Deuteronomy 4:24 "For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. "
Living in San Diego, and having survived the second round of fires from four years ago it was an amazing experience to go through it again last week. We were fortunate to not be affected by the fires but there were many that were.
Our hearts and our prayers go out to the fire victims who lost their homes and their animals and during this time we are praying for God's comfort and provision to be poured out upon them.
What makes it ironic is that the day the fires started my husband who is a pastor preached on God being a consuming fire, and how when the winds join that fire it is unstoppable. He was teaching on the day of Pentecost how the bible says in the book of Acts that the Holy Spirit came down like a wind and fire and brought up his experience of the fires four years ago as a Red Cross Chaplain.
On the following Saturday evening when the fires had died down, we were able to relax a bit and ponder what just happened. My husband was preparing for his sermon the next day and asked me what did I personally get out of what happened with the fires.
He was continuing on in his passage in Acts regarding the wind and the fire but also wanted to address how God also uses real life situations to speak to us. I had been thinking about that since the fires began, asking my self and the Lord, what was God speaking to me about this very thing. The scripture I kept hearing was, "Your God is a consuming fire." Deuteronomy 4:24 "For the Lord your god is a consuming fire, a jealous God."
I was moved and touched by the passage. My husband and I discussed the passage and then he shared five more passages that he looked up that same morning for his men's discipleship study. It was amazing how they intertwined together. Here they are:
Isaiah 54:5 " For your Maker is your husband - the LORD Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. "NIV
Jeremiah 3:14-16 "Return, faithless people," declares the LORD, "for I am your husband. I will choose you - one from a town and two from a clan - and bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding."
Ezekiel 16:8 "'Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine. "NIV
2 Corinthians 11:2 "I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him." NIV
Ephesians 5:25-29 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." NIV
In these passages I will share how they have comforted me and hope to encourage you and bring you comfort also.
When we go through life trying to live the best way we can, doing our best to stay above water, raise our kids, pay our bills, be good stewards, be good examples of light and salt and in the midst of all our efforts we can easily forget why we are doing it in the first place. We tend to focus on things that really don't matter instead of the one question evacuees were having to face, "What do we take with us?" For them it came down to what really mattered most. What was irreplaceable and what was, items such as photo albums, special mementos and id and insurance papers. They had only a few minutes to make those decisions and again it brought them down to what really mattered most.
It is unfortunate that it takes a fire to wake us up to this reality. We forget why we came to Christ in the first place and why we pledged our heart to Him, that is until real life situations make us stop and remember God, His love for us, that we are His betrothed bride, that he clothed our nakedness and shame, that he raised us up and cared for us and fought our battles, took away our sins, and gave us a comforter the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts, by faith.
I was also touched because I was changed and transformed because of His love for me. I was 17 and at the end of my rope, thinking this world had nothing for me, until the day that Jesus came into my life and offered me his love and affection. He took me out of the miry pit and placed my feet upon a rock and took care of me, healing my wounds of the past with his savvy and washing me to cleanse me of my sins. I was never the same and was so in love with God that nothing else mattered. My life was in his hands and I was completely changed from that day forward.
He was my first love and I loved him deeply. I needed to be reminded that His love for me still burns with passion, that He is a jealous God who will not stand for a bride who loves another. That anything else that I put before him is a false idol and needs to be removed.
I was also reminded of this passage:
Revelations 2:4-5 "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first."
If these passages have spoken to you as they did me, please pray and ask God to show you where you are with Him. Have you forsaken your first love? Do you need to return to Him and repent? If you said yes then I encourage you to do as it says here in Revelations to return and repent and do the things you did at first. Remember where you have fallen and return to Christ your betrothed bridegroom and fall back in love with Jesus again. Spend intimate time with Him getting to know Him better and meditate on His Word and allow Him to speak to you, love you and encourage you.
His love is a consuming fire and when your filled with His love it will spread like a wild fire into everything and everyone in your life and you no longer have to try to live this life but your life will be lived out through Him.
Turn or return to Him today for tomorrow is not promised
Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery but Today is a Gift and that is why they call it the Present." Author Unknown