In a day and age of casual, flippant, shallow worship services, we must never forget that Yahweh is a CONSUMING FIRE who is to be worshipped in reverence and fear. Hebrews 12:28-29 says "Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire."
He is righteously jealous for our singular devotion in worship and He hates all idolatry. Deuteronomy 4:23-24 days "Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make a carved image, the form of anything that the Lord your God has forbidden you. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God."
There is no ambivalence as to the Greek or Hebrew meaning of "consuming fire." It means like it sounds—a fire that utterly consumes or destroys.
God manifested Himself as a consuming fire at the tent of meeting and it resulted in every soul prostrate on the ground in fear. Leviticus 9:23-24 says "And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the GLORY OF THE LORD APPEARED to all the people. And FIRE came out from before the LORD and CONSUMED the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they SHOUTED and FELL ON THEIR FACES."
This sight of His glory is what we were made for. To behold HIM and to respond in AWE.
But remember this too...
Leviticus 10:1-3 says "Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. And FIRE came out from before the LORD and CONSUMED them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD has said: 'Among those who are near me I WILL BE SANCTIFIED, and before all the people I WILL BE GLORIFIED.'" And Aaron held his peace."
Beloved, do not forget that our God is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, a CONSUMING FIRE!
God's holiness is a blazing fire that utterly consumes and destroys all that is unholy. God WILL BE SANCTIFIED, meaning He will not allow His glory to be dishonored or belittled. "Trembling has seized the godless: "Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?" (Isaiah 33:14). "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment (Isaiah 64:6).
But there is a RIGHTEOUS ONE who saves the unholy—Jesus Christ the Lord!
As you draw near to God today, tremble at His holiness and bow low at the foot of the cross where Jesus became for us the ultimate BURNT OFFERING, being CONSUMED in the FIRE of God's wrath toward sinners, taking our place so we can enter into the Holy of Holies (God's glorious manifest presence) as His beloved children now and forever! Thank you Jesus for loving us so!