As a child I would often throw an empty soda can into the camp-fire and watch it heat up and melt. I was amazed at how very little substance was left after it melted.
In our walk with God, it is evident when the heat goes up in our lives that only the absolute purest metal of our character remains. In my life, when I think I have great substance in an area and it is then refined by the Lord, it’s amazing what is left. I might say, “where did it go?” or “I had placed such value on that work of mine.”
In reality, if our hard-gained works are just of the flesh, they are nothing more than hay and stubble. Nothing is left after the fire. Two responses come to my mind when this happens: anger that what I had worked so hard at is now ash, or shame that I had placed so much value on so little. Neither is the right response, because they come from resentment from our perceived loss.
There is a third response we need to have. When God tests our works by fire, it’s not from a sadistic pleasure of ruining our lives, but a true caring love for us. Our God loves us so much that He tests us to show us what is in our hearts.
We need to respond to the testing by humbling ourselves before God. Humility leads us to the beginning of being able to build lasting substance in our lives that is refined through the fire into the precious character of Christ. It is more precious than gold or silver.
What are you building? Will it last through the fire?
Prayer: God, help me to choose rightly today. I choose to humble myself and allow You to teach me. Father, Your will, not mine, be done in my life. Help me to not despise my Father’s discipline. Help me to know Your great love for me. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
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