“He will sit as a refiner…of silver.” Mal 3:3 NIV
It’s hard watching someone you love going through the refiner’s fire, but it’s the only way to get pure silver. It’s hard watching the refiner turn up the heat until all the scum on the bottom rises, every impurity is removed, and He finally sees His face reflected on the surface. But only then is the work complete. And that’s God’s goal for each of us. When we pray, “Make me more like Jesus,” we’re asking the Holy Spirit to do a work in us. Usually we don’t change until the pain of staying the same becomes unbearable. For most of us, knowledge is not the bridge to growth—pain is. No matter how much you love someone, don’t try to rescue them from God’s dealings. The worst thing you could have done for the Prodigal Son was go down to the pigsty, clean it up and make it comfortable for him. That’s called “enabling.” Let the refiner do His work! For much of his life Jacob didn’t think he needed God. He’d probably have told you, “I’m doing just fine, thank you!” But the time came when he had to go home, stand before his father and face the wrath of his brother Esau whom he’d wronged. And that’s when he became willing to wrestle with God and say, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Ge 32:26 NIV). Change usually comes when it hurts so much that you have to change, when you learn so much that you want to change, and when you receive so much that you welcome change.
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