The writer of Hebrews describes God as a “consuming fire.” What does he mean by that?
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Okay, I’m tracking with the unshakable kingdom. I like that. I always need a “be grateful” reminder. Worship is good. I appreciate that “reverence” and “awe” are always appropriate. But, whoa … what’s this “God is a consuming fire” comment? How about sticking with verse 28 and skipping verse 29? Well, let’s spend some time with this amazing description of God.
The “consuming fire” comment comes from Deuteronomy 4, where Moses spoke to the people of Israel as they prepared for the promised land. Moses knew he would not be making the trip, but as a true leader, he prepared others for the journey. He warned the people of God to stay far away from idols of any shape or form. He ended the admonition with this statement: “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24).
Many believers get fired up about the privileges of our faith but cool down when it comes to the responsibilities. God is fired up about both. A believer who ignores the responsibilities will invite God’s retribution. He is not interested in a pseudo-commitment of convenience; he is jealous to have all of us.
Father, shine your light on any lip-service commitment in our lives. May we truly present ourselves as a living sacrifice to you. May we live consumed by your love and grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.