It is essential in our walk with God to understand him as a consuming fire. Most consider our Creator and his acts toward humankind to center around judgment or discipline. That he is ever-watching from heaven to smash our plans or even our lives. But the consuming fire of the Holy One of Israel and the nations is so much more! It is a beautiful representation of his glory and majesty.
“When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, ‘He is good; his love endures forever’” ( 2 Chronicles 7:1-3).
At Christmastime, God yearns to show up revealing heavenly brilliance through his consuming light. His glory burns up everything in its path and makes the world’s shine and offerings lackluster. In this glorious streaming light, there is no room or place for sin, pride, or self-righteous. These are burned up in the fires of his eternal love and grace poured out from creation to Calvary and beyond. All those things are destroyed when God reveals his pure majesty and glory as that consuming fire.
Someday as Paul wrote…”every knee on earth will bow and every tongue will confess that He alone is Lord.”
Christmas is a good time to remember that God is a consuming fire. That all of our sparkle and shine is just a mirror reflection of his shining splendor, dominion, magnificent illumination. He wants to take his consuming fire and burn up the things in our life that will harm us—the things that oppose him. The flames are for good and not evil. He wants to draw us closer to reveal the great gift that was given on Christmas Eve.
The next time you want shake your fist at God, consider the fiery test that you are enduring as the very flames of the Lord to protect you from a greater enemy and destroyer, to draw you into more fulfillment and peace. He will be with you in the fire to burn the bad and refine and perfect you for the plans he has for you for hope and a secure future.