Scripture speaks extensively of fire: God is a consuming fire. The Israelites were led by God himself in the desert with a cloud of fire. The Holy Spirit came with fire. There awaits an eternal judgment of fire for those who reject him. And though this list is not exhaustive, lately I’ve been considering the Lord’s refining fire.
This scripture captures how God’s refining fire motivates his followers to be more like him.
But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. I Corinthians 3:11-15
The first sentence is what grips me…”each one should be careful how he builds.” We all build our lives on something. The question is, what materials are we using? What is the gold, silver, costly stones that will be purified in the fire of God’s righteousness? What is the wood, hay, and straw that will become cinders before his holy presence?
I’ve read that 3 things are eternal: God, the word of God, and the souls of men. These are the things in which I want to invest. These are the gold, silver and costly stones that will endure.
I enjoy doing many things that bring meaning and value to my life. But they do not effect change in my heart to make me more like him. They are nice pleasures that He has granted me. Yet they are made of wood, hay and straw and for that reason, they will not last.
I pray my focus and heart are intent on building into what will last for all time and eternity. While I take joy in doing and making, I seek and find my greatest joy in Him.