“Love is a Consuming Fire” – Part 2

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“Love is a Consuming Fire” – Part 2

by Steven Crook

In part 1 of this series, I ended the study by saying:

I wanted to start this study where we ended last time to continue this thought and also to learn if we can glean from scripture how it is we live this out practically in our lives today.

How do we sing praises to the Lord, with understanding and to declare his works with rejoicing? Why is thanksgiving referred to as a sacrifice?

Let’s be honest. How many times do you catch yourself saying, or at least remember thinking, “Lord, I just don’t understand?!…”?

That is a phrase that is common to the human condition because we oftentimes have NO CLUE what is happening to us, our family, friends, enemies, people who are our neighbors or people across the  globe, nor do we have a CLUE what to expect is coming next, but we put on “happy faces” and pretend that everything is going to be okay because yesterday was.

Well, today is the day of the Lord!

What comes today is all of the Lord, just as the Truth has been from the beginning of time. We just seem to think our thoughts, emotions, remedies, revenges, hugs, defeats, wins, etc., etc, etc., are going  to somehow change the outcome of things.

The Truth is that God is in control of it all, and once we understand that to our core, until that shakes and rattles you like an undeniable earthquake in your heavens, then you will never be able to declare His works with rejoicing and to praise Him with lips of thanksgiving and understanding, for our God is a consuming Fire.

I am often touched, so to speak, by the words I read. I can be affected quite easily, when the moment is right, by the words that pour forth as springs of living water from the scripture.

We read Psalms 47 and 48 in the last study. I am going to continue to read the next few chapters in Psalms in this study, because these Psalms, or SONGS to the Lord, are very precious to Him ESPECIALLY in times of DURESS and great CHANGE.

The Lord only accepts praises WITH UNDERSTANDING, so what is it we are to understand, especially in the context of this study?

Psa 49:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world:
Psa 49:2 Both low and high, rich and poor, together.
Psa 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.

Notice that we are told, right here just a few verses later, what we should be doing to gain understanding. One of the key ingredients in the recipe of success is to meditate with your heart.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jer 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

We do not need to fear, because the Lord places upon our hearts what steps we will take, therefore we are protected from Him by His own hand.

When trying to understand why things happen or are happening to us and others around us, we need to learn to dance to the music being played! That hard-to-be-understood dark saying is being played on the harp of the Lord!

Psa 49:4 I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp.
Psa 49:5 Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her  seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Gen 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

Psa 77:18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the  earth trembled and shook.
Psa 77:19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

So our walk is important to understanding that “the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about” tells us that the Lord is working it all. Don’t believe me? Let Him speak on the matter then.

Psa 49:6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
Psa 49:7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
Psa 49:8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
Psa 49:9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
Psa 49:10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.

We all go to the grave the same as the next person.

Psa 49:11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling  places to all generations; >they call their lands after their own names.
Psa 49:12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.
Psa 49:13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.

At the end of the day, the Lord just wants us to take some time to ponder why it is we are here, what we are doing, and where we are going. We need to do that. What we will discover very quickly is that we are the basest of beasts. I mean the BASEST when it gets down to the core of it.

Even in the garden of Eden, we were given dominion to NAME all the beasts, tend to the GARDEN OF GOD, that He HIMSELF had planted, watered and nourished to PRESENT TO US to tend; just for us to go about the work and then one day WANT MORE… in the form of “a helper”. Turns out,  men need a helper at night most times.

Naming the beasts in the garden of God is akin to naming the lands after our own names. We take pride in the things we OWN or have DOMINION over, but it is always short-lived and always at the discretion of the LORD. How painful is that to “Selah” over! Your flesh will weep for its loss and “hard work”. Why?

Psa 49:14 Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
Psa 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the POWER of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

Even so Lord come quickly. When we accept whatever is to come in the day of the Lord, which happens to be every day, then we have arrived at peace in the Lord. That does not mean NO FIRE. It means DWELLING CONTENTEDLY in the FIRE; whatever the Lord decides to do WITH THAT FIRE!

Some days you wake up with plans and find out that “house” in your “land of plans” caught fire last night while you slept, and the Lord willed something else to happen.

Some days you wake up and find that King Neb is making an edict that if anyone so much as coughs at your Lord’s name the wrong way, they would be cut asunder and spread around the kingdom, as we saw at the end of the last study.

Psa 49:16 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased;
Psa 49:17 For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.
Psa 49:18 Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself.
Psa 49:19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.
Psa 49:20 Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.

‘Man in honour, without understanding, ends up like all perishing beasts.’ These men will NEVER SEE LIGHT.

Why? Light comes FORTH out of darkness, but it is NOT darkness. Likewise, DEAD things cannot be ALIVE to SEE the LIGHT that can only be seen during the DAY.

Remember the day that it is and who it is that we are versus the rest of humanity. It doesn’t matter what time period, age, aion or whatever length of time you want to label time as, is. Right now, it is the ‘today’.

Today = a very particular moment in time.

“Man in honour, without understanding, ends up like all perishing beasts.” These men will NEVER SEE LIGHT.

