For in him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16
Have you ever freely created something without instructions or training? I remember watching my Granny in the kitchen whipping up delicious meals without a recipe and utilizing her garden produce. Of course, she had years of experience. Although I have gained some kitchen knowledge from her wisdom, I have attempted to make several innovative things using whatever I could scrounge up. (truth factor–I probably didn’t want to go to the grocery store) However, it has awarded me the title of “Cracker Soup” but needless to say, not everything has always been edible.
Look around you. See all those material objects? They were created for a purpose. Most have had to endure a process to become a final product. How about that cozy, leather recliner you might be enjoying currently? The majority of leathers are a by-product and would be considered waste if it wasn’t for a vision someone had for the raw product. However, the hide has to go through a process before anyone can use it for the purpose intended.
What do you think about when reflecting on the word Refining? When I think about refining, salsa comes to mind. My favorite way to prepare it is to initially roast everything. I will spare you the scientific undertaking and transformation that takes place under the pressure of the heat. However, my salsa seems to standout when I take the time to roast the tomatoes, garlic, onions, and peppers. The ingredients are cut, roasted, crushed, and blended to perfection as they are gently seasoned with salt and cilantro. One can hardly recognize the shape and form of the initial items. Yum!
Now, let’s focus on the Lord’s refinement. God created all things in His perfect design plan with eternity in mind. You and I are part of His agenda. Psalm 139:14 states that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We can easily pause and demonstrate gratitude to our Lord for creating us much like David eloquently portrays in the book of Psalm. That is the easy part.
However. . .just like our physical body matures (whether we like it or not), God expects us to develop in our walk with Him. He is a loving Father and gives us the freedom to surrender to obedience and spiritual growth under His authority. We are ALL a work in progress but God will work in and through us if we are willing.
Salvation is only the beginning to expressing a “YES” posture for God. John 15:20 gently reminds us “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” A life following Jesus does involve hardship. Amen, those trials and life circumstances are a struggle. They cut us, scar us, roast us, crush us, and transform us for better or worse. God uses these difficult encounters to refine our lives much like the refinement of silver…
When the chemical element “Ag” advances within the fiery furnace, the silversmith knows exactly when the refinement is accomplished. He/she simply waits until they observe their own reflection in the silver. Can God completely see His reflection in you?
May we each embrace our spiritual growth through a refinement journey so one day our sweet Lord identifies us through His likeness.
If you desire to dig deeper in your relationship with the Lord and learn to embrace the spiritual maturity, I would encourage you to experience Refining. Let it be the springboard to living as a devoted follower of God.