At the beginning of this year, God spoke to me that there would be many changes this year, and that I should study and learn His names so that I would be able to remain firm in Him. Slowly, I have been doing just that. In fact, the book Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler (http://www.annspangler.com/) is a daily guide that I use to help me. She has done some very thorough research and provides scriptural references and suggested prayers for each day. In fact, each week is devoted to a particular name of God. I don’t know when or where I picked this book up, but I know God must have led me to it!
Studying and learning the names of God allows me to discover the nature and character of God. I am experiencing Him in new ways. It also builds up my faith in Him.
This week I have been studying that God is a Jealous God and a Consuming Fire! Since He is God and does not sin, it must be possible to be jealous and sin not. He is jealous in that He wants to be first in my life and wants all of me. He loves me completely and wants me to love Him back wholeheartedly.
In terms of a being a Consuming Fire, it basically means that He destroys anything that separates me from God. When something is burned by fire, it is purified. When God consumes my heart, He removes sin and anything that doesn’t live up to His holiness. His presence purifies me and makes me holy before Him.
Exodus 34:14 – “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
Deuteronomy 4:23-24 – “Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
Learning this name has also brought new meaning to several worship songs that I listen to or that we sing at church. For example, the song “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillian starts with “He is jealous for me…” What about the classic Third Day song “Consuming Fire”, with lyrics such as “Yes our God, He is a consuming fire, and the flames burn down deep in my soul.” Or how about the Misty Edwards song sung by Jesus Culture “All consuming fire, You’re our heart’s desire, living flame of love, come baptize us.” You see, learning the names of God bring new meaning to who He is and allow us to worship Him more deeply from our hearts.
I challenge you to learn more about the God you love and serve so that you may know and worship Him more intimately. The more you know, the more you’ll become like Him.