God tests us so that He can refine us. It places us in a position to handle greater workload for Him with a greater Godly character. In the book of Genesis, the story of Joseph is a great example of this. God called Joseph to rule and he made the mistake of telling his family about it. As a result, anger and jealousy consumed his brothers and they tried to eliminate him by selling him into slavery. If you stop reading his story there, you may walk away thinking it has a terrible ending. But in reality, God used the subsequent circumstances in Josephs life, which included false imprisonment, to develop his Godly character. When Joseph eventually rose to a powerful position, he had the fortitude to handle it. God could trust him with it.
Impure gold is melted and them impurities float to the top. Refiners skim off the impurities on the surface until the gold is as close to pure as possible. God does the same for us. He opens our eyes to the impurities in our life, calls us to something higher and lets us choose. We can stay where we are and miss the blessing, or we can address the things He opens our eyes too and move forward in our relationship with him.
I was reading some of my old journals last week and was reminded of a refining encounter I had with the Holy Spirit. Several years ago, as God was placing Adored Boutique in my heart, He brought to my attention that I had envy deep in my heart and that it was interfering with my relationship with Him. It was one of those moments where you might initially respond with " No way, Im not envious" because you had no idea it was there. You hadn't named that thing that influences your attitude. But God, in His loving nature, reveals it to us without judgement and with a readily available path that we can take to unload it. I was ready to be more aligned with Him, so I received what He showed me and allowed for the refining to take place. It was a bit painful, because it required a lot of self reflection. Something that our world of entitlement does not really celebrate. But I wanted Him more than I wanted to world so I took that path. Its almost impossible for me to put words in place to explain how making that choice changed my life. It was like a switch was flipped and suddenly my heart saw the world entirely differently. When I truly laid it down at His feet, He took it and replaced it with a love that I had no idea existed.
Refining. Whether its of gold or our hearts, its hard work. It requires long hours, patience, attention, careful consideration and willingness. Are you willing to let God work in your life in a way that brings change?