“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 those who will bring offerings in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:3)
In the industrial world, being “refined” means having impurities or unwanted elements being removed by a certain type of process. And so it is with spiritual refinement...it’s allowing God to cleanse us from those things that hold us back from His presence...to be purged of encumbrances that prevent us from “Spirit and Truth” worship so that we can walk in holiness. Hebrews 12:14 declares, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; for without holiness no one will see the Lord.” “Lord, refine me by the power of Your Holy Spirit” should be the cry of every Christian’s heart.
What a great analogy for God’s process of refining us in preparation for His Kingdom. At many points in our lives (if not continually,) we must all endure the Lord shaping and molding us into His image, and it is often a painful process... in fact, it seems that God’s purest form of cleansing us and preparing us for eternity is through the fires of affliction. We cry for holiness in our worship, yet purity comes with a price. God never said that we wouldn’t experience trials and difficulties. But, He does promise that He would be with us through adversity...through the fire. Sometimes, our own sin can cause suffering; even hidden weaknesses caused by sin can come to our attention through our pain...but God can use that pain to cause us to turn to Him.
Just as the three men were thrown into the furnace, God was with them and they came out unharmed; yet, they had to “go through” the fire before the Lord could reveal Himself in that furnace. When God puts you through the flames, you will not be consumed or burned, for He is there watching and completely focused on you. (Is 43:2) He sees the impurities being burned away, and just as the silversmith, He removes you from the fire when He sees His image in you.
During the difficult times of your life, remember...the Great Silversmith has His eye on you, and will continue to watch and purify you until you are made in His image...then, in God’s eyes, we are “Good As Gold!”
"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship
of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:10-11).
God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in
our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world. (C.S. Lewis)