God often speaks in parables. I love this because, naturally, I am a seeker. So, I get excited when his word becomes clear.
This past week, as I was studying 2 Timothy 2:20-21. God was speaking of how, in a wealthy home, there were many types of vessels. Some of gold and silver and others of wood and clay. All of these vessels get used, but only the ones of silver and gold are used for special purposes. He compares us to these vessels saying that if we are kept pure, we will be used, like the silver and gold vessels, for every good work.
I then began to recall how God speaks of us being refined like silver and gold. As a matter of fact, he speaks of it a few times. So I decided to look up that process. So, here are the highlights:
1. The metal must go through the fire: God allows us to go through fiery trials and tests. This is the beginning of the purification process. Just as the refiner must keep control over the temperature, God is always in control of our situations. This leads me to the next point.
2. When the metal is melted, the impurities come to the surface: When the temp is just right, the metal melts down and dross rises to the surface. Dross is basically any type of impurity. Removing the dross is a tedious process for the refiner. It’s no quick or effortless process. This points to God’s work in us. As we go through the fire, things begin to surface. Things like wrong actions, attitudes and motives. God begins to pull all that stuff away. We are not perfect, but we bear Christ’s image. This leads to my last point.
3. When all impurities are removed, the refiner can see his image clearly: With patience and skill, the refiner removes the dross. This leaves behind the purified gold and silver. To gauge his progress, the refiner looks into the gold or silver for his own reflection! So as God takes us through these fiery trials, he removes away anything that is not of benefit to us and then, he beholds his work. He looks for his reflection in us! We were made in his image and likeness, but sometimes the things of this world can attach themselves to us and alter that image. Therefore, as his children, we must be purified!
In closing, I want to say to myself and whoever is reading…God wants to use you mightily. Don’t be surprised when he turns up the heat. All he needs is a vessel that is ready, willing and available.