Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Refiner's Fire

Malachi 3
I'm sure that we all have our own spiritual weaknesses that we deal with constantly, and it can be quite discouraging to struggle with sin, sometimes giving in, and feeling helpless. I can remember countless times, even within this year, that I've felt God dealing with me in the rough areas of my life. As much as I would like to run, hide, and avoid His work of eradicating the sin out of me, there is no way to escape His act in my life. 

Spiritual discipline is so hard to deal with. Most of the time (really, all of the time) we know that we need it because we don't want to go on a path of habitual sin. The last thing we could ever want to do is displease God, and yielding to our sinful desires not only displeases and saddens God, it makes us feel guilty, causing us to doubt our identity in Christ and our relationship with Him. All spiritual disciple isn't bad. Every trial and circumstance that we face, whether spiritually or physically, has its purpose, and ultimately that purpose is to bring God the utmost glory.

God is amazing for Him being who He is, but He also loves us. I'm sure that many of us have sung the song "He Loves Us" during praise and worship in church on Sundays, but I don't think that many of us have grasped the fact that God is truly jealous over us - it's in His name "El Qanna"  - the Jealous One (Exodus 34:14). God's love for us goes beyond spiritual intimacy, but to the point that He will do any and everything so that nothing stands between Him and us. He has already done this through Jesus. But, of course, daily we have these spiritual weaknesses, these pitfalls that try to ensnare and hold us down. 

Just as many jewelers, God purges us of our sin, not to bring us added pain, but to purify us. The purging of precious elements, such as gold and sliver, brings more quality and usefulness to the actual metal. The more impure the metal is, the duller it looks and weaker it will actually be. Jesus' purging of sins in my life allows me to offer a righteous sacrifice to God, and that sacrifice is my life. Those that fear God are able to endure His purging and see it not as something bad, but as something great. God, purging us through His Refiner's fire, strips us of our sinful desires, mends us of our brokenness, and heals our hurting hearts, to make us whole and allow us to offer back to Him the most excellent praise of righteousness (Malachi 3: 2-3).

You may feel that God is "purging" you now, but know that God is doing this because He loves you, He's jealous of you, and is purifying you to make you a strong instrument in service for Him.

SDG