The Refiner’s Fire

The Refiner’s Fire

The Refiner’s Fire

The Refiner’s Fire is the showing forth of His wisdom being brought to bear upon those whose hearts long to bear fruit unto Him.

“And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them…”
Zechariah 13:9

If our heart’s desire is to be re-created into His likeness, we must seek to walk as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). The purpose of God’s Spirit is to “quicken” us, to transform us “by the renewing of our minds” whereby we are “changed from one glory unto another”. No individual truly called of God has escaped the depths of loneliness, separation, misunderstanding, and rejection. It is the forging of the fire which draws out the impurities of our own selves – the very construct of our wrongness. In God’s wisdom, He uses our circumstances to complete His work in us. If He spared not His own sinless Son, who are we to escape His loving and determined means to “bring many sons to glory”?

For the Jacobs to become Israels, God must use the Labans to bring purity, purpose, and movement. Man left to himself will remain in desert places, and tarry in stagnant situations, even as the sands of time exhaust the brief moments of our life here. It is in the antagonism, the strife, and the pressings of God that men leave the former things only to discover later God was in the exodus from our Egypt.

“As an eagle stirreth up her nest…”
Deuteronomy 32:11

God’s stirrings will press His own to movement; journeys which bring separation from the former things so that the new is readily received. It is in the journey with God where the crucible is known and the renovations of our being are realized. We experience the wrestling with God at our Jabbok where our natural man is crippled and we begin to comprehend Him whose name is “wonderful”. We discover the two-fold meaning of Jabbok*: our “being emptied out” and Christ being “poured in”. The exchange and transactions of God are not without price nor are they without great reward. The sorrow becomes the matrix of a Joy of which only the broken may know.

For the pilgrim of faith, the call to heavenly places propels him on through valleys, deserts, and lonely paths where the pure air of His presence is worth it all. The promise of God stands:

“…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”
Isaiah 61:3

In the dark places, the days of mediocrity, the days where our heart’s fire burns low, we learn “The Lord is thy keeper” (Psalm 121:5) and the restorer of our souls!

“He healeth the broken in heart,
and bindeth up their wounds…
Psalm 147:3

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“Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water, yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance
Psalm 66:7-12

The abundant life is a tested and purified life.

* Jabbok. Hebrew pouring out or emptying. (Bullinger)

Brian Troxel

Morning by Morning

Morning by Morning

“And the fuel on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it morning by morning.”
Leviticus 6:12

The altar of the Old Covenant is a representation of our hearts in the New (Romans 12:1). It was the duty of the priests to keep the fire ever burning by adding wood “morning by morning”. In the morning as we set aside time to commune with our God who is “a consuming fire”. There is a necessity to touch the flame of the Eternal One that our own hearts may burn with a love for Him. It is this burning which keeps us from the temptations of the world and the impurities of our own selves.

As one man, greatly used of the Lord, stated: “an empty altar receives no fire” (1). Each morning we arise and lay ourselves before Him as a fresh offering that we might walk circumspectly and alert throughout the day. His fire ever falls upon the altar of sacrifice; as it was in the days of Elijah it shall be in this day.

May we discover the secret of His Flame. May we feel the embers of our hearts stirred by His Holy Breath until we are filled with the fire and intensity of His Spirit. He has an answer for cold hearts, for the lethargy in His house. It is nothing less than His presence burning within.

“Who maketh his angels spirits,
and His ministers a flame of fire
Hebrews 1:7

His true ministers carry the flame of God burning within their hearts. They cannot be satisfied with tepid prayers, powerless sermons and the lifeless conjectures of those whose lives do not align with their words. The fire of God purifies. It warms the very soul of man and brings Him into the zeal of the Lord for His House (John 2:16-17). There is a lamentation within over the condition and the temperature of the hearts of His people. There is a seeking of the purity, power and intensity of His Spirit to see His Unity arise in His House.

It is the “fervent prayer” of a “righteous man” that avails much, that brings forth the moving of His hand in the earth. Let us keep the flame burning within; let us seek out fellowship with others who will stir the embers of our hearts that we may know, to quote a good friend, “the fellowship of the flame” (2).

His beauty will arise
out of the ashes of ourselves.

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified
Isaiah 61:3

What is the purpose of these people?

“And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations”
Isaiah 61:4

This is the Day of the Lord and He Himself is appointing unto them who mourn over the state of the Zion of God in our day; beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness! Let His fire fall afresh upon our hearts that He may be glorified by the lives we live and the words we speak!

“But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the festal gathering and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel. See that you don’t refuse him who speaks.”!
Hebrews 12:22-25

“Keep yourselves in the Love of God”
Jude 1:21

(1) Frank Bartleman
(2) CR Oliver

Brian Troxel