“Love is a Consuming Fire” – Part 1

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“Love is a Consuming Fire”

by Steven Crook

[Written July 7, 2021 – Study Aired July 21, 2021]

The Lord tells us that He is on “spiritual 911 speed dial” and only a “prayer call” away; yet I often find that we humans generally pick up the “spiritual phone” to make the spiritual “prayer call”, only to wonder why we do not hear anyone else on the other end.

One universal Truth given to all of us in scripture is that God the Father created everything around us.  By creating everything, He is intimately knowledgeable about the things He has created just as we are when we create something from nothing withs our own hands.

In the study today, we are going to cover just how it is God is a consuming fire, and the hint I will  start off with, is that the hint is in the title of the talk.

God is a consuming fire.

Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

God is love.

1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

As we all learn in math, anything on one side of the equal sign is equal to the thing on the other side of the equal sign. In math “is” means equals.

“Is” is just something you are. “Is” is what you equal out to be in your sum, as in “the sum of thy word is Truth”.

That being said, Love is a consuming fire. I think most people understand the fire part, but how is it that love is a consuming fire? Do we see examples of this in scripture? Do you feel this to be true in your own life?

Does God feel like a consuming fire to YOU?

Truly, the very existence of the physical things we experience shows us a marvelous work unraveling on the earth which is almost hard to wrap your head around at times, when you really start to examine things.

Every single detail is being worked out on EVERYTHING. Every.Single.Second.Of.Every.Day, and it has been happening, well…forever.

How is it then that we can so easily forget how important we are to Him that He has picked us out of the proverbial lineup and decided to put a coat of many colors on us?

Actually, that isn’t even close to what has happened with us in His creation plan. In fact, before anyone was ever born, He has written in our book what we would be doing at this very second and how that would work out for His plan.

He has told us about this plan, and then He simply tells us to “be still”. I wonder if that is anything like something I might say today similar to saying, “Calm down.”

It is in Psalm 46 we learn that we are to be still and know that He is God. It is also in Psalm 46 where we find that God is our strength and our refuge.

God being a consuming fire sounds like a bad thing, and for the flesh and carnal mind, it is. What is it about jealousy that God wants us to connect to Him being a Consuming Fire?

When I am told to “be still”, I think of water. I think of “still” water, undisturbed. I think of meditation, where without the minimalist of motion (my body not being still) I must STILL rely on the very BREATH the Lord gives me in that moment, while my physical lungs MOVE so that my SPIRITUAL MIND can LIVE.

Without the natural coming FIRST, the LAST cannot BE! It is first the natural, and then the spiritual which shows us the sum of His Truth living inside of us.

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

With this premise in mind, let us read all eleven verses of Psalm 46 and then put it all together. I am going to read it without reading the italicized text.

Psa 46:1 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God isour refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psa 46:2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Psa 46:3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Psa 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Psa 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
Psa 46:6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
Psa 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Psa 46:8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
Psa 46:9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. 
Psa 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psa 46:11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

If that isn’t enough to make you stop and think about what you just heard – among those things heard is, “Be still and know that, I God, will be exalted among the heathen” – it doesn’t bode well for all of us heathens.

We like to think of ourselves as His people, and we are, but FIRST comes the natural. Therefore, we are learning what brute beasts we all are to understand what it is to know that God is love and is also a consuming fire. We first always think carnally, and then we learn to think spiritually through fiery trials.

Psa 47:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. O clap your hands, all  ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
Psa 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
Psa 47:3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.
Psa 47:4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.
Psa 47:5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Psa 47:6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.
Psa 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
Psa 47:8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
Psa 47:9 The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

Have you ever heard that the God who is Love and that the same God who is a consuming fire is also called the “LORD MOST HIGH, TERRIBLE”? I did not realize that was one of His titles, but there it is in black and white.

Yet, I know the Lord intimately enough to know who the “LORD most high terrible” is that we are talking about here.

Psa 47:2 For the LORDH3068 most highH5945 is terrible;H3372 he is a greatH1419 KingH4428 over all the earth.

Here is the Hebrew word “terrible” as translated in the rest of the old testament:

Do you know what the knowledge of God does for the flesh?

It causes GREAT FEAR to come upon the carnal mind and flesh. We have something outside of us that is pulling all the strings, or minimally, sitting back and doing absolutely nothing while the other “EVIL something” (otherwise known as satan), is doing whatever he wants running amuck on the earth.

The truth is something far deeper, and we just read some of it.

We just read that the Lord is MOST HIGH TERRIBLE. Most other times, this word is translated into the English word FEAR or FEARED.

When we think of fear, it ALWAYS has a negative connotation, and there is a reason why.

The very first time we are introduced with FEAR, it just so happens to be BECAUSE OF SIN, and sin always finds us out, as the scripture teaches us.

Gen 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
Gen 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid (H3372), because I was naked; and I hid myself.
Gen 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
Gen 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

Notice the first question is, “Who told thee that thou wast naked?” Sin was INTRODUCED into the scenario VIA KNOWLEDGE.

The “knowing” of something is to have knowledge of it. Adam “knew” his wife, is another way to say he was intimate with her. He KNEW her, and she knew him. There is an intimate knowledge there.

