Tag Archives: tests

God’s spring cleaning

Ps. 11:  “The Lord is in His holy temple, and His eyes behold, testing the sons of men.”

vs. 5:  The Lord tests the righteous.

Yesterday turned into an early spring cleaning day at my house.  I started out simply wanting to dust the furniture and ceiling fans, but of course that led to sweeping.  When I took one of the rugs outside to shake I realized there was more dust hiding in there than I could shake out.  Every rug in the house ended up in the washing machine.

The realization that there was so much hidden dirt in the rugs led to every base board in the house being scrubbed down, the floors being mopped, and by the time the day was done, even the broom ended up being washed.

This morning, as I read Psalm 11, I was reminded of those rugs and baseboards.

When I began cleaning, it was only because I noticed a thin layer of dust on the furniture.  I didn’t see the deep hidden dirt that had settled in cracks, fibers, and crevices.  However, as each layer of dust was removed, a new layer was revealed.

God doesn’t just see the thin layer of dust on our surface.  He sees the deeper layers of grime, debris, smut, and filth that lie underneath.  Ps. 11:4 says, “His eyes behold.”  Knowing that God created dust and then created man out of dust allows me to know that He can behold even the smallest specks.

When He tests us, He is not simply trying to shine us up.  He is trying to get inside, layer by layer, to remove all the fragments of sin and unholiness from our hearts.

He starts with the top, simply shining us up a bit, polishing and cleansing us.  He then moves deeper, getting larger amounts of debris from our hearts.  Once that debris is removed, the layer of grime underneath is revealed.  Without the grime, the smut that has adhered itself deep down inside can be scrubbed away.  The leftover filth is now clear as day, and the Lord can finally remove each speck from deep within.

What we’re left with is not just something that looks clean, but something that deep down inside has been sanitized…or more appropriately said, “sanctified.”

I’m not saying its easy.  I’m pretty sure that if my rugs had any nerve endings, their time spent spinning and agitating in the washing machine would have felt pretty horrible.  I’m sure they wouldn’t have enjoyed being beaten about by dryer balls in the heat of my dryer.

The baseboards probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the scrubbing or the smell of vinegar as the grime was removed from them.  Nevertheless, without those processes, they would never have been truly cleansed.

Sometimes the tests we face hurt.  They can be hot, agitating, smelly, and dizzying.  However, The Lord loves righteousness and the end result is something called holiness.  Without the deep cleaning, that is something that could never be achieved.

Scoured,

jamie

Ahhhhh!!! That’s gonna feel so good when it’s over!

Oh those tests….

Pr. 20:30: “Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart.”

Trials and pains in this life can certainly hurt, but as this verse reminds us, that pain can cleanse away evil if we allow God to remain the One to which we turn. Instead of pulling further away from Him during our trial, we can turn TO Him and find the help we truly need. There is always room to grow in our lives and in our faith.

The following blog speaks to this and since it spoke to my heart this morning, I felt it appropriate to share.

Looking to Him,
Jamie

The ONE THING

Genesis 22:1-2 (NKJV) Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham… 

Don’t be thrown off by the use of the word “test”.

God is not like a school teacher who gives a test in order to discover what you know—God knows whether or not you know the answers. God doesn’t give test for his benefit; he gives them for other’s benefit.

First of all, the tests God gives you are for your good—they give you a look into the health of your own character.

Just like skating on a frozen pond, you first tentatively test the integrity of the ice by putting pressure on it before trusting the ice with your full weight.

In the same way, how we respond to the pressures of life gives us an ideal of the strength of our own integrity—not God’s.

Now let me take you on a quick side-journey by mentioning…

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Is it hot in here or is it just me?

Pr. 17:3:  “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.”

In order to bring forth the precious metal to be brought forth, refiners of silver must separate silver from the dross.  It is a purification process that is necessary in order to melt away the impurities.  Likewise, goldsmiths must melt away the impurities to bring forth the beautiful and valuable gold.  Unpleasant as it is, these refining processes require fire to bring forth what is excellent.

There are times when we go through fire.  We are charred, scorched, and seared by trials in our lives.  When we go through these times when we are surrounded by flames, earthly dross is being separated from our own lives.  These are defining moments when impurities and sin melt away and what is left is a pure and precious soul that is useful for God.

 

1 Cor. 6:9-11a says, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you.”

The wonderful news:  “But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Malachi reminds us that the Lord is like a refiner that will refine us that we may offer to Him an offering in righteousness.  If we allow God to test our hearts now, He can refine us and bring forth the valuable purity that is within us.  If we will truly surrender to His hand, He can devour the sin in our lives and use us for His good works.

The next time you’re in the hot spot and flames are all around, know that God can use that to bring forth the beauty within you and melt away all your impurities.  Also worth noting….if we go successfully make it through the fires on earth, not turning against God, we will be lifted up at judgment and will not have to suffer the 2nd death, which is an eternal fire.  Don’t try to cool off just yet.

A little singed,

jamie