The Refiner’s Fire

Imagine living your life as though God is always watching you. What would your life look like? You might think I’m being silly because we know God is always watching. However, I didn’t say imagine knowing God is always watching you. Imagine living your life as though God is always watching you.

Having head knowledge doesn’t always translate to heart knowledge. If that were true, I think most of the problems facing humanity would disappear. We live our lives as though God is not watching, otherwise we would not commit a large majority of our sin. We consciously live our lives as though God is too far away to notice.

We even go so far as to justify our actions and words as trying to make things better. Even more dangerous is when we know we are right on a topic. Nothing like a self-righteous Christian with the sledgehammer of truth. When I’m on a tear, no one is safe.

Regardless my intentions or results, the true test is what is in my heart:

    “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.” (Proverbs 17:3)

This morning I became keenly aware of how little supremacy the Holy Spirit has in my life. I primarily use Him as my Bible tutor or motivator while I’m teaching. Notice I said I’m using the Holy Spirit; that means I’m taking Him for granted. He should be so much more in my life. Jesus didn’t promise to send me an aide-de-camp; He promised to send me a Helper.

When we go it alone or make the Holy Spirit a second-class citizen, we bring all types of impurities into our life that eventually find a home in our heart. I’m sure we can all agree that this can cause a fissure between God and us. Glory to God there is a remedy:

    “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Go back and really digest that passage and see if it doesn’t frighten you. It frightens me because I know what God is going to find and I know where that will lead. As the old Caedmon’s Call song “Thankful” says, “Now we’re shackled up to the sin we hold so dear.”

However, if we will allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in our lives, we need not fear the testing of our hearts. We will actually invite God to search us; we should want to know:

    “You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” (Psalm 17:3)

Notice why David could proclaim that after God’s testing, that no sin was found. It is because David had “purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”

Have we made that our purpose? Especially in the election season we are currently in, I have seen some very unChristlike comments from Christians. It is one thing to comment on a candidate’s record, but to get personal and say unflattering things is going way beyond the pale. I have to catch myself every day. And it isn’t a head problem; it is a heart problem.

Go back to my original thought: imagine living your life as though God is always watching you. We are not promised tomorrow, so we cannot wait until then to get right with God and others. Knowing that, we should also live our lives as though we are going to have to give an account to God for all our actions and attitudes:

    “Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” (1 Corinthians 3:13)

I need to place my heart before the Refiner and allow Him to burn away the impurities.

I need not fear the Refiner’s fire; I need to run to it.

In Christ
Dave
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers

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