How do you experience God? Doesn’t the experience change? Sometimes he seems angry, other times loving; sometimes comforting, other times convicting; sometimes close, other times aloof. It varies, which is a bit tricky because Scripture tells us that God doesn’t change. So maybe — if you’ll forgive me for speaking for the entire human race — it’s us.
It’s instructive that Scripture associates God with fire. He appears in the flames of a burning-yet-unburned bush. He leads by a blazing pillar. Flame streams from his throne. The presence of his spirit flickers as tongues of fire on Pentecost. And then there’s Paul in Hebrews. “[O]ur God is a consuming fire,” he says (12.29).