Tuesday, January 25, 2011

refiner's fire...

These past two days, the Lord has really put me through the wringer. Did it hurt? Yes. Was it a good hurt? Yes. For far too long, Christendom had become a tool which I had used for my own gain. Serving meant recognition for good deeds. Not sinning was being on God's "good side." Eloquence, a mere opportunity to gain approval. Reading Greek, a "one up" on theological knowledge. I had created a faith which fit the selfish desires of my heart; and in so doing, I took Christ off the cross. It ultimately brought me to my knees. My pride had led me to the end of myself(thank God). The Lord exposed and exploited my weaknesses. Christ directly confronted my lies. He brought me to a place of recognition. He brought me into the light(1John 1:7). Showing me that if anything is done for Christ for any other reason than to bring glory to Christ, then I am in the wrong. I now find myself living in truth and in the spirit. My zeal for the Lord is so refreshed and restored to a way of honest and transparent living. The truth has set me free.  


  1. Thank you for being honest! That allows so much more space for God to move. Refiner's fire reminds me of a fantastic quote:

    "Let us have grace to serve the Consuming Fire, our God, with divine fear, not with the fear that cringes and craves, but with the bowing down of all thoughts, all delights, all loves before him who is the life of them all, and will have them all pure. We, therefore, must worship him with a fear pure as the kingdom is unshakable. He will shake heaven and earth, that only the unshakable remain.

    It is the nature of God, so terribly pure that is destroys all that is not pure as fire, which demands like purity in our worship.
    The symbol of God's presence, before which Moses had to put off his shoes, and to which it was not safe for him to draw near, was a fire that did not consume the bush in which it burned.

    He is against sin: in so far as, and while, they and sin are one, he is against them-against their desires, their aims, their fears and their hopes; and thus he is altogether and always for them.
    The Consuming Fire is the active form of purity-that which makes pure, that which is indeed love, the creative energy of God.

    Gone then will be all anxiety as to what his neighbor may think about him. It is enough that God thinks about him. To be something to God-is not that praise enough? To be a thing that God cares for and would have complete for himself, because it is worth caring for-is not that life enough?"
    The Consuming Fire, George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons

  2. sooo awesome "Amandalynn"(really witty by the way). Your parents should be proud. But honestly that quote was phenomenal! The portion which said: "We, therefore, must worship him with a fear pure as the kingdom is unshakable." really spoke to my heart. I so desire that pure heart which I know that He so desperately desires for me. Thanks for your kind words and thought filled response. You're a real keeper.

  3. Great post Nick. That is something I definitely struggled with as well. I almost view Christianity and the Bible as a self help book more than anything else so I left God out of it for quite sometime.

    I love the quote Amanda. The last paragraph especially spoke to me because I still feel like I allow myself to be pulled from all directions whether its from my parents or relatives. I feel like sometimes I get caught up in pleasing my family and have pressure to achieve like my relatives that I put my focus on trying to improve my "stats."

    I don't want to get caught up in what others think of me but rather, I want to be fully consumed by God.

  4. I can completely relate to this post Nick. Being raised in a "pastor's home" most of my life was spent doing the things I did not necessarily because God was my priority, but because it was the "expected" way to be. Did I love God, absolutely...but my love for him wasn't my drive. It was alot of other things. Approval, fear of failure, living up to expectations, etc. It's something that I have to keep myself in check with daily. But it is so true...there is such a freedom when you truly discover a genuine relationship with him!!

    A little quote that this post reminded me of =)

    "Before if we did something good, or something for somebody else, it was because it would actually translate into benefitting us. Since we've come to Christ we've found that our lives are truly, truly fulfilled living them for the Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Jack Hibbs

  5. Thank you all for your encouraging words. I am so stoked off of this "inter-web authenticity." And yes I just did say inter-web. I am truly blessed by all of your thoughtful input. I am thoroughly enjoying everyone's blogs and deeply look forward to seeing where the Holy Spirit leads through every aspect of our weekly fellowship.

    "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."
    -G.K. Chesterton

  6. I love your honesty Nick. I think it is so wonderful how even when we struggle in our walks with the Lord, not only do we grow from it, but our brothers and sisters in Christ can learn from it too.

  7. Don't you hate that we can get so far down the road of our own making that it takes being put "through the wringer" to see the beauty of the path that God has laid out for us? Hate it. You're not alone in your stubbornness and pride. I've been there. Thanks for sharing.