Yesterday, I wrote about God who is a consuming fire (Jealous? God? Part 1). Just like we escape from a building on fire, we try to escape the fire of God. There is a fire that is exceptionally good for us. Specifically, the Refiner’s Fire.
We must understand one of the basic fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith. It is an inescapable truth we must always keep at the front of our minds. That undeniable truth is that EACH OF US WILL STAND BEFORE GOD ONE DAY. We will answer for how we lived, what we did, and for every idle word spoken. The good fire is a cleansing fire that cleans up the child of God to shape his or her character. We call this the Refiner’s Fire. Our God is a consuming fire. He is also the Refiner who purifies and polishes those who are godly (those who belong to Him).
“Yet He knows the way I have taken, when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have followed His tracks; I have kept His ways without turning aside,” (Job 23:10-11).
Job was going through his own personal hell on earth. Job was being refined. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Yet while his wife said, “Curse God and die,” Job maintained his integrity. Job clung to God, and he longed for God. Job went through one trial after another. Those trials shaped his character. It was after he was tested, he came out like gold from the furnace of affliction. “Then Job replied to the Lord: ‘I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance,’” (Job 42:2-6). At the end of it all, God restored twice as much to him than what he had before all the trials began (Job 42:10-15).
We go through the refining fire when trials and testing come our way. It is a good kind of fire. It is the kind of fire that keeps us on track. It is the kind of fire that removes the impurity (sin) from our life and drives us to repentance before the God we serve. It is the kind of fire that sharpens our character. It is the kind of fire that doesn’t leave us in the muck and mire. It is kind that doesn’t leave us in despair or feeling hopeless. It is the kind of fire that drives us before the face of God to commune with Him. It is the kind of fire that draws us deeper in our relationship with God. It is the Refiner’s Fire.