"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28-29 (NIV)
As I read this Scripture I felt such an overwhelming desire to be consumed in the fire of God. Meaning that I desire to live a life fully devoted to Him and His purpose for my life. That is my deepest desire and I would like to say that my life always reflects this desire. Being honest though, I have to say that is not always the case.
Being human and having human emotions has caused me to falter and fail many times over. Whether it be from the desire to have another bowl of ice cream knowing full well that will not keep me on the path of a healthy life dedicated to serving the Lord. :) To letting the feeling of loneliness and despair take over in such a way that I begin to seek out a fulfillment from the world rather than from God. It has happened and until I see Jesus face to face, it will continue to happen at different times in my life. It's part of the journey.
Here is the good news, God knows me. He knows my heart and He knows that I am not perfect. I am a work in progress. When I fail, does He turn His back on me and leave me alone. No, He doesn't. I know this because of Jesus Christ, His Son, My Lord and Savior. Jesus died on the cross for me, for all of us, when I fail to live as a child of God. Jesus died for me so that when I fail, and I do, I can come to the foot of the cross, to the feet of Jesus and seek forgiveness and I am forgiven.
Being consumed by the fire of God is the way God continues to burn out those things in my life that get in the way of living for Him. Being consumed by the fire of God causes new growth in my spiritual life and physical life as well. As with a forest fire, after the fire has burned out new growth begins where the past had been turned to ash. It is the same for you and for me. The fires we go through in life will bring forth new growth when we rest in the knowledge that God is in the fire with us and will not let us burn up but cause new growth in our lives. Stronger faith, deeper joy, peace beyond understanding.
Being consumed by the fire of God is an avenue of a new beginning in our lives. Does it get hot and almost too much to bear? Yes it does. Getting too close to a campfire can cause us to step back because we begin to feel the heat burning through our clothes and we know that when we get too close it will cause physical burns upon our skin.
Being consumed by the fire of God can become uncomfortable and quite painful at times but when we choose to step into the fire of God's presence, love and power we begin the journey of having the old fall away to ashes and the new green growth in our lives will begin. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Yes!!
If you find yourself in the middle of a fire and the heat seems to be overwhelming, turn to God for He is right there with you in the middle of the flames. Turn to God for when you do you will be consumed by the fire of His love, strength, mercy and grace! You will come out of the fire better, stronger and closer to Him, to Jesus Christ, than you have ever been before. I have.
This life, here on earth, is hard and there will be times when we will be faced with a mountain to climb, a valley to walk through, a fire to endure, a river to cross. That's just the way it is. Know that we do not go this journey alone. God is with me, with you! Jesus is with me and with you! When we choose to follow Him even into the fire, He goes with us and leads us to a better way, a better life, life eternal with Him.
Being consumed by the fire of God is a powerful, life changing event! Don't give up! Keep going and look forward to the new growth, new hope He has in store for you! It's on the other side! Until then, quench your fear, doubts, anger, grief with the Word of God, with prayer, praise and worship! With God, all things are possible!
Blessings to you all!!