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Seeds of the Kingdom

Walking Through the Fire

by Ron Scurfield

17 November 2021

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Therefore, since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:28-29, NIV

There’s a song by Brian Doerksen we used to sing, ‘Purify my heart, let me be as gold and precious silver’. Is this still our prayer today? As with many familiar worship songs, we sometimes tend to sing along with the words without thinking too much about them. Do we really want our heart to be pure in God’s eyes? How can this be?‘All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). What hope do we have? How can our heart be made pure? ‘Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins’ (Ecclesiastes 7:20).

`Refiner`s fire, my heart`s one desire is to be holy, set apart for You, Lord`. Is this true for me? Is it true for you? To be holy, set apart for God? Yes, this seems good and desirable, but how about the Refiner’s fire? Does this not put a different perspective on things? Perhaps now we’re not so sure.

Where is our heart centred? Is it focussed on God, in admiration and awe, with deep affection and reverence? Do we seek to live our lives in the shadow of the cross, always aware of the price He paid to win us back into His presence? Or are we continually looking inward, measuring our heart against the righteousness of God, and finding life to be a continual battle as we strive to maintain a godly way of behaviour?

‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son’ (Hebrews 12:5-6). There has to be a burning away of the dregs of life that has built up over the years. ‘He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross’ (Malachi 3:3).

We need to submit ourselves to the Potter, who is remoulding the clay to form a vessel that is worthy of His name (Isaiah 64:8). ‘Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me’. It’s all part of the process. Jesus went through the most painful suffering to set us free from the clutches of sin. Surely we can endure a degree of refining and purifying from the contaminations of the world to make us more like Him!

To be set apart from the world is a preparation for His Kingdom. ‘Let me be as gold, pure gold’. Can we choose to submit to His refining? ‘We, with unveiled faces ... are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory’ (2 Corinthians 3:18). God wants us to shine with His reflected glory. Do we have the courage to walk through the fire?

`When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned’ (Isaiah 43:2). This is because what is being burned is not of us, it is of the world, and has already been crucified. ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Prayer: Father, I want to be clean, unblemished and unsoiled. Have Your way with me, Lord, that I may be pure in Your sight; to know Your love that is beyond my understanding, that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.


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