Holiness is an essential part of God’s nature. God’s holiness and purity are part of God’s goodness and beauty. Holiness is God’s essence. Holiness is a divine attribute. God is pure. There is no sin, evil or darkness in God. The Bible proclaims the holiness of God throughout scripture.
Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11)
For I am the Lord your God; sanctifying yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. (Leviticus 11:44)
And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory. (Isaiah 6:3)
Hebrews 12:29, “Our God is a consuming fire.” God loves us so much that he longs for us to be pure and works tirelessly to make us pure. God is a fire that consumes the chaff, that smelts out the impurities. And do you know how he does this? By forgiving and loving the sinner with a rehabilitating love
God is a consuming fire. He spoke to Moses out of the flaming burning bush. God answered Elijah’s prayer on Mount Carmel by fire. God came down in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in cloven tongues of fire. God is like fire. God is also like the fires of judgment that burn. God is like the fire and brimstone that fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah. God is like the fire called down from Heaven by Elijah that burned up his enemies. And God is like that fire that shall destroy forever and forever them that in the great final judgment day fall into the lake of an eternal burning, for our God is a consuming fire.
In other words, the fire of God here is a source to purify and make better or holier; like we are diamonds in the rough as the saying goes and we need to chip off or remove the dirt and grime, the rough edges, so that we may shine brilliantly as intended. God is not just in the destruction business– wiping out cities and destroying evil people, there is something else to His consuming fire and that something else is the power to refine us and make us new creations in Christ Jesus our Lord. John who is so explicit in talking about God’s wrath and judgment in the book of Revelation is just as explicit in describing to us the image of the risen Christ whose eyes were like a flame of fire (Rev.1:14) and when seeing the risen Christ, John like Moses, and Isaiah, fell to the ground overcome with fear and trembling, humbled to the point of nothingness before the Lord God, but told to rise up and to write the revelation he was given.
This element of refining and purifying, a part of the consuming fire of God is one that many of us are not so sure we want to deal with, because the transforming power of God in our lives can be quite scary and demanding, even painful – calling us to change when we don’t want to move out of the comfort zone we have made for our self or giving up the sin we continue to find temporary pleasure in. We have only to look again at Moses to see that he was not necessarily a willing candidate for divine refining and purifying- he had all kinds of excuses to hinder God’s work in and for him. We have only to look at our priorities as to where we spend the most time and money to realize how much we are like Moses in our resistance to God’s shaping our lives; still He remains whether we like it or not a consuming fire capable of death and destruction but wanting to refine and purify those He has called and chosen.
God’s holy love burns the drone of sin out of our lives. It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. If we lose sight of his holiness, we lose sight of his love. His love loves unto purity.
If God were to burn something out of your life that is holding you back, what would it be?