THE CRUCIBLE OF LIFE
Malachi 3:2-3 “For God is like a blazing fire refining precious metal – like a refiner of silver He will sit and closely watch as the dross is burned away. He will purify the Levites [His servants], the ministers of God, refining them like gold and silver SO THAT they will do their work for God with pure hearts.”
Firstly, it is so important to realise that it is God’s refining fire and not man’s! Therefore, like Moses at the burning bush, the fire blazes but doesn’t consume or destroy us! It is for our good and not for harm! It is God’s pure and holy refining fire and so we have nothing to fear! The reason for the fire is simple! In the natural process of smelting, the only way to separate the gold from the dross in gold ore is by fire! Gold is heavy and the slag is light, and so as the materials melt under the heat, the gold sinks and the dross rises, thus separating the two. In the old days when they couldn’t get enough heat to completely burn off the dross, the smelter used to scoop off the rubbish until the gold was pure and untainted.
In the spiritual, God wants to separate the dross that’s in us from the gold [His divine nature in us through Christ by the Holy spirit] which He has placed in us! I can only speak for myself but there has been and still is rubbish in my life. I came to Christ at the age of 26 and so I had accumulated an awful amount of rubbish in that time, as I used to be a fighter, boozer, womanizer, and Spiritualist! So you can imagine God has a lot to do to conform me to the image of His son! Now I know that at the moment of conversion I became like Christ as God put me IN HIM, however, though conversion is once for always, perfect and complete; sanctification, however, is a life long process and for some it is longer and more severe than for others! When I was first saved, God was so gracious, He allowed me to enjoy the heights of knowing Him and getting to know Him more; but after about 10 years, He started to show me the crippling effect of my past and how it was holding me back and weighing me down. I would seek to do things for Him, but they kept backfiring and I would trip, fall, and fail regularly! And so in prayer and the word of God, I discovered the principle of the smelters fire and the truth of sanctification in that yes, I was perfect in Christ in heavenly places, but that there were a lot of impurities in my experiential life here on earth and that in the real world I was not perfect! Actually, the revelation of it was quite liberating though somewhat disturbing! And so I prayed God would smelt me in His crucible of fire! Boy, I never realized what a prayer I had prayed until I prayed it. Almost 20 years on and God is still working on me, not every second of every day, but the closer I get to Him and He to me, the more I see of my impurities! However, as we will see next time, as God turns up the heat and the rubbish rises, and is exposed, it is at that point as it hits the surface [our conscious minds] that I can repent of it and allow God to scoop it away forever!
PRAYER Gracious and loving Father God. I thank you that you are merciful and gracious, that you have plans for us and a purpose in our lives, and that for good and not for harm, and therefore I see that I need to go through the refining process in order for you to get me to my purpose. I thank you that you do this in love and only for our good. Thank you Father. Amen.