Proverbs 17:3, NIV
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart”
Many years ago I watched as gold was being refined in an electric furnace. As the ore began to melt, the slag floated to the surface. Then the whole furnace was tipped forward so that the slag could be poured off. But then the furnace temperature was increased, and more slag was separated from the gold – again, and again. At each pouring the remaining gold became more and more pure. Finally the refiner judged that the gold was ready and the liquid metal was poured into brick-shaped moulds.
I was very impacted by the fact that at each stage of the refining process the temperature was increased so as to achieve a greater level of purity and I have never forgotten this very graphic lesson – for greater purity, the temperature must go up!
We sometimes sing a very popular worship song, “Refiner’s fire” which encouragers the worshippers to ask the Lord to “Purify my heart, let me be as gold, pure gold”. I sometimes wonder if people really understood how gold is refined whether they would sing this beautiful song so enthusiastically! To purify the gold the temperature must be turned up. So, here’s the big question – are we sufficiently in love with the Lord that we can gladly ask Him to turn up the temperature, so our hearts can become more refined!
It’s so easy when facing tough times to cry out to God for a way of escape on an easier road. None of us like going through such experiences, but is it possible that the road God has put us on is the very road God has chosen for us, as part of our refining process? If so we could even find ourselves praying against what the Lord has planned for our best! Perhaps it would be best to pray as the Lord taught us “Deliver us from evil”, for we certainly need deliverance from anything that the enemy uses to oppose us. And then we should pray for the Lord to be with us on the journey, covering and protecting us through the tough times and inviting Him to use whatever circumstances we are passing through to cleanse and purify our hearts so that we will come forth as ‘pure gold’.
Prayer: Lord, I choose to ask you to use whatever circumstances I am passing through to cleanse and purify my heart. I want to be wholly available for You. Help me to learn to trust you through all the situations I have to face today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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