The Living Word:
The bellows fiercely fan the flames to burn out the corruption. But it does not purify them, for the wickedness remains. I will label them ‘Rejected Silver,’ for I, the Lord, am discarding them.” Jeremiah 6:29-30 (nlt)
The Word In Motion:
Sounds harsh doesn’t it, to be rejected because of an unwillingness to yield.
The prophet Jeremiah is telling the outcome of one who resists the Refiner’s fire. The fire burns on and on, but the impurities are never released and removed. Instead, this particular piece of metal has stubbornly clung to that which cheapens it, regardless of the intensity of the heat. Its resistance to the fire reveals ugliness rather than beauty. It has resisted its potential to become anything of value.
The Refiner, places a chuck of silver in the fire time after time. When the impurities are stubbornly held on to, the refining process continues in vain. So this stubborn piece of silver remains impure, unusable, and unattractive. Then the silver is rejected for use by the refiner. What a tragic ending! This obstinate and impure piece of silver has been set aside because it insisted on hanging on to its impurities.
We have a choice…yield to the Refiner and his fire or hang on to our impurities. Yes, it can be difficult to have our impurities exposed and removed. So instead of allowing the fire to do its refining work, we hang on to anger, un-forgiveness, selfishness, pride… and refuse to let those impurities be released from our lives. (the wickedness remains) We justify our rights and opinions. We blame others. We even blame God for what remains in us. And sometimes we are so locked into what we see in others that we don’t see what is in us. Is the risk worth it?
The Refiner’s fire is able to miraculously transform worthless junk into a vessel of pure silver. But for that transformation to happen we must surrender to the refiner’s skill. We need to allow the heat of the fire to reveal the impurities in us. Only He can take our lives and remove the impurities without scorching our hearts. He heats the fire till a miracle takes place: Till He sees Himself in the silver! We reflect the Refiners face!
Oh, how I don’t want to be set aside by God! I want God to be able to use me every day in every possible way! I want the impurities out of my heart and life! There’s nothing more tragic and horrifying than to hear the Refiner say, “I am simply unable to use you. You have refused to let go of that which defiles you.”
Is it worth the risk to resist?
O Lord, I surrender to your fire. My resistance is futile. Help me to yield to the heat of your word, to surrender to the work of your hands, and to remember that even though the fire is hot you will not let me be burned. Your ever watchful eyes are on the whole process of refining me. Amen
I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'" Zechariah 13:9