This past Sunday we talked about how any good PRODUCT must endure a PROCESS of being refined. You can watch the illustration here (it starts around 37 minutes in).
When I was growing up in church there was a very popular worship song called “Refiners Fire.” It went like this (I’ll warn you, it’s cheesy but it was POWERFUL back in the day!):
Wow, THANK YOU LAWD!! that worship music has progressed since then!
Let’s explore this concept a little more. Scripture talks a LOT about PRESSURE and HEAT being refining elements in our lives:
1 Peter 1:6-7 - In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Peter is making reference here to the process that gold is taken through in order to be purified. It’s put over FIRE. The heat causes all the contaminates to surface which allows a goldsmith to easily remove them thereby rendering the gold “pure.”
As I said on Sunday, there are some of the dark places of our hearts (our “Selfie”) that can only be killed off through PRESSURIZED situations where the heat is turned up. I ALWAYS see cracks in my character when the heat is turned up in my life!
As believers we have the choice to make when pressurized situations hit our life: We can RUN from them or we can LEAN INTO them.
The book of 1 Peter was written by Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples. He learned this lesson of “The Refiner’s Fire” the hard way! When the heat was turned up in Peter’s life at the time of Jesus’ arrest, Peter had the choice to run away and deny that he knew Jesus or to lean into the fire.
Let me state it differently . . . he had the choice to WARM HIMSELF BY THE FIRE and stay at a comfortable distance or STEP INTO THE FIRE and be with Jesus! In American Christianity we have a tendency to gravitate to warming ourselves by the fire and we CERTAINLY have an AVERSION to stepping into it - IT’S UNCOMFORTABLE!
Read this to see how Peter responds to pressure . . . notice verse 54.
WOW!! PETER SAT DOWN WITH THE GUARDS (Jesus’ enemies) and WARMED HIMSELF BY THE FIRE!
A friend of mine showed me this contrast. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Old Testament also went through a LITERAL “Refiner’s Fire” . . . You can read their story here.
Here’s what my friend told me that was SOOO powerful. He said:
“Davey, you can follow Jesus at a distance and “warm yourself by the fire” or you can step into the fire and BE WITH JESUS! Your choice.”
Even if it means a “Refiner’s Fire” for me, I choose to BE WITH JESUS!
Which do you choose?
- Davey Blackburn
Davey Blackburn is the lead pastor of Resonate Church. You can find him on Twitter at @daveyblackburn.