The Reason For the Heat
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Our friend Barbara is incredibly creative - including creating jewelry. The other day she told us about how she made a beautiful gold ring. Actually the ring is designed in wax. When she has the ring design that she wants carved in the wax, she pours plaster-of-Paris around that molded wax ring. Then she puts it in an oven. Well, of course, the intense heat melts the wax away until there's no wax left, just a vacuum, shaped like the ring she wants. Then she puts this in a centrifuge, and that spins gold into the vacuum where the wax used to be. Gold rushes in where it was once just wax. And out comes something very beautiful and much more valuable.
I have a feeling that someone listening right now is, well, like you're in the oven. The heat around you is rising, and sometimes it seems almost unbearable. There's stress and conflict, maybe grief or pain or heavy pressure. And it's hard not to ask, "Why, God? Why are You making me feel this heat that's so intense and why is it lasting so long?"
It could be that part of the answer is in our word for today from the Word of God in Malachi 3:2-3. "He will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." The fire you're feeling may very well be the Refiner's fire. It's not designed to burn you or to hurt you. It's designed to melt away the impurities and make you more valuable than you have ever been. And notice, the Refiner only puts things that are valuable in the fire like gold and silver. So the heat you're feeling may not be because something is wrong, but because God thinks you are worth refining! He put you in the fire because He believes in you, He loves you, He sees what you could be if you could just lose some of the "wax."
When the heat is on, God has our attention as He does at no other time. We really know Him when we really need Him, and we really need Him when it's hot. God may be using the fire right now to get you to examine some corners of your heart or of your life that you've never really surrendered fully to His Lordship. He may use the oven to show you junk you've accumulated that has to go before He can take you to the next level. He wants to enlarge your view of Him and to prepare you for greater things.
After a recent "A Word with You," I got this e-mail: "Our home burned on December 25. I was very thankful God was with us during the fire and we all made it out, but I was still very depressed over the loss we suffered of our home." She goes on to tell about driving down the road and hearing my message on purifying fire. She says, "That was the beginning of our blessings from God concerning the fire. Although we are a spiritual family, we had not truly connected with God in a while. He has brought us a long way since December 25. Just as that day symbolized the birth of Jesus, it will also serve as the rebirth of us spiritually. Although we did lose everything we owned materially, we gained something much more precious that night, something that will be with us no matter what may come - a heart filled with love for our Savior."
And that's why you're in the fire, to burn away all the wax, so God can pour His gold where once there was only wax. He's making something very, very beautiful.
Learn three secrets to loving what you do from Ron Hutchcraft's message, "How to Love Your Job No Matter What." This complimentary CD provides new perspective on how your boss, your pay, and your hard work can help you love your job.