The process of the refining of gold means putting the gold dust in a crucible and heating it until it melts. It is then that impurities begin to come up to the surface as a dirty film. The refiner then takes a ladle to scoop off these impurities and discards them.
The refiner may repeat the process a number of times, ‘boiling’ the gold to bring up the impurities and removing them, until he is able to look onto the refined gold and can see the reflection of his face, as if he were looking into a mirror.
The Prophet Malachi, speaking of the priests of Israel said of God; ‘He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in the days gone by, as in former years (Malachi 3:3-4).
Those Levites, sadly, had gone away from the ways of God and drifted had into some of the ways of the surrounding nations for the sake of keeping the peace with the people they should have been leading in the discipline and ways of the LORD.
As Christians, we are called to be ‘A holy priesthood, …acceptable to God through Christ Jesus’ (1 Peter 2:5), yet we are aware that there may be times when we fail to live up to that calling, and drift into the ways of the world.
There may also be times during our Christian life when we feel that we are going through a rough time, as if we are in a ‘melting pot’ situation. I wonder if that could be when God might be refining us in order to bring the best out of us.
When God is taking us through such a time, it is not to make us feel hurt or worthless, but in order to bring out the real genuineness of our spirituality and that more of the likeness of Christ may be seen. It is helpful to think of the process of refining like this; when it is complete there will be no impurities lying underneath to spoil the quality of the gold.
Prayer: O Lord God, thank You that You have called me from what I was, to be a follower of Jesus. I pray that You will patiently refine me day by day so that more of the beauty and likeness of Jesus is seen in all I say and do. Amen.
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