Friday, August 6, 2010

Refiners Fire

At my retreat this weekend, the speaker said something that caught my attention. He said

“Christians look for transportation rather than transformation”

By this, he meant Christians want transportation into heaven rather than transforming themselves to become better people. Now when I say transformation, im not talking about listening to a sermon that completely change your life forever. Well im sure it may happen to some people, but for most, this will not happen. Im talking about changing your life little by little with God leading the way in order to become a better, happier and holier person. Im talking about tackling one sin at a time, with God’s help removing them from your daily lives. The very things that you know you don’t like about yourself, the qualities that keep getting you into trouble, keep you feeling depressed every night, keep you from living a joyful life.

With every step you take closer to God, every little change you make, over time; 3 months, a year, you will notice a big change in yourselves. I know I saw it in myself in just over a year. I saw it in the way I thought about the world, the way I treated people, the way I talked to people, etc. Although I still have a long way to go still!

But the point is, our time here on Earth isn’t just waiting to be transported to heaven. I remember either someone said, or it’s in the bible somewhere that Eternal life with God doesn’t begin when you get to heaven. It begins when you submit yourself to God and proclaim in your heart and mind that he is your savior, your king… your father

So the point here is that we’re not suppose to wait for heaven to start changing ourselves.. we re suppose to start NOW!.... like right after you finish reading this sentence now!!!

So start chipping away at those sins of yours, those character qualities that you possess that you know are bringing you down, it could be anger, a reluctance to forgive others, grudge holding, PRIDE…Laziness just to name a few that I could think of off the top of my head.

I will leave you with a cool analogy I heard at the retreat.

Person 1, lets say his name is Joe walks into a silversmith and observes the silversmith purifying a raw, dirty, impure silver ore.

The Silversmith builds a fire in the furnace and puts the ore into the furnace. And for a long time, all he does is put more wood into the furnace and waits and waits and waits and puts more wood into the furnace and waits and waits… eat, sleep, rinse and repeat (I know …it sounds just like a life of a student right?)

Joe says to the silversmith… how do you know when the ore is purified into silver?

The silversmith replies, when I can see a perfect reflection of myself in the silver.

Of course we will never be pure enough that God will see his reflection in us, but through persevering through trials, persevering through time, slowly refining ourselves and slowly removing our impurities and sins and becoming as pure as we can God can say that he’s proud of us for removing as many impurities while living in this sinful, impure world.

So be encouraged and go do the things that God has asked us to do … not to earn your way into heaven because Grace is a gift, not something that we need to or can earn.. it’s just given to us in a box wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper with a bowtie on it and all we need to do is receive and accept it,…. but we do these things because we want to say to God on that final day… I truly did try my best to transform into someone who you could be proud of and remove as many impurities as I could!

And for all of you asking how can we be expected to complete such a difficult task? No big.. just go out and be AWESOME haha!