August 14, 2017
God created you, all of you, giving you 2 most precious and important gifts, your mind and free will. Like any good “manufacturer”, He included an instruction manual describing how to use what He created (you) to maximize your potential. The Holy Bible is His instruction manual. And wow! It is so powerful and life changing. Here’s how one sentence of scripture can teach so much.
A group of women in a Bible study were studying the book of Malachi. As they examined and discussed the third chapter, they came across verse 3, which says, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week she called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process itself.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest, to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot – then she thought again about the verse, “He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.” She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered “yes,” he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver were left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, how do you know when the silver is fully refined? He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s the easy part–when I see my image reflected in it.”
What can we take away from this beautiful story?
- Our Lord wants the impurities out of our body, soul (mind), and spirit. “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver”
- Our Lord is with us every minute of every day as we go through the process of refinement and purification. “…he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire”
- Our Lord knows how much we can take, and his timing is perfect because it is his timing “For if the silver were left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.” Our Lord will never give us more burdens than we can manage as long as we are living according to his word.
- Our Lord truly wants to see us grow to be like Him. “Oh, that’s the easy part–when I see my image reflected in it.”
How do you handle this purifying process that sometimes seems painful and overwhelming? Apply the trustworthy instructions from the manual The Manufacturer gave us. Instead of doing life or managing the stress your way, switch over to God’s way. He knows exactly how to view, process, and handle the adversities of life.
Today, when you feel under pressure, stop and remind yourself of the silversmith and the silver. Identify whose instruction book you are using to handle that pressure-filled (purifying) situation God brought into your life. Whether you use God’s instruction manual, the BIBLE, or you write your own hodge-podge of play-it-by-ear instruction manual is your decision, so choose well. WITHIN REACH and Edging Forward are specifically designed to help you use God’s instruction manual. These resources are what turned my life around and they can have a powerful impact in your life as well.
Dear Father God, I thank You for the wisdom and guidance that comes from Your Holy Word. I thank You for the depth of meaning held within each word. I pray that You will fill me with Your Spirit so that I may see more clearly the messages You want me to take away from your Word. I pray that You will help me absorb and extract the full message from Your Word and share it with others so that they can experience Your glory and wisdom too. I pray this in the name of the Living Word, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver”
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 6-7
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.