The fear of fire is something very real to me. There are many homes in our community which have unfortunately been destroyed by fire over the past several years. The thought of the destruction a fire can bring is very disturbing. What would we do if we had a fire? How could we go on when so many things that are precious to us have been taken away through fire?
The author of Hebrews makes a comment on the Kingdom of God. How is this kingdom described? How should we respond? What is said of God?
Our faith, the Kingdom of God which exists within us, is an unshakable kingdom. No amount of trouble or fear, no amount of temptation or struggle can break the faith that true believers hold. It is this faith that gives us strength to make it through the difficult times in life, and also that adds to the delight of the joys in life.
Knowing this we should give thanks to God. He is the source and builder of this unshakable, unbreakable kingdom of faith.
But God is also described as being a consuming fire. The image of a fire can be disturbing. A fire can rage through our lives and destroy, taking away all that is precious and irreplaceable in our lives.
The description of God as a consuming fire (based on Deuteronomy 4:24) may be intended to strike fear in our hearts. God will consume and destroy those who are not faithful.
But there is a good side to that consuming fire. The Kingdom of God can be a consuming fire – that is, it can consume our thoughts and emotions. It can be the center of our attention, the center of what we think and what we desire.
But like a consuming fire the Kingdom of God, our faith which lives within us, can destroy all the negative parts of our lives and our thoughts. When we are part of the Kingdom of God, when our faith is deeply rooted within us, then all the fears and worries of life can be burned away so that we are left with nothing but that true faith, that deep connection and trust in the Lord.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you allow your faith to consume all that is negative within you?