You know when you are reading the Bible and a certain phrase stands out from the rest?
Or when a verse jabs at your heart and tugs at your conscience?
You quickly grab your journal and a pen and write the verse down. Maybe you take a highlighter and mark it in your Bible. Maybe you write it on a small white card so you can memorize it while you do the dishes.
However we choose to mark the moment, it is a precious thing when God speaks. His voice lovingly brings peace, correction, conviction, hope, direction and if we let Him, purification.
As I was thinking about the theme for this week, about how God purifies me, I realized a beautiful pattern to the purification process.
I can sit and write in my journal all day long about how God is speaking to me. I can stand at my sink and memorize the time away.
But if I don’t stand up, put down my pen and allow scripture to impact how I go about my day, interact with people and see the world around me, then purification cannot take place. I must actively jump into the purification process.
Purification begins when God speaks to us or we sense His presence at work.
Purification brews in real life moments of struggle, challenge, frustration, anxiety, heartbreak, drama and confusion.
Purification comes when we allow God’s Word to penetrate the chaos and begin changing the way we live in those times.
Purification happens when the phrases we read in the Bible impact our choices, reactions, emotions and words.
We are purified through the collision of scripture, circumstance and daily practice.
This collision is truly magnified in our lives overseas. Everything seems bigger, more powerful and more challenging as we go through the purification process in another country.
Elisabeth Elliot says, “A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.”
How very true that is. For me and for you. Every single day.
I often write phrases from the Bible down. Phrases that impact how I think, act, live and breathe. Phrases that hammer and chisel my life.
When I choose to keep these phrases before me, think about them through the day and intentionally use them to guide my heart, I can actively become a part of the purification process that God is doing in my life.
I promise that none of these phrases are easy or natural when put into practice each day. But each one will drastically change your life and purify your heart.
I want to challenge you to study, read, print, and choose to keep these phrases in front of you as you jump in to what God is doing in your life!
10 Phrases that Purify
1. Do not be surprised
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” I Peter 4:12
We should not be surprised when God uses the trials around us to test us. This isn’t some strange, unnecessary process. This is a very real trial that God is purposely using to purify our hearts.
2. But on the contrary, bless
“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” I Peter 3:9
When faced with evil, choose to bless. Choose to be a blessing. Choose forgiveness, love, kindness and hope.
3. Count it all joy
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” James 1:2
Read all of James 1. In fact, read the whole book. But in it all, through it all, count it joy. Count it all joy because the trials are doing great things in you that God is engineering for you.
4. Content with weakness
“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10
Our weaknesses give God a chance to do great and mighty things. Our weakness is a way for God to get all the glory. For His sake, we can be content in our own limitations because He is so much bigger, stronger, capable and reliable. Rejoice in that truth.
5. Let your heart take courage
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14
No matter where we are in the purification process, no matter how fiery the trial, no matter how weak we may be, we can LET ourselves take courage. We can give our heart permission to be strong. We can wait for the Lord to do His thing.
6. Do not be anxious about anything
“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
When we daily choose to let God work in us, we do not have to be anxious about a single thing. We can pray, give thanks, and make our requests known. There is no reason to worry or be anxious. God’s got this.
7. Let us also lay aside every weight
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” Hebrews 12:1
Lay it aside. All of it. Run with endurance as a freely loved Child of God.
8. Stand firm
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17
Every day, every challenge, you can stand firm in God. Let Him fight for you. Hold on and don’t be afraid even when you aren’t sure what is happening. He is with you.
9. You shall love your neighbor
“For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Romans 13:9
It can be extremely hard to love when you are in the fire. Daily challenges sometimes bring out quick words, angry responses and bad attitudes. Love anyway. Love your neighbor. Extend love to those around you.
10. Go into all the world
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15
As women working and living overseas, we understand the incredible purification and growth that comes in moving to another country. Going into the world naturally stirs up the muck in our hearts and brings it to the forefront. Let God work in that. Let Him work in you and grow you as you go into the world. Share your story. Share your growth process. Let Him be known through your life.
I know there are so many more phrases throughout God’s Word that He can and does use to purify us.
Write them down and put them into practice. See how God uses them to challenge you to grow in your daily thoughts, actions and tasks.
Be sure to share a few of your phrases with us!
A few resources to help you keep these phrases before you:
This is The Grove and we want to hear from you! You can link up your blog post, or share your practices, ponderings, wisdom, questions, ideas, and creative expressions with us in the comments below.
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