Monday, June 08, 2009

2009 – Day 158.June 8 – Crucible For Christ

2009 – Day 158.June 8 – Crucible For Christ

Passage of the Day: 1st Kings 17: 8-9 …
8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”

My Journal for Today: Okay, if you’ve been with me these first days of June, Elijah has been taken by God to this quiet place, Cherith, where he was safely away from the limelight of Ahab’s threatening court; and we saw, through Swindoll, that God was using solitude, silence, and obscurity at the brook in Cherith to retool the Prophet for what would lie ahead. Now, in today’s passage, we see God telling Elijah to move on. However, the testing and retooling of Elijah is not over.

I would not have seen it without Swindoll’s teaching help; but the place God leads Elijah next, Zarapeth, is apparently a Hebrew term with a root which means “crucible.” Maybe, as Swindoll points out, there may have been some metal-works plant there; but no matter why the town was named as it way, it’s interesting that this town where Elijah would go was a place where God could turn up the heat of reshaping Elijah’s life to make him even stronger for his work of witness for God which lies ahead.

I agree with Swindoll that God often takes us from crucible to crucible in the process of sanctification in our lives as Christians. And the word picture of a crucible is an apt one; isn’t it? When precious metals are being purified for reshaping into beautiful pieces of jewelry, they are put in a crucible, which is heated to the place where the raw metal is liquefied, causing the “dross” (i.e., impurities) to float to the top, where the master metal-worker can skim off the dross, leaving the purified metal, which is now ready for the reshaping process by a master jeweler.

That’s what God was doing with Elijah; and perhaps that’s what He’s doing in your life. Certainly when I look back over the process of discipleship in my life, I can see that God took me from one crucible and reshaping process to another, many of which were like the quiet brook at Cherith for Elijah, where God used solitude and discipline to reshape me. But other times were more like what Elijah would face in Zarapeth, where the heat was turned up; and in those “crucible” times I had to experience some very tough times so that God could make me more focused in my ability to serve Him. Often, in this process of sanctification, I, like Elijah, was led from crucible to crucible to crucible; and I would wonder when God was going to have me shaped into an image He could use for His glory.

And my friends, if I interpret Phil. 1: 6 [linked here] correctly, that reshaping process will never be over in this life; and I will be taken through the various crucibles of life so that God, the Master Jeweler, can keep remaking (i.e., “completing”) me into that final image when I’m in glory and made over into a more perfected reflection of the Perfect Servant of God, … my Lord Jesus.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, be merciful as You reshape me in the crucibles of life. Amen

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