Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Consuming Fire

This is snow day three. I have literally been alone in this house - well, I have dogs - since Monday afternoon. It is Thursday. Stir crazy is real and cabin fever is a medical condition. But this morning, in the beauty of a quiet snow, I was drawn to my sun porch for my quiet Bible study in the book of James. Huge flakes are still falling. The neighbors' fireplaces are blowing. And it is truly a winter wonderland. And as the writer led me to Ephesians, I read the words .... "He is our peace."

So, after reading the commentary and going here and there, I wanted to continue writing out the book of James in my journal and offering my own commentary, but this circled verse in my Bible caught my eye before I even reached James:

Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken,
Let us show gratitude,
By which we may offer to God an acceptable service with gratitude and awe,
Our God is a consuming fire. 
Hebrews 12:28-29

I know this last verse. I hear it often in song and in sermons. But, for some reason, I has forgotten the reality of "consuming fire."  I used my Bible references and found Hebrews 10:27 (with fury of the fire and consuming adversaries) and 2 Thessalonians 1:7 (His mighty angels in flaming fire) from the New Testament. But then turned to Deuteronomy .... A jealous God ..... And then Deuteronomy 9:3:

Know therefore today that it is the LORD your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD has spoken to you.  

And while I believe He was literally saying those words to Moses, He has figuratively spoken to me today. 

I struggle. My mind is daily attacked ..... the temptations are overwhelming to put myself above a jealous God. To meet my needs on my own, knowing that His kingdom that I have received cannot be shaken. He figuratively will "destroy and subdue them before me" so that I can drive them out and destroy them. So, why won't I?

Because, in my flesh, I am weak. In His Spirit, I am strong. In my weakness I am made strong because His kingdom in my life cannot be shaken. 

Having realized this, what is my response?  Gratitude. An acceptable service of gratitude and awe. 

So, here I sit. 
The powerful peaceful natural beauty of a snowfall surrounding me and the knowledge of consuming fire. 
I sit in gratitude and I sit in awe. 

Thank you, Jesus.