And I will put this third into the fire,Zechariah 13:9 (ESV
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”
Has the heat been turned up in your life? You’re melting. Stirred in all directions. Cherished possessions or health are scooped up and thrown into the fire.
You feel like God is testing you like He tested others in the past, is testing us in the present, and will test us in the last days.
Purification, my friend.
Heat and Pressure
It takes heat and pressure to remove the wrinkles and creases of life.Tweet
Today, I ironed a couple of my hubby’s long-sleeve shirts. Yes, we still iron his professional shirts.
I started thinking about the heat and the steam that it takes to remove the wrinkles from my life.
I remembered how my Mama ironed all our clothes, even handkerchiefs and other things we don’t think of ironing today.
It was a very different process in the ’50s. I understand that some people had special sprinkler bottles, but she used her hands to sprinkle. She’d get water in her hands and splash it on the shirts, pants, hankies, and other items. She’d work fast, rolling up the saturated clothes, tossing them in a plastic bag, and stashing them in the fridge.
The next day, she heated the iron and held the heat on the wrinkles until the cloth was dry and wrinkle-free.
No steam irons in those days.
Maybe you don’t even buy clothes that need ironing. I have very few today, but what I have still needs to be washed and put through the heat of the dryer.
We hung our clothes on a clothesline. The wind and the heat of the day dried them out if the weather cooperated. Some of the clothes dried stiff. You breathed in the freshness of the outdoors in the fabric as you squeezed the clothespins and felt them crunch as you folded and pressed them into the laundry basket
Do you even have a wooden clothespin? I don’t anymore.
Even though the process of clothing ourselves is different today, two key elements still remain.
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.1 John 1:7 (NLT)
The dirt of this world, our sins, need to be washed away, and the only way to be cleansed is to submit our lives to Jesus. He took our sins upon Himself on the cross. He died and was buried, but three days later, He rose from the dead.
you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.1 Peter 1:6c-7 (ESV)
To dry those wet clothes, we need a little or a lot of heat.
I don’t like the heat of a trial, and I know you don’t either. But have you noticed that when we come out of the trial, if we have submitted to God, we have become stronger? And something in our lives has changed-maybe our priorities have changed? The dross of the love of our possessions has left? We’re seeking more of God rather than what the world values?
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.James 1:2-4 (ESV)
Hard to do when the heat is up. But looking back, I’m thankful for the trials. One of my trials lasted about 15 years-fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. God had a purpose in each of my steps and equipped me for my current walk.
The fire separates the dross, AND the Refiner scoops it out. He stirs the pot and looks in. His image becomes clear.Tweet
When God looks at you, does He see His image reflected in you?
A refiner’s fire refines. It purifies. It melts down the bar of silver or gold, separates out the impurities that ruin its value, burns them up, and leaves the silver and gold intact. He is like a refiner’s fire..John Piper
Our Heavenly Refiner, thank You for personally refining Your sons and daughters. You are pure and holy. You are the only One qualified to stir our pots, remove our sins, and make us pure. We want the purity that only You can give. Look into the melting pots of our lives. May You see Your image in our lives, and may others see Your image through us. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.
Can you look back on a particularly hard trial and see God equipping for what you are doing today?
Take a moment and thank Him.