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NO, not the furnace again!

Silver is purified in the crucible, gold in the furnace, but motives of the heart are judged by the Eternal.  (Proverbs 17:3 VOICE)

Richard Nixon once said, "The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire."  If you really stop to think on that one, he was pretty close to the truth.  The steel doesn't become steel because it dreams of being steel one day.  It doesn't even know what is about to happen to it when it approaches the fire of the furnace. It is kind of naive in a sense, because it just trusts the one handling it to make something beautiful from the carbon and iron when it is combined in the heat of the furnace.  In essence, we don't really know what will come of our lives, but when we trust the one who made all the elements of our lives to put those elements to use as he sees fit, we find the object "refined" as he imagined it to be from the beginning.

The furnace isn't a place for wimps.  In fact, most of us don't even realize we are even approaching the furnace until the heat is so great that we cannot help but notice it!  The iron and carbon are mined - much in the same way you and I find some of the things in our lives coming forth from within us that need to be "taken to the fire" in order to become a thing of beauty in his hands.  Motives aren't always all that lovely or perfect, are they?  In much the same way as iron is okay and carbon is all right, we have motives which are okay and all right, but God's desire is to see motives that shine with brilliance - the brilliance only produced in the heat of the fire!

The furnace brings a refining - the process of removing what shouldn't remain. What might remain unnoticed to the naked eye is often exposed in the furnace. The motives of our heart which are less than pure - adding something to the mixture of our lives which need not be there or actually weakens the strength of what has the potential of being brought out of us needs to be exposed.  The furnace has a way of exposing that which is hidden - that which weakens - and than which in essence contaminates the whole.

We don't just jump at the chance to go through the furnace because we don't always want to know what lies deep within our inner man.  We sometimes just want to be "left alone" so that we can just exist as we are.  The problem with us being left alone is that we don't see one strength mesh with another, and all that weakens us being removed.  This only happens in the fire!  There isn't any other process to get us to the point of being refined to the point that we are brilliant, strong, and of the greatest use to the one who created us!  As much as we may try to avoid it - nothing produces purity in quite the same manner. Just sayin!

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