If you want to perish WITH understanding, then let us CONSIDER what the Lord has to say on the matter, because it matters to ALL MATTERS under the SUN! The mighty God the Lord has spoken.

Love is a consuming Fire, and love as defined in scripture as keeping His commandments. The Truth is, we cannot keep His commandments without Him DOING IT IN US. Flesh cannot glory in front of God.

The difference between “us” and “them” in the bible, is that we were once the “them” and we now KNOW, via KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING, that the Lord calls the shots. Get with that PROGRAM and plan and you will be able to understand who you are and WHY things happen the way they do.

When someone asks you, “How’s it going?”, “You know, life has a way of kicking you when you’re down” is a phrase that comes to mind; KNOW that LIFE does have a way of DOING to you what HE WILLS according to fulfilling the WILL of GOD the Father. That is His purpose, and you are His bride, but you get NO SAY in the affairs of HIS HOUSE!

It’s like when people make a big deal out of the “policies” or things the first lady or wife of the U.S. president says. What she says or thinks DOESN’T matter in the context of running the country. She hasn’t been elected.

This is as true if it were a husband or a husband who had previously been president like Bill Clinton and Hillary. If Bill stepped in one day and tried to take over a join chiefs national security briefing, I think there would be some fireworks. I’d like to see as a fly on that wall!

You get my point then. We, as the bride of Christ, have no BUSINESS telling our Husband Jesus, what’s up from down and down from up. We don’t get to criticize the things happening to us for the sake of it. We must also be careful to FEIGN worship. After all, a “warship” is always in WAR. Let your worship reflect your dedication to the mission.

Psa 50:1 A Psalm of Asaph. The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth  from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
Psa 50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
Psa 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
Psa 50:4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.

Contrary to popular thought, judgment beginning at the house of God is the only place it is happening NOW, currently. The “END” of that judgment has not yet began.

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first  begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Continuing in Psa 50:

Psa 50:5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.

Oh, oh, oh! We made a covenant with GOD via SACRIFICE? Uh, oh. We had better keep this deal! Seriously, the Lord is very serious about this, and you will know it in your heart if you fulfill these verses.

Psa 50:6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
Psa 50:7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am  God, even thy God.
Psa 50:8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
Psa 50:9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
Psa 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
Psa 50:11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
Psa 50:12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
Psa 50:13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?

We aren’t going to be reproved right now so that we can go kill some poor animal and sacrifice their blood to the Lord. No, we are going to SACRIFICE another kind of sacrifice. A true sacrifice. A sacrifice that is felt in the innermost heart of who we are.

There are stony hearts, and there are fleshly hearts, but that is not what it sounds like. There are DEAD hearts, and there are LIVELY hearts; full of life. God wants you to sacrifice to Him of UNDERSTANDING LIPS.

We could be like the disciples (and we are at our appointed time), and tell Jesus to His face, “Yeah, we can drink of that cup you speak of” while not having a clue we are going to always deny Him over and over when push comes to shove.

Here is the real sacrifice God wants from you and me:

Psa 50:14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
Psa 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Can you not admit when the Lord says you will pay your VOWS to Him with SACRIFICING LIPS, because your thanksgiving comes the STRONGEST when you know it was, is and will always be Him  controlling whatever happens, and it is He who will always be able to bring you into THAT remembrance.

Yet, we are His, and His judgment is simply to continuously right the direction of His ship with us on the ride in it. We could be without UNDERSTANDING like we used to be. See verses to follow:

Psa 50:16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that  thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
Psa 50:17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.
Psa 50:18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.
Psa 50:19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.
Psa 50:20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.
Psa 50:21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was  altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine  eyes.
Psa 50:22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be  none to deliver.
Psa 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

So, it is important that we forget not God and in so doing become the wicked all over again. We need to always remember the glass/mirror and what manner of man we are ourselves; yet, the Lord rescued us from that.

Whatever it is we are going through is the fire of the Lord. We often grumble when we know the fire is getting hot in our lives, and yet another thing seems to be getting “burned away” or taken from us, our thoughts or our plans, etc., but we are really grumbling about the things the Lord had already known were happening.

Love is a consuming fire because God is Love. If we are one with Him and He is one with us, then we are ONE in MIND that whatever is happening, HIS HOUSEHOLD IS BEING LOOKED AFTER.

Can we say a general in a far-off land is NOT taking care of His household because He is in WAR somewhere else? Generals still get paid, and he could die any moment. The obvious answer is, yes, he is taking care of his household, and also he is a GENERAL.

The Lord may not tell us all the details of the war we are in. He may not engage with His wife (you and I as the bride of Christ) with everything He is planning to do, but He is always a Faithful husband who will do what needs to be done to execute His purpose given to Him by God the Father.

We may not know if the fire consumes us fully or lets us walk out of it without the smell of smoke on us, but we do know we have been told it will ALL BE OKAY!

That is a sacrifice of thanksgiving that is hard to lip when the fire continues to get hotter and hotter. It is, however, the only way sacrifice is to be given – with understanding.

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