Monday, August 21, 2017

Week Thirty-One - The Refining

Beside the Well
            The woman at the well was amazed as the Lord looked straight through her life exposing all she was.  Yet, his examination did not drive her away. Rather, it drew her to the water of life and motivated her to bring others also. 
            My time at the well has brought similar examinations as I am brought face to face with my failures, weaknesses and insecurities.  Graciously, the Lord has used those times to draw me closer to Himself.
            The Bible uses the refining of precious metal to illustrate the process of sanctification.  By fire, the precious metal is heated and the impurities are brought to the surface.  The refiner scraps away the dross until he can see his reflection without distortion.
            As I visualize the image of the refiner looking into the pot of heated silver, I fail to see myself as the valuable liquid.  I don’t see myself as that precious or valuable. I grimace as I feel the dross churning in my life: the dross of fear, unbridled thoughts and prejudices, insensitivity and intolerance, subtle disobedience and insincerity.  I am confronted with my humanity and my spiritual anemia.  I recoil and go back to my safe place as a distant observer.  But, I want to be that beautiful Christian.  I want my Saviour’s pleasure, His smile, and approval.
            How is it that I can oscillate between confidence and fear, assuredness and insecurity?  Am I double-minded?  I don’t think so.  Am I unstable?  That is hardly a definition that would be used of me.  Yet inside is a child, a fearful and needy child.  I need God’s hug.  I need to hear from His Word—the source of all my strength, comfort and confidence.  And, I need to focus my thoughts on truth instead of self-focused condemning evaluations.  I need the fire of purification.
            Mullygrubbing (a British term for being disgruntled and full of self pity) does not produce health in my life.  Better to recognize that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing.   
            The life that I now live is not lived in the flesh, but in the Spirit.  That old dead man may still cry out for attention, but he will be purged.  The new man will continue to take precedence because greater is He that is in me.  Praise God!
            If and when things need to change in my life, my loving Father will not hold back.  He will tell me straight up and I will hear Him clearly.  Then, I face the choice of obedience.

            So, as I peer into the seething cauldron, I need not fear.  My Saviour is looking at it with me.  He isn’t afraid of what He sees, for it is all seen through the shadow of the cross and the lens of His blood.  He is creating a pure image of Himself through my life.  I want to yield to the process.

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