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Cleansing Water and Refining Fire

Everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water.  Numbers 31:23 NKJV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.Water purifies by cleansing; fire purifies by refining.

Different purification methods are needed based on the stubbornness of the impurity. Stains on clothing are easily removed with washing, while impurities in gold require an intense refining fire.

In my daily prayer time, the Holy Spirit convicts me of those areas in my life where I fall short. I am quick to surrender the “easy” impurities, e.g., gossip, evil thoughts, or anger. But I find myself rationalizing my pride and resentment, or the sin that so easily ensnares me.

When I surrender these bad habits, God’s forgiveness and cleansing freely cover me. This is when God purifies me with the water of His Word and Spirit. However, when I stubbornly hold on to judgmental attitudes or a prolonged sinful lifestyle, a deeper purification method is needed—God’s refining fire. This fire may come as His providential interference where He sovereignly brings disciplinary events into my life. Or it may also come by way of natural consequences that result from my sinful, unrepentant actions.

Either way, God’s loving discipline is aimed at purifying me more and more each day. In His love, mercy, and grace, He softens my heart and burns away those things I don’t need and He doesn’t want. My loving Father’s goal is to transform me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. He seeks to purify, but never to consume.

As a result of the Israelites’ victory over the Midianites, they brought home the spoils of war. To remain ceremonially clean, God told them to purify everything—some items by water, but most by fire. What couldn’t survive the fire was to be purified with the water of purification.

As you experience God’s purifying process, surrender to the work He is doing. Willingly and readily yield the impurities in your life to His cleansing. 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

(For more devotions, visit us at www.christiandevotions.us.)

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Nate Stevens

A lifelong student of Scripture, Nate Stevens has also enjoyed a forty-year banking career in a variety of leadership roles. He is the author of: Matched 4 Life (book and workbook), Deck Time with JesusTransformed: Until Christ is Formed in YouConformed: Into the Likeness of ChristInformed: Living by God’s Absolute Truth, and God’s Secret Place. He is also a contributing author on several of the Moments Books series (Billy Graham Moments, Romantic Moments, Divine Moments, Spoken Moments, Christmas Moments, Stupid Moments, and Broken Moments). He writes online articles for ChristianDevotions.us and KingdomWinds.com, as well as several other ministries. Additionally, he co-founded and leads Fusion, a Christian singles ministry. A popular speaker and teacher at conferences, seminars, and Bible study groups, he speaks on a wide variety of topics. Nate has two adult children. He and his wife, Karen, live near Charlotte, North Carolina. Follow Nate and find more resources at: www.natestevens.net