For our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29, KJV)
Yes, our God is a consuming fire! But what does this mean? As I always teach, figurative language is widespread in the scriptures and is the way God speaks. He uses natural things that we know to describe spiritual realities. We know fire. It consumes whatever is on its way. It does not just destroy. It consumes, burns to ashes. It is this characteristic of fire, its capacity to totally wipe out something without a struggle that is the main feature in question here.
The scripture above says God, Himself, is a consuming fire. The fire is not something He sends. He is the consuming fire. The verse above was directly quoted from Deut. 4:24 where the meaning is clear. Moses was speaking to the Israelites and warning them of the consequences of disobeying God. H said: “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God ” (Deuteronomy 4:24, KJV). Fire represented God’s judgment on those who sinned, and how He consumed them in the wilderness.
Similarly, in 2 Thes. 1:8, God’s vengeance on the unsaved at the time of the final judgment is in view. The good news is that God’s fire is not consuming human beings today in fiery judgment for their sins. He wants people to be saved. Yes, there are many things happening in the world and also in Church that are so heartbreaking that many of us would think God is executing vengeance or consuming people for their sins. No! A plague such as coronavirus is not a judgement from God for the sins of the world. He sees the sins of the world. He sees how we, His own people, also often mess up. He sees how fake ministers are devouring His sheep. He also sees how some of His own ministers are messing up with sin, money, pride, etc. He knows. He has set a time for the final judgment. When that consuming fire is kindled, His wrath will burn and will be let loose to consume His adversaries. He continues to correct and chastise His own, but that is not a judgment against sin.
The good news is that God is also a consuming fire against His enemies. He will consume whatever is threatening your joy and peace!
What is the meaning of the phrase “God is a consuming fire”?
APPLY THE WORD
Do not lose your holy awe and fear of God. He is our Father, but He is still God. He will consume those who do not know Him. That should make you want to win souls and save them from the wrath to come. He will also consume the chaff from His people so that they can be purified and perfected. That should make you fear Him, walk in holiness and righteousness, and do what He has commanded you to do.
Ask the Father to consume whatever is against His will in your life.