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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Refiners Fire

Trials and testing are the Refiners fire of our heart.  God wants to humble us and to test us, to know what is in our heart.  To know whether we will keep His commandments or not.  We have a choice in every trial that comes our way.  It does not matter if this trial is sent by God or the enemy, for our enemy is a ploy in the hand of God.  I can think of several choices we may be tempted with as these fires comes.

1) Hide out - stick out head in the sand and pretend it does not exist.
2) Run - run into drugs, alcohol, sex, anything that will bring quick satisfaction
3) Self determination - Working out the problem in our own strength with our own resources. 
4) Surrendering - surrendering our will to the Lords and agreeing to walk through whatever He so desires.

Just last night, I had to make this choice.  There is a situation in our family that I wish would go away.  I wish I did not have to deal with it.  I would love to hide out in Alma and pretend I do not know what is going on in OKC.  But God in His sovereignty has other plans for me. 

When the fires come we need to take the example from Jesus in Matthew 26:36-40 "Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?  Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless  I drink it, Your will be done.”  And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Jesus was in agony because He knew God's wrath against our sin was going to be poured out upon Him.  He asked if there could be another way for the sin of mankind to be made atonement for.  There was not, so Christ in His great love for the Father obeyed and we have redemption! 

Today if you are facing a trial.  Don't stuff the pain.  Cry out to God with all that is on your heart.  He already knows the good, bad, and ugly.  It will not take Him by surprise.  Share with Him as I did last night, that you do not want to walk this path.  But in the process surrender your heart to His will.  In surrendering He will give you the strength, wisdom, and endurance to walk the trial that has been place before you. 

And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.  So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. Deut 8:2-3

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