God gave me caring parents. I know of the Father’s forgiveness, less of the Father’s fire. I am praying for it. Care to join me?
GOD THE SON
After Jesus cleansed the temple, “His disciples remembered that it is written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me’” (John 2:17). Jesus burned with a holy passion for His Father. John said that Jesus would baptize people with the Holy Spirit and fire. He said that “everyone will be treated with fire” (Mark 9:49). He also said, “I have come to bring fire on the earth” (Luke12:49). He meant the fire of His holy passion and death. The glorified Christ has eyes “like blazing fire” (Rev. 1:13) and He will be “revealed from heaven in blazing fire” (2 Thess. 1:7).
GOD THE FATHER
Jesus reflects His Father, who revealed Himself to Moses as a God of fire in a bush that burned but did not burn up. Then God revealed Himself to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. The whole top of the mountain was ablaze and the people were terrified. So was Moses.
When Moses gave his farewell sermon, he said, “The Lord your God is a consuming fire.” The writer of Hebrews quotes this verse when he exhorts the church to “worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28,29). Why does God want to be known as a fire God?
When Isaiah prophesied that a child would be born who would reign on David’s throne forever, he also told how it would happen: “The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this” (9:7). God burns with passion—like His Son.
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
The promise of the Father came on Pentecost when tongues of fire rested on the disciples. Why fire? We know what fire is and what fire does. The Ephesian believers were commanded, “Never flag in zeal; be aglow with the Spirit.” The Spirit sets us on fire.
When you say yes to God, you are saying yes to fire. It will…
- Purify you. Peter spoke of trials that refined us like gold was refined by fire. I know I need that.
- Keep you passionate. God does not permit passion that arises from a fire we start rather than a fire kindled on the altar of heaven. The Bible calls that “strange fire.” The fire continually burning on the altar at the tabernacle was ignited in heaven and rekindled the same way when the temple was built. Nadab and Abihu acted presumptuously and recklessly when they started their own fire. They were smoke in an instant.
- It will open your heart to the Word. “Is not my word like fire?’ declares the Lord’” (Jer. 23:29). Jeremiah called it fire in his bones (Jer. 20). The men from Emmaus said, “Did not our hearts burn within us when He talked to us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).
Fire, like water, is powerful—and dangerous. It purifies and punishes. When controlled, it is multi-useful, when out of control a horrendous blaze. Of the four hundred plus references in the Bible to fire, most of them refer to the nature or work of God. He is a fire God. At the end of this life, everyone will experience the fire of God’s holy presence or the awful fire of an unquenchable hell. I hope to God you enjoy the former.