Therefore, the KNOWING of something is there because we LEARN about the said “something” that we are talking about.

I will give you another example of H3372 (of which there are many examples to draw upon) that show how knowledge of something creates in us ACTION or INACTION.

Exo 34:10 And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvelsH6381, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible (H3372) thing that I will do with thee.
Exo 34:11 Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the  Jebusite.

Remember those terrible plagues that the Lord unleashed on Egypt? Well, Egypt is a wasteland now compared to the lushness it once held, both in the bible and in physical reality.

Those “marvels” were also known as plagues. With that being said, the Lord then goes on to tell us to OBSERVE what his COMMANDS are to us THIS DAY.

Ask yourself now, as you sit and listen to or read these words, what day is TODAY?

Is it now currently “YESTER”DAY?

Is it currently TO“MORROW”?

No, it is neither of those things, because when you take away what it is NOT, all that is left is TODAY. It is always today, and it is always the day of the Lord.

Therefore, listen to what the Lord wants you to know about Love being a consuming fire, because that is WHO HE IS.

Exo 34:12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:
Exo 34:13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
Exo 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

There it is again. God is a consuming fire who is ALSO JEALOUS. The name of the LORD is JEALOUS.

Ladies, hear that? Jealousy should show you something about your spouse. Men, hear that? There is a proper way to be jealous and an improper way. Follow THE WAY, and we will not stray off of this way to be jealous. God is telling us something with His way of being. He will not accept infidelity.

Exo 34:15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring  after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;

Ahh, there it is. Do not make covenants with the enemies and inhabitants of the land that God is in  the process of destroying.

He just told us that He is working a MARVEL. He literally told us, “for it is a terrible (H3372) thing  that I will do with thee.” Then, he goes on to warn us of WHY we need to KEEP the commandments He has given us.

Yep, that same word in Exodus 34:11 translated as “Observe” means “keep” as in “keepers of the gate”.  We do not make covenants with the INHABITANTS we are trying to KEEP OUT of the CITY OF GOD because we are KEEPERS and WATCHERS of the gates.

I understand there is a lot of spiritual symbolism in the things I have just said but look at what happens when things are going well and you make covenants with those who you are sent to DRIVE OUT of the land (Hint: You are the LAND). 

Exo 34:16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.

Exo 34:17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
Exo 34:18 The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened  bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.

The Lord goes on to tell us what to do to keep the covenants in Exodus 34.

Being that God is a consuming fire, it is of interesting note to mention Shadrach Meshach and Abednego when talking about a fiery furnace.

Dan 3:8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
Dan 3:9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
Dan 3:10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the  cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and  worship the golden image: 
Dan 3:11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

I have a serious question to ask you all now.

I know I am interrupting an interesting and developing story here, but was it when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were “not regarded” and brought into the King’s remembrance, that they were then placed in the fiery furnace?

Or was it when they were all put over the ENTIRE AFFAIRS OF THE PROVINCE OF BABYLON, that ultimately put them in the position to be forgotten about, so that the Chaldeans could point them out to the king?

In other words, they were in the right place at the right time for the Lord to show up and do what He was doing so everyone could see what the Lord was all about!

Dan 3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of  Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Dan 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.

Dan 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
Dan 3:15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

Challenge accepted!

Now, what sort of COURAGE did it take for these men to speak so boldly? Or was it courage at all?  Did they have certain KNOWLEDGE which informed them that it did not matter what their actions were because the Lord Himself has already decided the outcome while also knowing the very steps that LEAD THEM INTO THE FIRE are OF THE LORD, too!?

Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 
Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Dan 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed  against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
Dan 3:20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

Isn’t it interesting that we are told, “the most mighty men that were in his army” bound God’s men.  Why is that put there? We are in the very court of the King Himself EVERYDAY, and I don’t mean the court of Nebuchadnezzar.

Dan 3:21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Dan 3:23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
Dan 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

It isn’t that a fourth man appeared in the fire. The fourth man IS THE FIRE. He was ONE with the FIRE, and that is what WE ARE.

It is not that FIRE doesn’t burn. It is that when you ARE the THING, the thing cannot HURT you. Aren’t we ONE with the Lord?

Dan 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
Dan 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered  together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their  head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. 
Dan 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. 
Dan 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

Yes, we are one with the Lord and one with His Fire. We are one with His fire because we have an intimate knowledge of fire. That knowledge produces in us a FEAR of the Lord. It produces in us what is most precious to the Lord. It is the FIERY trial that the Lord delights in because it produces MORE LOVE, and the biblical definition of GODLY LOVE is keeping His commandments.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

We all constantly want knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Let this study be just another collection of verses to be examples on how it is we can do this TODAY, since that is that only day we are given.

Praise the Lord, but do it with understanding and not with empty words.

Lev 22:29 And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will. 

Psa 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Psa 107:21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works  to the children of men!
Psa 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Declare ALL HIS WORKS with rejoicing, even those we may perceive as negative or bad!

Psa 47:6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.
Psa 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

[Part 2 of this series is here.]