Ice will turn to water at a temperature just above zero degrees centigrade. We might consider the water to be consumed as it turns to steam at one hundred degrees centigrade. Wood must be heated to a much higher temperature before it is consumed, and metal must be heated even more. I wonder how much heat is required to finally consume the works of my flesh and burn away my selfishness and pride.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”
When we begin to understand the Kingdom we have inherited through Christ, we dare not enter His sanctuary with anything but pure praise and worship. Whatever else we attempt to bring is born in our flesh with a spirit of pride. If we say, “Look at what I’ve brought You, my Lord!” He will simply burn it to ash. We might protest, “But God, look at all I’ve done for You!” But the heat will be turned up until all we hold is consumed.
Is our greatest ambition to impact the world for Christ? Is our motivation to be significant in the eyes of God or become a major player in the advancement of His Kingdom? Beware! Though these sound good and have the appearance of being pleasing to God, they are conceived in pride and will be consumed.
We truly can bring Him NOTHING of worth except a pure heart; “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Our greatest desire (our ONLY desire) must be to praise and worship the King through all we think, say, and do. All our striving to be obedient and produce good works – all of our “Godly” motivation and ambition – must flow simply as a direct outpouring of our worship.
If we are still trying to conquer something for Christ, we have not yet fully submitted to His leading nor found complete rest in His strength. Jesus came with all knowledge and power, and yet He walked with absolute surrender and submission; “the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what My Father has commanded Me” (John 14:31).
This is a daily challenge, one of the more subtle battles between the Spirit and the flesh. While we must strive, we must also remember that God does not need anything we produce. True fruit which pleases our Heavenly Father comes only as we “remain in the vine” (John 15:4), and love Him with all our heart.
The same fire that will one day burn all our righteous acts can be used today to cleanse our heart until only the One remains. Let’s come into His presence and worship with pure reverence and awe. Let’s allow every selfish desire and every fiber of pride to be burned away in His consuming fire.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Feb 19 Leviticus 7:28-9:6; Mark 3:31-4:25; Psalm 37:12-28; Proverbs 10:5