“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.””
Never overlook the fact that we belong to a kingdom that cannot be shaken, even though we’re shaken by verse twenty-nine which says “God is a consuming fire.” The apostle references Deuteronomy 4:24 to accentuate the truth, that the message of Christ purges sin, which is always offensive in God’s sight.
Although by grace we all may come with confidence into God’s presence, it helps to remember that He’s the same God who visited with Moses on Mt. Sinai. Moses was protected from the awesome exposure to God’s glory, yet “The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear” (Hebrews 12:21).
We experience this supernatural fire in different ways, with every encounter with God. Fire reveals an important aspect of His character. We see it when He’s doing something new, when He reveals His purpose, and at times when He answers prayer.
Fire and the Presence of God
God introduced Himself to Moses by fire in Exodus 3:2-3; “There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
His people saw His fire by night over the tabernacle throughout their journey in the wilderness (see Exodus 40:38). Abraham saw a fire pot when God made a covenant with him (see Genesis 15:17-21). Gideon saw fire from a rock when God visited him in Judges 6:20-22.
Fire and Answers to Prayer
Elijah saw the fire of God when he prayed; “Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench” (1 Kings 18:37-38).
We see this again in Acts 2:1-3; “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”
Fire and Revealed Truth
Finally, we see two disciples on the road to Emmaus, that had this to say after their encounter with the risen Christ; “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (see Luke 24:13-32)
You too will not be the same after each encounter with The God of all Grace. His fire will cleanse you from all sin and change you from the inside out. His fire will guide you and protect on your way, He goes before you (See Psalm 97:3-4). When He draws near you will feel safe, when He speaks you’ll feel His fire in your heart, and you’ll Be Encouraged! -JSP