Consuming Fire... hmmm - that seems so straight forward and - well - final... doesn't it?!
Hebrews 12:29 says that our God is a Consuming Fire. "... and this is a Good thing?" you ask. Yes - it is a good thing... it is a necessary thing... it is a purifying thing... and it is coming to the Body of Christ in a more complete, passionate way!
This morning at my prayer meeting we went over many Scriptures about praying in faith and believing for what we've asked for... all excellent, foundational truths to stir back up and refocus ourselves on. Scriptures like Philippians 4:4 - (Make your requests known God); Mark 11:22-26 (Have faith in God and make sure you do not have unforgiveness in your heart!); Matt 21:21 & 22 (Whatever you ask in prayer - believe, and you shall receive it.); John 14:11-16 (Whatever you ask, I will do!); James 1:2-8 (Lacking Wisdom? ...ask God!); Isaiah 40:28-31 (Those who hope in (or wait on) the Lord shall renew their strength.) All great Scriptures! Powerful to read through them one after the other! My, how is stirs up your faith!!!
Then, when worship started, I heard my spirit and heart say, "Consume me, Oh Lord!". Consume me?! Do I really want that?! Right away I felt my flesh rise up and say, "Now - wait a minute?! Is this wise - to ask THIS in faith?!" I asked, "Lord - can You consume me, without the spirit of religion sneaking in?" See... I've been consumed before! In the beginning it was exciting and wonderful, no - wonder-filled, and I grew in Him tremendously in that Season. But that Zeal I had for Him quickly became religion without my noticing and I began to experience more fear of Man, than I did of God. It took me years to find the freedom from religion and all the expectations and requirements put on me through that time. I walk in a greater Grace now... and marvel at His Love all the more!
I looked up 'Consume' in the Dictionary. In Webster's it is defined as: "to do away with completely; to spend wastefully; to eat or drink especially in great quantity; to waste or burn away;" and lastly "to engage fully." Yes... THAT is what I want!!! Is God going to consume us by doing away with us... no - of course not! We are called into a relationship - a partnership - WITH Him! Will He burn away the sin in our lives and all that separates us from Him? Yes - in all His Abounding Grace - He will do that! But I believe that what He is most desiring, most hungering for is to engage fully WITH us! That is the day that He is longing for and waiting for... So - Consume me?! Is that what I want!? In my flesh - of course not - but my hearts cry is for more of Him... to know Him more intimately and to allow Him to flow through me more powerfully... so - yes - I place myself up on the altar and ask for His Spirit to consume me! Take every part, Lord - and let Your Fire purify and cleanse me... burn away all the dross and yes - all the religion that so easily crawls back in to our lives.
I turned to Hebrews thinking of the Consuming Fire verse and I prayed, "Lord - consume me... use Your Holy Fire to burn away all that is left of me that gets in Your way, Lord!" I read Hebrews 12:22-29 which talks about coming to Mount Zion... to the New Jerusalem with all the angels and the Lord there... it says in verse 25 "See that you do not refuse Him who speaks" and in Verse 26, He says "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also the heavens." Wow... so last week at this same prayer meeting - the Lord led us to Haggai 1 & 2... I had no idea that Hebrews 12 referenced Haggai 2! There is coming a Shaking... internally before it will reach externally! You see - while all around us may begin to shift and shake and teeter over, and everything we think we know is being affected... He reminds us in His Word that He has called us to a Kingdom "which cannot be shaken" (Hebrews 12:28) That is where our citizenship lies! In His Kingdom... on earth as it is in Heaven! I pray that while things around us and within us are shaking - we will cry out to our Consuming Fire God and seek to engage fully with Him and give up all of our inhibitions and excuses and reasons why we can't or would if we had the time, ... the time is now - the Season is here... He is seeking those to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth - and who will pray, "Consume Me, Lord!"