The Divine Silversmith

He speaks to meThis morning, I completed Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study He Speaks to Me: Preparing to Hear from God. I chose the study because I so desperately want to hear the voice of God in my life. What I received through this six-week study was God’s words reaching into my heart through Priscilla’s words. In teaching the necessary elements of my submission and the preparation of my heart, God honed in on several issues I’ve been struggling with.

So, what did I come away with other than regret that my time in this study is now at an end? Conviction that I don’t trust God with every aspect of my life. I like to have some semblance of control—which has been my problem from my earliest memories. Control and submission are at odds with each other. I have a very strict view of right and wrong—and if I’m expected to do right, everyone around me should do likewise. I’ve been trying to reason in my mind (and sometimes vocally, as well) the lack of integrity and honor I’ve come across lately. But when I stop long enough to listen to the Lord’s voice in the matter, I’m reminded that I don’t have all the information. I’m judging from my own narrow standpoint where right and wrong is black and white. Period.

But the reality is that we are each individuals with individual pasts that most often dictate to some extent how we handle setbacks and disappointments. It’s difficult enough when we have the Holy Spirit working in us, but when the individual is not a believer, all bets are off. What does one rely on when they have no relationship with God? What, then, becomes their measuring stick? I don’t know, but whatever it is, my heart breaks for them, because it’s not a loving and merciful God who will heal their hurts and bring them true peace through truth. Instead, it’s whatever they can grasp in this temporary life.

I’ve learned that the trials I wade through are actually blessings in disguise. Opportunities to be molded into the shape of Christ. On page 111 of the study, Priscilla writes, God is the divine silversmith refining metal to rid it of impurities. When we are burdened, broken, and in need, He reminds us we are not alone. God will not only never leave our side, He watches over us and knows when enough is enough. Do you know how the silversmith knows the refining process is complete? He must be able to clearly see his reflection in the molten metal. We sometimes find ourselves in a place we believe is too difficult. The intense heat seems to be too much to bear, but God is paying close attention. His work will be done and we will be ready when He can see His reflection in us.

I love that! I may not like the process as I’m in the midst of it, but I pray that with each trial, I will remember more quickly why it is I must persevere. And why I must not judge others for their lack of what I deem is integrity. Whatever comes to pass, God is in the midst of it, holding us up in our pain and purifying us through the process. So my prayer is that those who cannot discern the voice of God—or even His presence—will find themselves broken enough to allow Him entry into their hearts and minds. For whatever we gain in this life is but filthy rags in light of eternity.

“…I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ…” Phil 3:8 (NKJV)

What trials is God using to purify you through the molten process?

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