IS LOVE, or GOD THE SHEPHERD, or GOD THE PROVIDER, or GOD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, or GOD OUR PEACE, but what we fail to realize is that there is a side of God that must accompany these attributes and qualities of God and that is God is FIRE!
God is ALL and wants to be ALL THAT HE is within you and in me. Fire comes to change us, bring about a reconstruction of our nature until the impurities of form have become swallowed up in the presence of Him that is A CONSUMING FIRE. When you have the opportunity to conduct a word study on the adjective “CONSUMING” in the Greek Lexicon, you will understand that it means “TO EXPIATE SIN,” or “TO USE UP.”
Hold on for minute, before you allow your carnal mind to teach you what this means, hear what the Spirit of God is saying unto THE CHURCH. THE CONSUMING that means TO EXPIATE (make obsolete, PUT TO AN END, to extinguish the guilt incurred by – to move the offense of) SIN has to do with a greater level of conversion or transformation in the life of THE BELIEVER (refer to II Corinthians 1:8-11):
8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.
Listen to Hebrews 12:28-29 from the Amplified Bible; which states, 28Let us therefore, receiving a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken, offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship, with modesty and pious care and godly fear and awe; 29For our God [is indeed] a consuming fire.
The twenty-eighth verse seems to suggest that our service must be an offering of ourselves with PLEASING SERVICE, ACCEPTABLE WORSHIP, MODESTY AND PIOUS CARE, AND GODLY FEAR (REVERENCE) AND AWE; because if we do not, anything that is contrary to who and what God is as LOVE, PEACE, JOY, RIGHTEOUSNESS, HOLINESS, etc, it will be CONSUMED BY GOD not in a future fire, but a right now expression of His grace TO CHASTEN THOSE WHOM HE LOVES (see Hebrews 12:5-7).
5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Let me insert something right here pertaining to our deliverance, WE WERE DELIVERED, WE ARE BEING DELIVERED AND WE HAVE YET TO BE DELIVERED, we are God’s workmanship created unto GOOD WORKS in Christ Jesus. Therefore understand that God IS A JEALOUS GOD and He will not share His glory with another. God will not share His glory with DEPRESSION! He will not share it WITH LYING! He will not share it with CANCER! He will not share it with LACK! He will not share it with BI-POLARISM! He will not share it with HOMOSEXUALITY! He will not share it with ADULTERY! He will not share it with CARNALITY! He will not share it with WOOD, HAY AND STUBBLE! In other words, WE MUST BE CHANGED even as BY FIRE.
When I consider the trial and tribulations that I have endured over the past 7 to 10 years I realize now that I was abiding in the presence of THE HOLY FIRE. Unfortunately, my carnality had me believing that I was not fit for God. I was not where God wanted me to be so rather than function in the liberty of the Life Giving spirit, I abided in condemnation, and what came next was intense trials and testing to reveal, to expose, to uncover, TO PUT TO AN END all that was WOOD, HAY and STUBBLE restoring my reverence for God.
The old order of Church meant well as they tried to instill the fear of God in us; teaching us if we do not get right with God, we are going to hell. Unfortunately, sometimes, that does little to touch the impure heart; because the place that we tell them they are going, they already abide there; what they need more than anything is a way out – and that way out is THE CONSUMING FIRE that God is. The Bible tells us clearly, that a man’s ways are right in HIS/HER own eyes, and the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 16:25). When we understand that God is a jealous God we will understand why the fire comes: It comes to restore properly aligned worship. Let me turn your attention to Deuteronomy 4:23-25.
23Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.
24For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
O dear one, can you hear it? The fire comes to deal with THE GRAVEN IMAGES OF OUR HEARTS AND MINDS; the things that are imbedded in us and can only be dealt with by THE FIRE OF HIS WORD (see Jeremiah 23:28-29).
28The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
29Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
The God that is Fire, shall speak to our imagery with a fiery word. Even through His prophets, O’ would the prophets rise up and proclaim the word filled with fire, not to condemn, not to badger, but promote righteousness and true holiness that the man of righteousness might rise up fleeing the form of godliness; a form that covers up sin, without warranting a change of nature. Jeremiah 23:29 in the Amplified says, “Is not My word like fire [that consumes all that cannot endure the test]? says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks in pieces the rock [of most stubborn resistance]?”
The key line in Jeremiah 23:29 is “…that consumes all that cannot endure the test...;” for this is what the fire comes to do; which is to simply bring an end to what cannot endure the testing times. This is the place where too much credit is given unto the devil, and out-cries of rescue are sent up toward God. Beloved, God is Fire, and when we He comes….ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR OUR GOOD, AND THE GOOD OF THEM THAT ARE CALLED UNTO HIS PURPOSE.
The fire comes to burn up our carnality of UNBELIEF (Wayside Heart); of UNGODLINESS (Stony Heart) and of WORLDLINESS (Thorny Heart). This will occur until Christ began to take up residence in us, bringing forth fruit unto God some thirty-fold (Justified by Faith), some sixty-fold (Sanctified by Truth), and some a hundred-fold (Glorified in the Son) – the forming of Christ in us, to us and through us. You can settle for the devil’s lie of one day someday, but there is a place in God where you can be changed in the presence of The Devouring Flame.
Many today want to pawn on us a belief that what they are in the flesh is all they can be; God understands their heart, so forth and so on. We have painted an untruth that we are unable to break away from the appetites of the sin nature; but if this is true, then Christ died in vain.
You can call yourself a gay-Christian, or a weak, I cannot help myself Christian, but true Christianity is about changing or going through a metamorphosis leaving the dusty form and lifestyle of the caterpillar to transcend into the butterfly that sours high above the earth realm, reigning with Christ in the heavenly places. Fire must come to our houses to burn up the flesh man that is laden with cravings and appetites that keep one moving in the carnal “I cannot help it” realm of excuses for being partakers of transgressions. No; you cannot serve God in your own carnal strength, but the fire of God that God is can burn the hell out of you until Christ the fourth man in the fire show up.
Precious heart, if you can hear these words; go through the burning presence and be changed into the man, woman, boy or girl that you are meant to be. Carnality cannot continue to reign in the temple; even YOUR TEMPLE, for you are the DWELLING PLACE OF THE HOLY GHOST and THE FIRE!