Consuming Fire

In Hebrews 12:29 we see that scripture tells us that “God is a consuming fire.” What does that mean for us today? I think that by diving into this, we find that the answer can almost be two-fold for us today.

First, we see that this statement comes from Deuteronomy 4:24, with the writer of Hebrews reiterating the point to those who would hear this letter to the Hebrews. We see that God is a God of strict justice, even saying that God’s Kingdom cannot be moved and will never be overthrown.

In Hebrews 12:18-29 we see that only the Grace of God can give us the ability to worship properly, in reverence and fear of the God who created us.  We must serve in His grace to fully embrace what God has for us in His kingdom that is to come.  How do we do this? We must live as if His Kingdom is here!

In times such as these, we must stay firm on the foundations of Christ in our lives.  We must realize that the only unshakable foundation we can have is through the grace that was offered us on the cross of Christ.  Here is where things tend to get a little more difficult for us, because many times we can talk the talk, but we get wrapped up in thinking that we can somehow earn the gift of grace by things that we do…which is not the case at all.  If we want to find grace, all we have to do is receive grace…it has already been given, it has already been poured out in the blood of Christ.

God is a consuming fire in how he will deal with those who have turned their backs on the kingdom, just as a wildfire burns away all in its path, God will burn away those who are not firmly founded in Him, leaving those who remain to receive all that He has planned.  The writer of Hebrews talks of a time when God will not only shake the earth, but will also shake heaven to restore only that which remains in Him.

The second way we see this consuming fire is in the fire of the Holy Spirit as it is poured out in our lives for us to carry the message to the ends of the earth. We are consumed by a Holy fire that will temper us and give us what we need to succeed.  It will consume us completely if we allow it, aiding us daily in sharing the Gospel of Christ, in word or deed.  It flows through us and begins to consume others in a way that will further the kingdom and help to build the foundation that I mentioned earlier.

Today, allow God’s grace to wash over you…allow His Spirit to consume you…allow His kingdom to be built through you that others can see Him in the way you carry out your life.  Do not turn away in a time where God is shaking the Heavens and the Earth as He seeks to build a kingdom that is unshakable and unmovable.

Being Flexible

One thing that I feel has been missed by many in the church today is the flexibility that we should have as followers of Christ.  One of the hardest things that we can do is allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives because of our selfish nature in today’s society.

I find it difficult in my own life to allow the fast pace of life to slow down and allow the Lord to work in and through me.  Too many times I find myself struggling along, trying to figure how I will fit everything into my schedule, and too many of those times my personal relationship with the Lord will suffer based on my own views of how life should go.

Slowing down is one of the key factors in our Christian walk…we are too often concerned with being in control of every situation, that we many times neglect to allow the Lord to work how He wants in us.  We struggle to see the good that can come from a situation because we are wrapped up in fixing it rather than learning from it.

We have to put ourselves into a situation with our hearts rather than our minds.  We must bury our hearts in the heart of God to see His full blessings take control in our lives.  Selfish nature can keep us from seeing the true work that is taking place, and human nature can keep us from seeing the blessings that are marred by the struggles and pain that we are experiencing.

A great song that has touched many recently is the song “Blessings” by Laura Story. The chorus is likely one of the best views we can take when it comes to allowing God to do His work in our lives.  “What if your blessings come through raindrops, what if your healing comes through tears; what if a thousand sleepless nights is what it takes to prove you’re near?  What if the trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?”

What if our healing comes through our tears? What if we can find blessings through the storms and sleepless nights?  What if God’s mercies come wrapped up in a bundle with heartache so that we can see His full grace take form in our lives?

Today is the day that you may need to refocus.  It may be that today is a day to slow down, let go, and let God.  How are you viewing life?  How are you handling the situations that cause struggles in life?

I would encourage each of you reading this to take the time today to let God do His work without your interference, because maybe, just maybe the pains we are battling are His way of leading us to the promises in His plan.

I quote a verse from Jeremiah 29 quite a bit, but more often than anything in life, this rings true for situations that can come our way.  Verse 11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future.”   AMEN!

Let God do His work in you….be flexible and expect the unexpected!  Most importantly, trust in the Spirit as your guide!  Let life happen, and enjoy the blessings that will come!

The Story of Us

I have been thinking a lot about the story of us.  What I mean by this is where we came from, and how we have reached the point we are at now as Christians.  As followers of Christ, we continually seek to be like him in what we do, whether word or deed.  This seems to be the story of us from the beginning until now.

At the beginning of scripture we see our story begin to unfold in the story of Adam and Eve.  Two individuals who had all they could ever need, but selfish nature pushed them to the point of pursuing their wants, rather than their needs.   The story begins with a God, our God, who was not trying to be a puppeteer, but rather a God who longed to be a Father.  God created man, not for a game He was trying to play, but for companionship and love.

In the creation story we see that God would come and walk with Adam, and then realizing the man was longing for the same companionship, created woman, stating that man should not be alone.  He gave man full dominion over the earth and set forth the basis of life as we know it.

Everything was going great for Adam and Eve until the day when they realized the want for more…overlooking what they really needed and desiring that which they could not have; they took part in something they were never supposed to.  This same mindset follows us today.  We are so wrapped up in our wants that we neglect to see that what we need is sitting right in front of us the whole time.

What are we supposed to do in this age? Where technology moves along so quickly that by the time you purchase a computer and get it home it is out-dated.  Cell phones are the same.  People’s insatiable desire for things they want causes blindness toward the things they need to get by.  We see this on a daily basis when it comes to what is truly important in our lives; we tend to have our priorities a little mixed up at times.

I have seen people who are obviously in need of life sustaining nourishment pass up on food just to buy $30 worth of lottery tickets in hopes of hitting it big, instead of spending the $30 to purchase food that could last them for four days.  I have seen individuals who will purchase the newest vehicle or newest television or cellular phone instead of making sure their children have proper winter clothing to keep them warm.

We live in a world that is mixed up…we live in a world that is confusing, and at times we just need to sit back and truly seek God for the necessities of life.  Where are your priorities today?  Are you focused on what you need? Or, are you focused on what you want, hoping that your needs will magically take care of themselves?

Today is the day you can declare freedom from the materialism that is tearing our families apart at the seams…what are you willing to do?

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  — Matthew 6:19-20