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…”
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…”
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…”
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…
“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”
The abundant life is a tested and purified life.
* Jabbok. Hebrew pouring out or emptying. (Bullinger)