Monday, May 17, 2010

Tested Hearts

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the hearts. Prov 17:3 (NKJV)

The writer of Proverbs draws a parallel between an activity of the Lord and a process used for refining or purifying precious metals. In his day, a silversmith (or goldsmith) would use a metal pot over a hot fire to purify the precious metal. He would heat the melted metal until the dross or impurities would rise to the top where he would sweep them off. He would then increase the temperature and repeat the process until all of the impurities were removed from the metal and he could see the perfect reflection of his face in the melted metal. The process separated that which was of no value from that which was of greatest worth.

As the fire tested the purity of the metal with increased intensity, so the Lord tests the purity of our hearts. He does so by allowing the circumstances of our lives to be “heated-up.” We may find ourselves faced with a temptation or a crisis; we may be facing a difficult decision or a troubled relationship. In each instance we have the opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to remove the dross or impurities in our hearts in order that the image of the Savior may be seen more clearly. God’s goal is always to help us become like His Son Jesus, therefore everything He allows into our lives is for our good (Romans 8:28-29).

I was about three-fourths of the way through writing this devotion when there was a power surge and the computer shut-down. My initial reaction was … well … in the flesh. But then I realized God was just illustrating for me what I was hoping to convey to you – that He is at work in all the circumstances of our lives to bring out and remove those “fleshly” impurities so that we can be more like Him. It was a small “test”, as many of them are, but a test none-the-less. As the old song says, “He’s still working on me…”