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Today's Daily Devotional
Let God's Word shine light on your step today
as you grow in your relationship with Christ.
This is what the Scripture says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”
(Heb. 3:15)
Today's Devotional is from our series
Following As God Leads
Just as God led the Israelites day by day and even through the nights, so He desires to lead us. We only have to watch HIM, and follow in His steps as He directs us.

God has a certain place He wants each of us to be, and at certain times. If we will but trust Him, He will guide our foot steps each day at a time, and when we lay down He will watch over us, and even give us a cloud of fire to point the way as we week Him in the quietness at night.
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Devotional: Refiner's Fire
Aug. 6th

(Isaiah 48:10 NKJV)

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

When my children were babies, I washed all of their bottles, nipples, and pacifiers in scolding hot water. I wanted to know for certain, that anything going into their mouth was clean and sanitized. To me using cold water wouldn't cut it, not for something being used for the baby. In the same way, when God wants to cleanse us, you can believe it will be with HOT WATER.

In today's passage Isaiah was talking to the captives of Babylon. These people had been tested and tried, and not in a good way. God had already poured wealth and blessing on His people many times! And each time they were tested with the good things in life-- they blew it, EVERYTIME. So now He was ready to refine His people so that they would be able to come back to Him.  And His choice of methods? HOT WATER! They were stripped of everything. God allowed them to suffer the fires of affliction so that they could be cleansed of all that was not pleasing to Him.

My friend, have you ever been there? I have. I may joke about it, but deep down I am pretty serious when I say that when I get to heaven, I am going to find I have stock in BLEACH. I really think when God got me to a point of surrender so I could begin the life He has called me too.... when I reached that point in my Spiritual walk and said, "Have Your way..." I am pretty certain God looked at the Angels, and with a sigh of relief told them to bring the bleach (lots of it), and undiluted. Sometimes I look at my arms and wonder where the tread marks are, because I KNOW I felt Him use a scouring pad on me.

But through it all, I found I wanted more of HIM. I found that though I was going through a lot of hot water, He kept showing me in little ways, that He was going through it WITH me. God didn't take one look at me and say, "Well, go get cleaned up, and then come see me." He Himself cleansed me. Now keep in mind I did NOT say that just because He was going through it with me, that it was easy. I would like to point out a key word in today's passage, "AFFLICTION." And that word means exactly that-- affliction.

Sometimes trials and hardships are the only way to see what a person is truly made of. When affliction hits, it will either bring out the worst in a person-- or the absolute best. It is where all pretenses come down, and the true heart is revealed. It is where you can see "what makes the man" (or in my case, "woman"). You find out just how far you really can go.  And you find out not only where your faith really is-- but just how strong it really is. When you and EVERYTHING you believe in is put through the fires, you find out what is real and what is really alive; and what was false, empty, and superficial. But the crazy thing is, it isn't done so that God will-- He already knows. It is so YOU will know. The fires purify you, and cleanse you. And it bares truth, because anything left standing after the fires, you know is of God. And anything destroyed was never of Him in the first place.

Consider the following verses: So be careful and do not refuse to listen when God speaks. Others refused to listen to him when he warned them on earth, and they did not escape. So it will be worse for us if we refuse to listen to God who warns us from heaven. When he spoke before, his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once again I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once again" clearly show us that everything that was made—things that can be shaken—will be destroyed. Only the things that cannot be shaken will remain. So let us be thankful, because we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. We should worship God in a way that pleases him with respect and fear,29 because our God is like a fire that burns things up (Hebrews 12:25-29 NCV).

Something else to think about is Peter. Jesus told Peter that Satan had asked to sift Peter. And God had said yes. BUT Jesus also told Peter, I have prayed for you. And when you come back from this, strengthen your brothers.

You see, Jesus knew that Peter was fixing to stumble in his faith, and that everything in Peter would be tried. But Jesus also knew, that in the outcome, Peter would be refined and come back stronger than ever. When it was all said and done. Peter was refined and what was destroyed was "self." And what remained was a vessel that had been poured out and was emptied of all "self" and ready to be centered on Christ, and filled with His Holy Spirit and the anointing of God.

My friend, when fires of afflictions hit, don't try to get out of them alone. When God tries you and test you-- when He allows Satan to sift you like wheat, then know God does so because there is something He needs to cleanse in you. When He allows everything to be stripped and you feel like you have been rung out and left to dry, remember this passage, it was true then, and it is true now: “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins” (Mark 2:21-22 NASB).

Please know you are not alone. When you stand in the fire, Jesus stand with you. And while you are being sifted, Jesus prays for you-- and I pray for you. And I know that just as Peter, you will come back ever stronger, and the power of God's Holy Spirit in you.

Father God, we first and foremost praise You for being our God. Thank You for being with us and walking with us-- even in the fires of affliction. Thank You that when the winds are high and storms rage, and everything seems to be shaken, You stand firm. Lord, we praise You for being mighty and for being a stable fortress that will not crumble beneath us.
Father I lift us this reader to You. Lord, I stand in the gap with Jesus and pray for this reader. Lord, I pray that all that is not of You be removed, and all that is be made stronger. Lord, I pray that though their knees may shake, that they will hold to You because You will not be moved. Lord, I pray they will be resolved to follow You, no matter what may fall around them. Lord, like Peter, I pray that this reader will be a testimony that will help to strengthen others. Lord, I pray that every branch, limb and leaf that hinders them from growing in You will be removed, but that they themself will not be shaken loose. Help them to know the one how holds their right hand, because You Yourself have promised to be our help. And I know You will be their to help this one too. Thank You.
In Jesus'  Mighty Name,

~ My friend, please know that I am thinking about you, and hope you have a blessed day.

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