Tuesday, April 26, 2016

When Our All-Consuming Fears Meet Our All-Consuming God

How is it that the “all-consuming” nature of God is our best hope against our all-consuming fears?

One thing I love about the relationship-with-God aspect of the truly Christ-centered faith is that we have daily testimonies of what God does to show us that Jesus is with us always, to the very end of the age. Here is today’s installment!

I am very familiar with people speaking of their all-consuming fears. I have seen panic-attacks, dissociation, fear-based self-protection, numbing depression, and all manner of expressions of people’s broken souls.

I have always known that Jesus is the answer.[1] There are so many promises related to the condition of our souls, that God’s grace is always working to give us faith that God will do for us what he has said, and what he has so often done for others.

This morning, as I was praying for people struggling with the scary world of their inner soul-condition, I suddenly had the AHA!-Moment that brought pieces of the puzzle together in ways I had never considered them before. It revolved around a familiar expression from God's Book, which reads:

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.[2]

How do gratefulness, acceptable worship, and reverence and awe, fit a relationship with the God who is a consuming fire?

Part of this is, no doubt, that the children of God know that God’s impending judgment on the world will literally be a consuming fire. We live in a foreign land that is destined for judgment. We know that. We know our God is capable of judging everyone who has rejected his Son. No doubt about that. We well-know how our own sins deserve that judgment, and so we are super sensitive to the weight of condemnation about to come upon the world. Scary stuff. God’s children are thankful to be his children, not his enemies.

However, the consuming fire of God’s nature has a very personal application to the hearts of all God’s children. God has saved us so that he can fully restore us to the image and likeness of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. To do that, sin, guilt, shame, and fear, must be consumed. They took root in our lives through our involvement in the world’s sin. Coming to Jesus sets us free from all the condemnations associated with our guilt, shame, and fear. Now we have a God who can consume whatever remnant of these things we struggle with during this earthly lifetime.

The delightful ministry to my soul this morning was to see that, no matter how all-consuming are sin, guilt, shame, and fear in my heart, or in the lives of others, the all-consuming fire of God will purge from our lives the dross of those things so completely that our Forever Home will only know the righteousness, joy, and peace, of being in God’s presence for eternity.

“Therefore” if we are those people who are “receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,” of course we would be grateful for this. Why wouldn’t we “offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,” knowing that “our God is a consuming fire” who consumes in his children all that makes us different from Jesus, and that he will consume all evil and evil doers at the return of Christ so that there is no further remnant of sin, guilt, shame, or fear, in the presence of his perfect love?

© 2016 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

[1] I mean that in the sense that, as long as I have seen people facing all-consuming fears, I have known that Jesus is the answer, even if I haven’t seen how to apply him and his work at any particular moment.
[2] Hebrews 12:28-29

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