Fire & Faith

This article was originally published by Monica Dennington on January 20, 2006.

“These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”(1Peter 1:7)

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Man, I’m telling you what—just about the time that I start to feel ok with my own heart, the Lord (in His perfect kindess) turns up the heat, and a whole new batch of putrid, sinful humanity rises to the surface. I am at least grateful that I’m becoming familiar enough with this process that I anticipate Satan’s next move. Inevitably, the enemy of my soul chooses this moment to come, cleverly cloaked as my own conscience, and flog my soul with shame and condemnation. Should I choose to listen (and thank God I’m learning not to), having removed my breastplate of righteousness, my heart forgets the unmerited favor that Christ purchased for me with His blood, and I revert to hiding. And hiding is not good, because Jesus said:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

So, if I felt like the task of overcoming the endless supply of sin in my heart was unlikely before, I have now guaranteed that I will be bearing NO fruit of the Spirit, because I have allowed myself to be cut off from the vine. Man, Satan is sneaky.

But you know what? I’m just not gonna listen to that garbage from the evil one, because I know that my fight is not a fight to prove myself to be, or make myself into, something good. My fight is the fight of faith. My job is to seek out and believe God’s Word: His job is to perform it. I can no more make myself a new creation than the man in the moon. No, the same Creator who knitted me together in my mother’s womb and caused me to be born, is knitting me into a new creation, and causes me to be born again. Over and over, God’s word affirms that my entire sufficiency is in Christ—and He is in me.

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:6)

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace  to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”(1 Peter 1:16)

”LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or awesome for me. But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the LORD now and always.”(Psalm 131:1-3)

It is not my goodness God is testing. It’s my faith. My faith in the fact that all the fullness of His goodness abides in me…and that it is enough. So I’m going to bed believing God tonight—I’m going to sleep with a smile on my face. And, speaking of going to bed, it is 2:15 am, so I’d better be doing that right now…

One Response to “Fire & Faith”

  1. Thanks for this wonderful reminder, it is so simple but so easy to live under condemnation. I never tire of hearing of the great favor God has shown us. Undeserving favor.


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