by Sandy Kirby Quandt
God’s love is a consuming fire. It burns away the chaff and useless things we fill our lives with that replace our devotion to him. It isn’t always pleasant; more times than not, it’s rather unpleasant in fact, but if we want to grow closer to God and to Jesus, we need to submit to the Refiner’s consuming fire.
Through the years I’ve witnessed first hand how absolutely destructive fire can be. And let me say, it isn’t pretty. Because of this, and probably for other unknown reasons, I’ve been reluctant to embrace the thought that the God of love is also a consuming fire.
The first time I read the words stating God is a consuming fire in Hebrews 12, I shuddered. The first time I watched Third Day’s rather apocalyptic video, Consuming Fire, it frightened me. Yes. I sang Refiner’s Fire at church along with everyone else. Sure, I wanted to be holy, set apart for God’s use. Don’t we all?
We long to be clean vessels God can use, but does it have to be fire? Can’t we just be scrubbed clean with soap, or something?
Just like with many of you, God has taken his refining fire to my heart many, many times. I’ve been in the crucible and held over his consuming fire more times than I care to remember. But remember I must; and remember you must, in order to understand God’s purifying process burns away the useless, and brings out the valuable in our lives.
We must remember the times God’s consuming fire burned away the things in our lives that are not of him. Things and thoughts that kept us from being all he designed us to be. Because it is in those times of trial and testing we are purified to become vessels he can use for his glory and purpose.
An important thing to remember is God’s consuming fire does not destroy us. It refines us. There’s a big difference, don’t you think? So instead of shrinking from the flames and being fearful, perhaps we need to have a new perspective. If God’s refining fire is what it takes to make us more like Jesus, then shouldn’t we say, “Burn away”?
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For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. Deuteronomy 4:24 NIV
I wish you well.
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