And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. Zechariah 13:9
A paragraph from The Bait of Satan:
The first step in refining gold is grinding into a powder and mixing it with a substance called flux. Then the mixture is placed in a furnace and melted by intense heat. The alloys and impurities are drawn to the flux and rise to the surface. The gold (which is heavier) remains at the bottom. The impurities or dross (such as copper, iron, and zinc, combined with flux) is then removed, yielding a purer metal.
Just in that little lesson, there are a lot of spiritual applications. Notice the first step–grinding it into a powder! Ouch. Reminds me of Luke 20:18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. One way or another, God wants us to be broken. He can’t use us until that happens.
Then something is mixed in that draws out the impurities. I think my “flux” is probably sassy kids, wet towels on the floor, jars of salsa that don’t seal…things like that. They certainly draw out some rather unlovely parts of me.
And another thing that impressed me is that dross can actually be some pretty good things! Copper, iron, and zinc are all useful metals! They aren’t just worthless junk, but they aren’t the best! How many times do “pretty good” things in my life invade the territory of the BEST? Do my “valid and worthwhile” things overwhelm the things that God is really wanting me to do?
Going on with the book now:
There was a time in my life when I went through intense trials such as I had never faced before. I became rude and harsh with those closest to me. My family and friends began to avoid me.
I cried out to the Lord, “Where is all this anger coming from? It wasn’t here before!”
The Lord responded, “Son, it is when they liquify gold in fire that the impurities show up.” He then asked a question that changed my life. “Can you see the impurities in gold before it is put in the fire?”
“No,” I answered.
“But that doesn’t mean they were not there,” He said. “When the fire of trials hit you, these impurities surfaced. Though hidden to you, they were always visible to Me. So now you have a choice that will determine your future. You can remain angry, blaming your wife, friends, pastor, and the people you work with, or you can see this dross of sin for what it is and repent, receive forgiveness, and I will take my ladle and remove these impurities from your life.”
This really hit me. When new bad traits show up in my life, it’s devastating! I tend to berate myself and get discouraged. But Satan is called the “accuser of the brethren” for a reason! He is the one who tells me I am a failure, that I’m good for nothing. God doesn’t say any such thing! He says, “Aha, there it is–I knew it was there all the time. Now that it has surfaced, will you allow me, child, to skim it off? I’ll take it from you, if you’ll only ask.”
Oh, please take it. Yes!
What’s next, Abba?