I’ve been thinking about how often life just melts a person down. The pressures and stresses mount and – well – life just gets HOT!
God uses the melting pot to carry out His process of refining character. Whether you are being refined through punishment or being refined just because life is hard, refinement happens because life is so broken from God’s original, intended plan. Life was never intended to be this way. God did not intend for any rift to exist between Himself and you. He did not create a broken world, sin, and death. Suffering, loss, sorrow, punishment, and injustice are results of sin. Everyone compromises godly character and sins. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)
When you are in the refiner’s fire and your copper, silver, or gold glows because the burning is so fierce, when your life pot is red hot with the heat of stress, loss, and suffering, there are 2 things you can do:
Put yourself in God’s hands by faith. Trust Him radically.
Ask Him to form the character of Jesus in you, to burn away the crusty residue of any sin, to purify your heart. Even if you are not at fault in your issue, you are an imperfect person. Wise, healthy people are always open to learn and grow. Besides, you and I sin a lot more than we are aware of. It is “good practice” to pray this prayer. It can be answered whether or not you are in the wrong.
These are hard words. Poor Ezekiel had a very hard job and suffered severely to be a faithful messenger. He likely felt like he was in a melting pot.
Rather than trying to figure God out, choose to trust Him – even blindly, even stubbornly – like Ezekiel did. Exercise resolve. Let God bake off any crustiness. If the Lord is using your life as a parable for others, trust Him in that. It doesn’t seem fair, but refuse to get caught up in defining “fair.” Love God back by believing and obeying. He knows what He is doing. There is a start and a finish to your situation. Let God determine both. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor. 2:9) He is finishing His good work in your life for His glory. (Phil. 1:6)
God is impossible to fully understand. Yet, He declares He is loving and kind, as well as holy and just, perfect in all His ways. Let Him be Himself. Choose to trust His heart is for you. Then intentionally apply all your energies to be yourself – the “self” God created you to be. Partner with Him and let Him finish the good work He began in you. “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” (2 Chron. 16:9a)
What melting pot do you find yourself in? How will you partner with God today while you are in your hot coals? What can you intentionally do to let the refiner’s fire melt away your dross and bring out your best?
** This post, Day 34, joins 4 previous posts, Wear and Tear, The Sin List, 4 ThingsTo Do When You Don’t See The BIG Picture, and Stone Heart – all excerpts taken from my new book Despicable We: Daily Studies in Ezekiel. Check out these posts for practical tips on how to live in a tough world.
Despicable We is being published right now. I’m eager to share a copy with you. You can pre-order your copy at a $2.00 savings during the book printing. Your copy will be shipped at the sale price on or around Oct. 10. Cost goes back to the regular price once the book goes public. So – pre-order now!
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