We Should Not Resist God
"See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:25-29)
Annie looked at the fire that Mr. Cook had built for their Sunday School class's hot dog roast. She tried to get closer with her stick, but the fire was still too hot. She was hungry, and this was going to take a long time! It was a good ten minutes before the roaring fire had died down enough for Annie and her friends to get near enough to roast their hot dogs. When she finally squatted down nearby and stuck her hot dog over the hot embers, Annie glanced down at her shoes. The tips of her sneakers were a little bit melted! Wow!
Annie's shoes were not fire-resistant. That means that they were not able to stand up against the heat of the fire. The toes of them were melted! It is a good thing that she stayed as far away from the fire as she did!
Did you know that God describes Himself in His Word as a consuming fire? "Consuming" means it burns up everything it touches and cannot be put out. That is pretty strong language to describe God, isn't it? But it probably does not even come close to how powerful and glorious and holy God really is. Human language could never express everything that God is. But Hebrews 12:25-29 uses very strong words to describe Him – as the One "that speaketh from heaven," and as Him "whose voice then shook the earth," and "God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:25-29 starts out with "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh." That "him" there is referring to God, and the command is that we are not supposed to refuse Him and His Word. Why? Because this is the kind of God He is – the kind of God Who speaks from heaven, the kind of God Whose voice shakes the earth, and the kind of God Who is a "consuming fire." No one can stand up to God and get away with it.
Have you ever met someone who wanted to be "God-resistant"? We should not resist God. Standing up against God is not only sinful, but it is also useless and foolish. He is the God Who created you by the power of His Word, and His Word has not lost any of its power since then. We should not resist God or refuse His Word. Instead, we should pray for "grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." Do you know who God resists? James 4 teaches us that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. If you really believe that our God is a consuming fire, you will humbly pray for His grace to help you please Him with your life.
Our God is a consuming fire, and we should pray for grace to please Him.
» Do I try to stand up against God?
» What is my attitude like toward the Word of God?
» Am I proud, or am I praying in humility for grace to please such a great God?
Truth In Real Life
Betsie ten Boom
“We must tell people how good God is. We can tell them how wonderful God is, and how His love will fill our lives, if only we will give up our hatred and bitterness.”
When people hear the last name of “ten Boom” they often think of Corrie ten Boom. When the Nazis invaded Holland during World War II, Corrie ten Boom and her family helped their Jewish friends by hiding them in their home. A name less well-known, and much less honored, is that of Corrie’s sister, Betsie.
The ten Booms were known for honoring God by loving their neighbors as themselves. It was this love for people that ended up costing them their freedom, their health, and – in the case of Betsie and several other relatives – even their lives.
On February 28, 1944, after the betraying words of a fellow Dutchman, the Nazi secret police invaded the ten Boom home and took the entire household prisoner. The ten Booms and the people they were hiding at the time were split up and sent to terrible concentration camps where they were starved and treated with humiliating cruelty every day. Already old and somewhat fragile, Mr. ten Boom died after spending just over a week in prison. Corrie and Betsie spent the next ten months in three different prison camps.
Every single day they were together, Betsie encouraged Corrie in the Lord.
Corrie ten Boom – one of the few survivors from her family – often said that it was because of her older sister, Betsie, that she was able to have the strength to share God’s love. Betsie would talk often about the prison guards or the men who beat them. But instead of cursing them, Betsie would say things like, “I feel sorry for them,” or, “May God forgive them.” And she meant it. Betsie loved her enemies.
Betsie ten Boom died only a few days before she would have been released. Her sister Corrie’s name might not have been so familiar to us today if Betsie had not been her spiritual helper and best friend. What kind of brother or sister are you? What kind of spiritual help are you to your friends? Do you share God’s love?
Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.