Journal Mal 3-4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver…” Mal 3:2b-3
Observation: Remember He is after a people for his own possession…
This is a difficult subject for many. It is difficult for me and I have been trained all my life to pursue it.
“Take away the dross (the impurities) from the silver and the smith has material for a vessel…” Prov 25:4
“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts…” Prov 17:3 Using another analogy: Isaiah 29:16 refers to me as clay (c. Ro 9:19-21; Is 45:9).
So, as a guy who has surrendered his life to God, does He then have the right to rid me of my daily impurities; pound out the lumps of resistance in the clay? Oh, yes, He does.
The point for me to remember: It is not what I do (as tasks) but what am I pursuing? Am I pursuing to be “holy as He is holy?” To walk “worthy of the Gospel?” Or am I looking to do as the guys in Matt 7, “Lord, Lord, didn’t I do (this and that” in your Name?” And Jesus’ response: “Go away, I never knew you.”
None of this is easy. I am in a valley, looking to climb out—but having to trudge through the mud of life now.
There may be more reading this that are in the same boat with me. You are not alone. But, keep your head up for the Holy Spirit wants to draw near.
You draw near, first.
Prayer: Father, why is life difficult today? I cry out to you, O God; deliver me from this situation. Open my ears so I can hear your voice and obey.
I am digging out everything that I can remember from your Word; trying to toss aside my wants and desires; repudiating the desire to self-protect and justify my thoughts and actions—because I know that I cannot make this right on my own.
I want to be made in the image of my Lord; if that is foolish to the world then let it be…