Malachi 3:2-3 But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Matthew 3:11 He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire…
Isaiah 6:1,6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord… Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips…
Today is day six. Six is the number of man. It is at this time that we need to address something extremely important. We can’t do what God has called us to do, or be who He has called us to be on our own. We NEED Him from start to finish. God desires to transform us from who we were into who He has created us to be. This is the refining process. Without it, we are not legitimate children of God, cannot have true intimacy with Him, and have no hope of eternity with Him (Matthew 7:23, Matthew 25:11).
Jesus is not just our Savior, He is also our Refiner. Malachi tells us that He will not only cleanse us from our sin (1 John 1:9) but put us through a process of purification. How do you purify silver or gold? You heat it with fire until it melts, add flux that draws out the impurities that collect to form dross, remove the dross, then let it cool to produce the pure metal.
John the Baptist tells us that Jesus will baptize us in fire. This is not talking about power or passion, that’s the baptism of the Holy Spirit. To be baptized in fire means to go through the fires of suffering and adversity. Jesus counsels us to submit to the various trials and sufferings that we will go through in this life, and to trust Him so that when we do, we can be assured that He won’t kill us, but refine us as gold.
That is not to say that God causes every tragedy and trial to purify you. God did not cause your parent to die, child to get sick, or your boss to fire you. We live in a lost sick and dying world and much of what happens is a result of living in a fallen world that our sin caused. Again, God doesn’t cause every hardship, BUT He will use them (Romans 8:28). Whether He leads us into the fires of affliction or we have chosen to jump in ourselves through our sin – whatever the reason, we can trust Him to refine us IF we submit to Him in the process.
Malachi talks about purifying the sons of Levi. These were the priests. We, as children of God, are all priests in Christ (1 Peter 2:9). To be a priest means to usher in the presence of God, as well as represent God to people, and the people to God intercession. When we submit to purification, we become better priests. We hear Him more clearly and receive more of what the Holy Spirit wants to give to us and to do through us. This is why Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire – you don’t get one without the other.
Isaiah was both priest and prophet. In chapter 6, King Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26) died and only after that was there a revelation of the Lord. He was a symbol of pride. We could say it this way: when pride died, Isaiah had a revelation. Why are we, as priests, without revelation? Pride. We want to do it our way, on our terms, in our time, for our glory, according to our preference. We consult ourselves and our feelings and follow our cravings and desires rather than God’s word and the leading of His Spirit.
It would be a tragedy to go through the fire and not be purified. To go through the fire of trials through tragedy and trauma, just to go back to the way you were before. God and the world will provide the fire (John 16:33, James 1:2-5), but we must provide the flux of humility to allow the Holy Spirit to expose, collect, and remove the dross (flesh, sin, and immaturity) from our lives.
Fasting is, first and foremost, about humbling ourselves before God, repenting of our sin, and exposing ourselves to Him so He can do what only He can do in us – to purify our hearts so we, like Job, can come out of our trial refined as gold (Job 23:10).
1. Humble ourselves before God. He knows – we don’t. He has the power – not us. His will be done – not ours!
2. Wait for a revelation of God.
3. Get ready for Him to reveal you to you. When you stand in His light, you can’t but begin to recognize the darkness in yourself.
4. Refuse to run. Don’t turn on the noise. Don’t give in to distractions. Don’t break the fast and give up. He knows your dark and dirty. He’s known it the whole time. You’re the one that’s late to the party. He doesn’t show you to shame you (Romans 8:1). He loves you and brings you to this place because He wants to purify you. God doesn’t just show you the problem, He come in with a solution (1 Corinthians 10:13).
5. Allow Him to cleanse you of your sin and selfishness. It may be painful, but it is worth it for you, for everyone else, for His Kingdom, and for eternity.
When we humble ourselves and submit to God’s refining process, we become more pure, more like Him, and more ready to go where He sends us (Isaiah 6:6-8). We will hear Him ask, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then we, like Isaiah, will be able to say, “Here am I! Send me.”
Jesus, I love You. You are the holy One, the Refiner and Lover of my soul. Thank You for today. Help me to see adversity, both inside and out, not as something to run from but as an opportunity to become more like You. Help me to endure suffering with a better attitude. Help me to stay in alignment with You, even when You expose what I hate the most about myself. I ask that You would help me to Humble myself, that I would submit to Your process of purification, and that I would come out as gold. Let my life be worship unto You and to produce the purity of gold that is fit for the King of Kings. I trust You. Help me with my disbelief. I need You Jesus. In Your name, amen.