Sunday, November 9, 2008

Refiner's Fire (worship video w/ lyrics)

Same Fire, Different Result

"Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts. "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. "And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD, as in the days of old and as in former years.” Malachi 3:1-4 NAS

After the election a friend called to get my reaction. She mentioned that she had asked the Lord where she should read that day and He had guided her to Malachi. I was intrigued and read Malachi after we hung up.

What stood out to me was the different results of the fires He spoke of in Malachi 3 and 4.
Reading this Scripture brought to mind something that happened to me ten months ago. The Lord spoke to me with a mental picture in my mind as I woke up one morning. I saw an incident that had happened many years ago when I left my house forgetting that I had a pan that I was boiling water in to make tea. The pan was very old and gnarly looking on the outside.(Okay, now you know I am not Martha Stewart) When I finally remembered and went rushing home, I found the pan rocking violently on the burner. It was glowing and was the most beautiful color of silver I had ever seen. Even when it cooled down it was beautiful and pristine and looked better than new. As I rose to make my bed that still small voice that I cherish above any other began to speak. He told me that we were going to go through a fire and He would use it to answer my prayers and to accomplish His own purposes. Romans 8:28 came to mind, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” It is no longer a cliché or weakened through familiarity, it is the Rock beneath my feet, the shelter in the storm, the Light in darkness.

Malachi 4:1-2 "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch." "But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. The arrogant and evildoer will be left with neither root nor branch." No longer the chance for redemption which they refused. The fire will not refine but destroy and leave nothing but ashes.

When the soldiers took the three children of God and threw them in the fiery furnace, the fire killed the soldiers. But the only thing that was destroyed in the fire was the bonds of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And in the midst of the fire with them was “one like the son of God.”

The Word of God is so consistent. Old Testament Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.” or New Testament 1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

No matter what fires may be kindled in this world whether political, financial, or relational, we know the One who sits intently over our lives as a purifier of silver. The One who has promised, “When you walk through the fire I will be with you. I will purify you, I will prove you genuine, I will work it together for your good and my purposes!” Can I hear an amen?

What should our response be contemplating these things? No one says it better than Jude in 1:20-25 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

MY PRAYER: Lord, I want to use every opportunity to grow in my faith and character. Help me to grow in my prayer life and in your love. Help me to encourage those who are doubting and fearful. Help me to extend the offer of salvation to those who are lost. I will remember that I am never alone, You are with me. In Jesus precious name, amen.

MY CONFESSION: I will build myself up by praying in the Holy Spirit, and I will keep myself in Your love. You are able to keep me from stumbling, and to make me stand in the presence of Your glory, blameless with great joy. I stand on Your Word!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Be Still My Soul by Selah

He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever. Psalm 121:3, 7-8

We’re temporarily in Virginia on a mission trip. I have my laptop and I am sitting on the motel patio looking out at the Chesapeake Bay. There is a stiff breeze coming off the bay and the waves are slapping the shore with a loud emphasis. Since Norfolk is a naval town the waves have to compete with the sound of a helicopter practicing some kind of maneuver that keeps it hovering over the water in one place. It’s too far away to see any of the details that I want to know. Are there sailors or Navy SEALS in the water under the powerful blast of the rotating blades? I can’t make it out. It is comforting to know that those entrusted with our national security and safety are on the job, honing their skills.

Above the comfort of national security is the truly wonderful promise for me and every child of God that He will keep our souls. My soul can tie itself in knots in the changing financial and political climate in which we find ourselves. His Word assures me that He will keep me steady on my feet, and He never sleeps on the job. He will protect and guard us. Anything that is allowed to touch us will be filtered through His fingers of love. He will work all things together for good to those who love Him and to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 That’s security. I can lay me down in peace and sleep knowing that He alone can truly cause me to dwell in safety. God gives these promises but we have to set our feet on the solid rock of not just hearing but doing. When thoughts try to rob us of the peace that Jesus left us we must not allow it. Our thoughts most bow to the truth of His provision and faithfulness. As a friend of mine wrote me, “We must combat whispered lies with spoken truth.”

MY PRAYER: Father, thank you for exceedingly great and precious promises. Help me to keep my focus on you and not on changing or uncertain circumstances. Help me to take captive every thought and renew my mind with your word.

MY CONFESSION: You will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is steadfast, because their trust is in you. Isaiah 26:3 I stand on your word!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Deliverer Is Coming!

Free Indeed

Genesis 46:2-4a And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here I am. And He said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there "I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again."
Matthew 2:13-15 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him." And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod, that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, "OUT OF EGYPT DID I CALL MY SON."

I love the way the word of God is so consistent from Genesis to Revelation. God promised to deliver His children Israel out of Egypt. They were there approximately four hundred years and many of those years spent in cruel bondage and slavery. He did exactly what He promised by protecting the infant Moses and eventually raising him up to confront pharaoh with signs and wonders until pharaoh complied and let them go.

Approximately four hundred years passed between the last writings of the Old Testament and the appearance of Christ. There was no prophetic word from God during this time until a baby’s cry sounds forth from a manger. Once again God protects His Deliverer by sending his parents to Egypt with Him. Out of Egypt He calls His Son. He is the One who by signs and wonders heals and delivers those who are in bondage. He is the Passover Lamb who sheds His blood to deliver us out of the kingdom of darkness. God keeps His word.

He has given us an amazing promise. John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. "And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” If we are slaves to sin we are in just as much bondage as the children of Israel were. Jesus came to deliver us to walk in freedom. Does that mean we never sin? No, we all fall short, but sin is not to have control or dominion over us.

· Through the blood of Jesus
· Through abounding grace
· Through the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit,
· Through the renewal our minds with His powerful word
· Through prayer and confession of His promises
· Through fellowship with those to whom we can be accountable

We will overcome. Our Deliverer will not fail us. He has given us everything we need for life and godliness.

MY PRAYER: Father, I thank you that you sent your only begotten Son to free us from our captivity to the world, the flesh, and the devil. I thank you for the peace and the freedom that you have given us. In this world we will have troubles but you have assured us that you have overcome the world. In the mighty name of our Deliverer, amen.

MY CONFESSION: The Son has set me free. He is my Deliverer. I have put off the deeds of darkness and I have put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12 I stand on Your Word!

Rich Mullins--Driving without Headlights