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.”
So, as I conclude refiner’s fire let me pull a few thoughts together. The key thought of the above verse and the reason for putting ore through the refiner’s process is “for a specific purpose!” The purpose of the natural refiner’s fire is to form pure gold, for jewellery and adornments, to make useful vessels, to make precious ornaments, and for monetary purposes! In other words, the refiner takes something of no seeming value, something of little use, and fires it so that it will have worth and value and purpose! If this is the case for the forming of gold in the natural process, how much more then will God refine us, [His servants] in the supernatural process?
Again, the phrase ‘SO THAT’ confirms this! God refines you and I ‘so that we will do our work for God with pure hearts.’ One of the biggest hindrances in my life and I guess it could be yours too, is “the ore of wrong motives and selfish desires!” Listen to James’s take on this! “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can’t possess it so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your whole motive is wrong-you want only what will give you pleasure.
Now, that is tough talking, and I don’t think you and I come in to quite the above categories! However, in God’s sight, any inkling of self-motivation in our service for God is like the raw ore that needs to be burned off so that our motives in our service for God are pure. I remember well when I first became a Christian; I longed to serve God fully and went forward for prayer and commitment to God’s service regularly so that He could use me as a guitarist and singer. However, it was some years later after a lot of embarrassing mistakes and mess ups that after the Lord put me in the crucible of motivation exposure that I realized that I wanted people to see me rather than Jesus! That was a very painful process, but one that’s been dealt with. I think though that the most painful for me was when I Pastored a Church because I thought it was the next step for me rather than seriously seeking Father’s mind in the matter! It didn’t work out and for a while my whole world fell apart. Thank God for His enduring mercy, love and grace! He lifted me out of a pit of despair, put me back in the crucible again, and showed me as the dross came to the surface that again my motives were wrong.
You may think that this is quite a confession? Well, yes, I guess it is, but this whole study has been part of my refining process! Confession after all is good for the soul! The whole refining process has helped me to be more focused on God’s purposes for me. Before I realized these truths, I used to do this and that, and try to be lots of things and do lots of things which I thought ‘looked good’ but in reality, I was like someone shooting a 12 bore shot gun! There was a lot of buckshot’s so there was a slight possibility that I would hit the target, but it was only a possibility! However, I learned that shooting a single shot from a rifle carefully aimed at a target had more chance of hitting that target! The shepherd boy David knew this. He chose 5 smooth stones with which to take down Goliath! Common sense would tell him ‘send all 5 at once! There’s a good chance you’ll may be hit the target!’ But no, David took one stone, carefully aimed, focused, and brought down the Giant! I am now fulfilling 2 specific purposes and 1 secondary purpose in my life rather than 5 or 6 slap dash efforts! It’s been very liberating and has taught me how easy it really is to say no to men, but yes to God
PRAYER Read Ephesians chapter 2:8-10. Realise that these 3 verses tie in together! 8-9 is how we were saved! Verse 10 tells us why we were saved! It’s for a purpose! It’s ‘to fulfil your good works destiny!’ May be good to pray about that?