I heard a story once of a visit to a gold mine in South Africa. The demonstration area had a working furnace where gold was being refined. The visitors, seated several yards away, could see the glow of fire from the cracks around the furnace doors. When the doors were opened, the heat, even from across the room, was almost unbearable.
Two men wearing asbestos suits took a crucible out of the fire with long tongs. The vessel was filled with molten gold. The audience was told that the fire was heated to a certain degree to melt off the impurities in the gold. After the impurities are removed, the furnace is heated even hotter and the gold was put back in again. The impurities were again removed and returned to an even higher heat.
Each level of purification corresponds to a grade of the gold standard, i.e. 14k, 18k, 24k. The gold technician knows when the gold has reached its peak of purification when he can see his face reflected in it. Pure, molten gold is nearly clear.
When our hearts are purified by God’s grace, He can see Himself in us. His light shines through us unhindered by our selfishness and pride. Others can see Him easily. We can be a city on a hill–a light to a lost world.
Never cringe at heat in the furnace. Give yourself to it. Why hold on to anything that blocks the light of God in your life? Get rid of it. Let it all go. When the pressure is turned up and the rottenness floats to the top, confess it to Jesus and ask Him to take it from you. Ask Him to cleanse you completely. Be free. Be holy in Him.
The crucible of His love is not to punish you. It’s to make you beautiful. How much will you allow yourself to be purified? Only this far and no further? Why? Why hold onto anything sinful in your life? You were made to shine His radiance. That’s why Peter can say, “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Pet 1:7)
Ask God to turn up the fire. Ask Him to purify your heart. Let Him see His face in your heart.
Another post on holiness: Holiness Takes Intention