Impurity: Into The Fire
Into The Deep is my 4-week mini Bible Study for the month of October, which aims to explore different themes in the Bible relating them to different aspects of life. As we journey Into The Fire, Into The Wilderness, Into The Lion’s Den and Into The Storm, we’ll be piecing together passages in the Old Testament with the New Testament, to reveal the hidden messages behind them. I truly feel like God has placed this message on my heart for the Bible Study, so let’s get into part one…
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12
To grow in virtue is to clothe ourselves with the Fruits of the Spirit. If we are rooted in the Lord, then He can cultivate us and help us to bear good fruit that is pleasing to Him. In order for us to be clothed in virtue, first, we must be cleansed through fire.
“But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord.” – Malachi 3:2-3
In the Book of Malachi, we are reminded that God is a refiner. God wants to refine us because we are His sanctuary. He wants to burn away the impurity and the dross within us, the materials of His creation.
To grow in holiness is to be refined like gold through fire. Yet, what happens when a Goldsmith heats gold is that it turns into a liquid and all the impurities rise up to the surface. Once this happens, the Goldsmith gets rid of these impurities and continues to heat the gold again. The impurities rise to the top and the Goldsmith takes them and throws them out.
This process happens over and over and over again until the Goldsmith can look at the gold and see his reflection in it. If God is our Goldsmith, then He wants to refine us to the point where He can see Himself in us. For behind the layers of sin, we are God’s creation made in His image and likeness.
If God were to look at you, would He see Himself in you or is sin and impurity holding you back from being a true reflection of the King? God never gets tired of forgiving us, we get tired of asking.
It’s in the fire that God can reveal His true nature to us, in the same way He revealed His nature to Moses in the burning bush. The conditions of the fire aren’t meant to be pleasant since uncomfortableness produces growth and the outcome of perseverance is purity. It’s about journeying into the fire to make it through and become more on fire for the Lord.
“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” – Isaiah 48:10
Essentially, the Bible uses the symbolism of fire when demonstrating the testing of our faith and the process of being refined. In the Book of Daniel, three of Daniel’s friends defy the King of Babylon by refusing to worship the golden statue. As a result, they were thrown into a fiery furnace, where they continued to praise the One True God, who delivers them.
“Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!” – Daniel 3:27
The story of Daniel and his friends in Babylon highlights faithfulness in the midst of exile. The three friends are delivered unbound, unshaken and unharmed, proving that God is good and that faithfulness produces fruitfulness. Only when we’re faced with furnaces in life are we able to strengthen our faith to withstand the afflictions.
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So, when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” – 1 Peter 1:6-7
If we want to grow in holiness and virtue, it’s about being purified and purged through fire. When we walk with an anti-fragile faith, we are rooted in Christ and can withstand any trials that come our way. Remember: faithfulness produces fruitfulness…
POINT TO PONDER: To grow in holiness is to be tested like gold through fire. VERSE TO LIVE: “I will be with you… when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2 QUESTION TO CONSIDER: Are there aspects of your life that need refining? PRAYER: Lord show me who I was created to be, set my heart on fire for you and give me the grace to persevere through the trials that come my way with steadfast faith in you.