I would like to think that after years of working in the church and a year of seminary that I have a pretty good grasp on this whole Christianity thing... after all, it is sort of my life. But I recently had to check myself against the truth spoken to me by a good friend as I expressed some struggles and frustrations. The irritating thing is that I've talked about this before, I agree with it, but I seem to have forgotten it somewhere along the way.
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire." " Hebrews 12:28-29
These words speak of God as a consuming fire- something uncontrollable. Have you ever witnessed a fire that is out of control? It's scary. How frightening to know that we're not capable of containing something. In this passage, the author states this exact thing in regard to a relationship with God. When we are in a relationship with God, we must realize that God is jealous (as Deuteronomy 4:24 says), and wants every part of our lives to be a reflection of God. Every part. When we stop insisting on containing our Christian urges, we allow this consuming fire to take control of every part of our being. We no longer make decisions thinking of ourselves, but rather do things with the will of God as our direction. Fires dramatically change the appearance of that which burns. I wonder how different I would be if I allowed myself to be consumed? And I wonder how it would be accepted...judging by the fates of Jesus and his closest friends and followers, I can see why it is so difficult to let this fire rage and consume ALL of us.