Precious metals and precious stones are particularly valuable because they have to go through extreme processes to form. It takes prolonged and severe pressure for a significantly sized diamond to form in the earth. It also requires extreme temperatures through refining to produce pure gold. What makes these resources more valuable, is not only the extremity of the process but the level of clarity or purity at the end of that process.
Therefore, the purpose of refinement is to purify gold by removing impurities or metallic waste, otherwise known as dross. One cannot remove impurities from gold in solid form. Gold melts at temperatures of more than 1000 degrees in Celcius, and thus melted in a furnace. In Biblical times the refiner would melt the gold over a very hot flame. The dross would rise to the top, exposing all that waste so the refiner could skim it off.
Similarly, God is the refiner, and we are the gold placed in the furnace. He allows trials to expose the impurities in our lives. Once brought to the surface where we identify our shortcomings in character, it can be removed and changed. When we change and grow, we can become more like Him.
Malachi 3:3 AMP ”He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi [the priests], and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD [grain] offerings in righteousness.”
Are you feeling extreme pressure or ’heat’ at the moment? Are you going through the one trial after another? This might have been a very difficult season where you’ve had to endure many trials, suffering, and sudden changes. We are all in a season where our faith, priorities, spiritual foundations and beliefs are being tested. The world is changing, and we as Christians need to stand the test of time. You are probably in the furnace, my friend, and being tested. Refining or sanctification is part of our Christian walk.
Proverbs 17:3 AMP ”The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests hearts.”
When you are in the furnace of trial, tribulation, and suffering, take heart. You are never alone or forsaken. Just as Jesus (mentioned as the Son of God in the KJV), was in the physical furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3, He is with you through whatever you are going through.
Being in your figurative furnace is not easy. I would know, as I am in one presently. It is hard, uncomfortable, and it really stretches your faith. At times, it may even feel as if you are being tested beyond your limits. It is in those times that we come to face our limits and shortcomings in the flesh. In other words, our dross, and the things God longs to change and mature. Those things would never have come to the surface had it not been for the pressure of tribulation. The refining process will not destroy you. It will make you pure and shiny. There is the promise of a beautiful outcome to the affliction.
1 Peter 1:6-7 AMP ”In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
When the heat is on, that is when you do not give up. You press into God, seek His face, and His presence. There you will find the spiritual grit and God-enabling power to rise above the flesh and any trait which holds you back from advancing to the next thing God has ordained for you. So, do not miss out on this opportunity where God is refining you to become more like Him. Allow the Holy Spirit to make you aware of your impurities. For example, selfish motives, envy, unforgiveness, judgment, hypocrisy, pride, laziness, impatience, anger, etc. But, especially those areas of your life where God and His ways are not your primary priority.
Isaiah 48:10-11 AMP ”Indeed, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested and chosen you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it [I refrain and do not completely destroy you]; For how can My Name be defiled and profaned [as it would if My chosen people were completely destroyed]? And I will not give My glory to another [by permitting the worshipers of idols to triumph over you].”
Zechariah 13:9 AMP ”And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will listen and answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ ”
Yes, it is difficult to recognize attributes or behavior within ourselves, which are not attractive to God and others. To acknowledge those imperfections is the first step to work with God in your refinement. Then, repent of your sinful ways, change your thinking, act in obedience, and trust the Holy Spirit to remove those impurities and replace them with attributes such as patience, mercy, genuine love, grace, compassion, humility, and integrity. Apply and practice these qualities in your daily walk so they become part of your Godly character.
During these times, the heat is definitely on, and we are all in it. How are you going to be different when you come out of this season? Remember that refinement promises something beautiful in the end. To become pure in heart and in spirit. Embrace the furnace of the Holy Spirit with the hope of your spirit, and soul becoming a masterpiece reflecting God’s glory. Be transformed into pure gold, and do not settle for fool’s gold. You can determine the extent of your growth. Let’s pass this test and be the pure and shining ones for His kingdom. This season will pass, and what God is building into you during this time, will be beautiful, everlasting and worth it.
Stay resolute my friend.
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