Burn in me
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace (or let us hold fast), whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:28-19.
Verse 29 is quoted from Deut. 4 where we also read, “Take 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 anything, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” Vs. 23-24.
We also read, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” Ex. 34:14. He is rightfully jealous of His place in the hearts of His people. He would keep us pure, undefiled and true to Him. We may learn much about Him in considering the names and nature of our God. It is not any wonder then that we read our Apostle Paul saying, “I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy” II Cor. 11:2.
May we truly burn in spiritual fervor of love divine for our Father’s, and Lord’s honor and glory? WHY NOT? He is able to consume all that oppose Him or His. II Pet. 3:7,10-12; Rev. 20:9-15. OH, Yes, there is indeed a mighty purging coming. Fire in Scripture most predominantly speaks of judgment. We understand that it is also very beneficial for wamth, illumination and purification. In Matthew 25:41 Jesus spoke of “everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” II These. 1:8 & 2:8 states what Jesus is going to do soon, when he returns with His overcoming people, those that have submitted to a purging and purifying work in their lives.
We are loved with an everlasting love. Our God and Father proved it when He delivered up His only Son on the cross for us, to the fire of His wrath of divine judgment. Our sweet Jesus gave himself up to that judgment in our stead. Shall we not set Him an a seal upon our hearts and arms? “For love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are the coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannnot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of His house for love, it would utterly be contemned” S.O.S. 8: 6-7. Our Jesus sold out for love, didn’t He? How about the lesson of Mt. 13:45,46 and Heb. 12:1-4?
As creator and redeemer He owns us completely. He would have us put our all on the alter, present our bodies a living sacrifice. He wants our all to be given to Him of our own free will instead of being just puppets on a string. Jesus said, “thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and all thy mind” Mt. 22:37.
“Our God is a consuming fire.” It sounds like He would occupy us fully, be our all in all, consume us entirely with Himself. But he must inflame our innermost being with the vehement fire of His love, which He sheds abroad in us by the Holy Ghost.
We do well to allow Him to consume everything about us and within us that is opposed to His Holiness, and our eternal happiness. Read I Pet. 1:7; 4:12; Job 23:10. In the trials that come our way our dear Lord provides for us course correction, lighting our way, warming our hearts, ignites spiritual fervor, as well as purifies the gold.
The great architect graciously teaches us, who have been made laborers together with Him, about the most durable building materials in living construction. He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, I Cor. 3:12-16; II Pet. 1:3-11. He tells us of the danger of using combustible materials that will not stand the fire test, at the judgment seal of Christ, as well as the wrong motives. He also motivates us aright by the constraint of love divine, II Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 14:6-9.
Our God promised to consume His peoples enemies and did so repeatedly, Psa. 97:3; Deut. 9:3; I Kings 1:10,12.
The Burning Bush
Some of God’s people seem to be afraid to let the Lord burn in them too completely, for fear that they might burn our, or burn up. Consider the bush. The angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses “in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush in not burnt. And when, the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I” Ex. 3:2-5. God then told him to put off his shoes for he was standing on holy ground.
The Scriptures teach of many forms of communication that God used to make His purposes known to humanity, but what a mode! What manner God used here! In a flame of fire from a bush. We often wonder at the unlikely fuses that God used to make his will known. The Holy Spirit appeared at Pentecost like cloven tongues as of fire. It is a sweet privilege to be thus set aflame by the Lord. Many claim to be on fire for the Lord, but it turns out to be strange fire, which is not of Him at all, and must be judged. He makes his messengers a flame of fire to burn for His glory, Heb. 1:7. This great sight caught Moses’ attention and God certainly lit his candle.
We each may feel like an insignificant unlikely, dried up bush in the desert, but oh, how blessed we are that we may invite Him to burn in us. May we not allow the promised approaching fiery trials move us off course so that we finish our course with joy.