There are many ways in which the Lord transforms His people “from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). We cry out to God to make us more like Him, and then we cry to Him about the methods He uses to make us more like Him! Have you ever been there? I have!! The Lord is a master designer, creator of beautiful things and a skilled craftsman. He has a design and purpose in mind for every, single human life that has even existed. However, many, many people cannot or will not withstand the intensity of the forging process and as a result they never get to experience life as God intended for them to live it.
But in the hands of the Master, the fire has a purpose and a use that will transform and shape you, strengthen you and design you perfectly for what He needs.
In Isaiah 48:10 the Lord spoke saying, “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” Unlike silver, which is refined through a process of boiling, the blacksmith forges his iron pieces in fire, not over it. Why? Silver and iron are two completely different metals with fundamentally different properties and purposes.
While iron is very strong, it is also brittle and hard and can only be shaped in extreme heat, silver remains soft and malleable without much heat needed to shape it. Iron is much stronger than silver, but it also rusts more easily. Iron possesses magnetism, the ability to draw things to itself, while silver does not. Both are in need of the skilled hands of a Master designer to bring out their best qualities.
In the Bible, there are many mentions of the Lord refining His people as silver, however, in Isaiah He said, “…not as silver” – meaning that the season will come when the Lord wants to shape you into a strong, useful instrument for the Master’s use, and there will be a season spent in the fire to do it. But in the hands of the Master, the fire has a purpose and a use that will transform and shape you, strengthen you and design you perfectly for what He needs.
Once iron has come out of the fire, the blacksmith then must pound it over and over with a hammer to begin to shape it. As iron starts to cool, its color begins to change and in order to be softened again, it must be placed back into the fire to be red again, and pliable. Each time iron goes back into the fire it has a new shape. Every twist and mark shapes it. Each time it needs another reshaping, the iron goes back in fire. Pounding, squeezing, twisting – whichever method the blacksmith uses will depend on what forger has in mind for the end result.
Thought for today
We are taught to fear fire from the time we are young. It’s true that when we “play with fire” we can create destruction on every level, but we have come to believe that experiencing seasons of “fire” is a bad thing. We fret that the heat of a fire means we are in a “fiery furnace” situation where we were thrust by an enemy and we need God’s rescue. Not so! Fire isn’t always a bad thing, or a destructive force. It was through fire that God spoke to Moses. It was through fire that He led His people out of Egypt during the darkness of night. It was through fire God sent a miracle answer from heaven to consume Elijah’s water-soaked sacrifice. When God controls the fire, there is purpose, beauty and strength, protection, revelation, miracles and transformation. If you are in a season of “forging” right now, give God the glory! You will emerge from the fire fundamentally changed, unbreakable and shaped into a thing of beauty and He will put you to His good use! ❤ #thatswhyIworship
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