Summary: Are we simply consumers, taking from God what He gives? Or are we consumed by Him so that He can touch others through us?
Consumer or Consumed?
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,
29 for our "God is a consuming fire."
24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
In the summer of 2002 Tulsa Oklahoma had a burglary suspect that did something quite unusual. According to the KOTV television news, Edward McBride kicked in the door of a house, and grabbed a duffle bag full of electronic gear. As he left the house, a man working next door saw him and called 911. The police arrived as McBride was running toward The Arkansas River and he jumped in with the bag of loot. Mike Branson was fishing in the river and saw officers go in after McBride. Mike said, "They were pulling their stuff off yelling at him to come back in but the guy just stayed out there. The officers got in the water he [the suspect] went down once or twice, he didn’t come back up.” The suspect never would release the stolen items. The fire department recovered McBride’s body about thirty minutes later, still clutching his loot.
Richard Foster noted: “Nothing can destroy human beings like the passion to possess.”
All of us grow attachments to incidental things—things that are temporal—things that are familiar and fail to venture forth where God leads.
When we pray, do we pray
like a consumer
like we are consumed?
Do we live
in spiritual pretense
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.
There are some who have a form of godliness but deny its power! They have let the fire go out!
In the book of Leviticus, the Lord tells Moses that there was to be a continual fire burning among the people of God.
8 The LORD said to Moses:
9 "Give Aaron and his sons this command: ’These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar.
10 The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar.
11 Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean.
12 The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.
13 The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.