Pure As Gold
It’s looking like I’ve entered a new season with the Lord lately. I say that because the other day made the fifth or sixth time He’s given me the exact-same message in a short while. I glance at my bedside clock, my phone, the clock in the car, in the kitchen, and there it is that same bold 555 staring back at me.
It's not mere happenstance, this grace, grace, grace message I’m receiving. The same thing happened some years back when I was going through a difficult season emotionally. The first few 555’s encouraged me, even excited me. Five being the number of grace, and grace being “God’s empowering presence that enables you to be the person God sees when He looks at you”, I was convinced revival was just around the corner. [i] But when my struggles dragged on with no closure in sight, I started trying to figure out what He was doing. I was looking to understand. He was looking for trust. I wondered, am I that dull spiritually that God needs to be so obvious about me needing help? Which only made matters worse. Still, the message kept coming—grace, grace, grace to you, Debbie. Fiery trials have a way of bringing dross to the surface so the Lord can skim it off. There was much dross in me to skim, but there was also gold.
Jump forward six years and here we are, another difficult season, and suddenly the grace message is popping up again. The Lord must be thinking I need some extra bolstering. He’s absolutely right of course, and this time by His grace I’ll walk it out with a greater measure of trust while He does His perfect work.
I do find comfort in the fact that my present trial isn’t entirely unique to me. [ii] Many in the body of Christ are experiencing the heat of God’s refining fire right now. The Church is in dire need of a spiritual awakening. Because time is so short, God is doing a quick work to get us ready.
I asked a friend not long ago, why is it that we get so excited about Holy Spirit’s fiery presence falling on us, empowering us in our witness for Christ, but the thought of the fire of His presence refining us makes us cringe? Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality . . . [iii]
Probably because emotions can be like popcorn at times. When the heat is on, they’ll explode every which way if we don't put a lid on them. But that’s where grace steps in. If for a little while God deems it necessary to test our faith—which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire—then His empowering presence (grace, grace, grace) will keep us through the testing. His grace will skim off the dross that surfaces. His grace will shine up the gold that remains so the genuineness of our faith may redound to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. [iv]
So, 555 to you my friends if you find yourselves in the fire. By His grace our faith will come out pure as gold. [v]
[i] Graham Cooke [ii] Malachi 3:2–4; 2 Corinthians 4:16–18 [iii] 1 Peter 4:12 [iv] 1 Peter 1:5–7 [v] Job 23:10