Summary: TO BE TRULY SUCCESSFUL IN OUR LIVES REQUIRES A CONSUMING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
Four Metaphors for a Discipled Life
In just seconds, a spark or even the sun's heat alone sets off an inferno. The wildfire quickly spreads, consuming the thick, dried-out vegetation and almost everything else in its path. What was once a forest becomes a virtual powder keg of untapped fuel. In a seemingly instantaneous burst, the wildfire overtakes thousands of acres of surrounding land, threatening the homes and lives of many in the vicinity.
An average of 5 million acres burns every year in the United States, causing millions of dollars in damage. Once a fire begins, it can spread at a rate of up to 14.29 miles per hour (23 kph), consuming everything in its path. As a fire spreads over brush and trees, it may take on a life of its own -- finding ways to keep itself alive, even spawning smaller fires by throwing embers miles away.
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."
The only way to truly be successful in our walk with God is to be consumed by him, for “our God is a consuming fire.”
TO BE TRULY SUCCESSFUL IN OUR LIVES REQUIRES A CONSUMING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
That our relationship with God must be consuming fire since he is a consuming fire, stands in juxtaposed to three scared doctrines of the 21st C.
To be truly successfully we must feel the heat of God’s consuming fire on each of these areas.
T.S. Turn with me to Matt 6:33 and seek to understand the implications of a consuming relationship with God.
1. A CONSUMING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD CHALLENGES THE PRIORITY OF ECONOMIC GAIN.
Suze Orman, is the common person financial wizard for the 21st century. This is her philosophy on money and its importance in our lives.
When I was 13, my dad owned his own business—a tiny shack where he sold chicken, ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries. One day the oil that the chicken was fried in caught fire. In a few minutes the whole place exploded in flames. My dad bolted from the store before the flames could engulf him.
Then my mom and I arrived on the scene, and we all stood outside watching the fire burn away my dad's business. All of a sudden, my dad realized he had left his money in the metal cash register inside the building, and I watched in disbelief as he ran back into the inferno before anyone could stop him.
He tried to open the metal register, but the intense heat had already sealed the drawer shut. Knowing that every penny he had was locked in front of him about to go up into flames, he picked up the scalding metal box and carried it outside. When he threw the register on the ground, the skin on his arms and chest came with it. He had escaped the fire safely once, untouched. Then he voluntarily risked his life and was severely injured. The money was that important.
That was when I learned that money is obviously more important than life itself. From that point on, earning money—lots of money—not only became what drove me professionally, but also became my emotional priority.
Suze Orman sums it up for most Americans. The only thing worth sacrificing for, the greatest priority in life is money. We fall into the same trap.
Earn a better Living
Acquire greater wealth
These are the commandments written in stone before the idol of the God we call money. And for many the pursuit of this American dream will lead us away from a successful life with God.
Look what Jesus Said, 24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
51% of Christians and 54% of non-Christians believe that no matter how they feel about money, it is still the main symbol of success in life. (1997)
32% of Christians and 44% of non-Christians indicate that money is very important to them. (1997)
What about You. Is your relationship with God so consuming that it has impacted your priorities for Economic gain? Is more of Him more important than more money? Are you more apt to work overtime than to give him time? Do you have a better handle on your budget than you do on His word or prayer? Are you chasing the American dream or the consuming God?
2. A CONSUMING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD OVERRIDES THE URGENCY OF EVERYDAY NEEDS
We live in the tyranny of the urgent little needs.