Stirring the Pot, the "Refining Process"
After you receive the Holy Spirit you begin a long process of refining and purification. Because this procedure requires a lot of changes it can be a bit stressful. The Father uses trials and your life's circumstances to artificially heat up your situation a bit and provide a stimulus to accomplish the needed changes (1Peter 4:12). Because man is in contact with the earth he inherits a very strong tendency towards evil and sin passed down from Adam's original fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. Satan is the ruler of this earth and to one degree or another every person has been tainted with his opinions, ideas and beliefs. We live in a world defined in our minds by what is portrayed on television. The absolutely godless society that the TV portrays is made to seem quite reasonable and normal. How many times do you see individuals get down on their knees in reverent prayer as a Christian would do a number of times every day? A child raised on television in a secular family could actually grow up never even knowing that God existed, that is how little the Father is talked about on tv. We have all been polluted to one degree or another. God rolls up his sleeves and starts a cleansing process of change in us, he has to shock us out of all our popularly held beliefs, the Father will start a process that will "redefine what is normal" in us.
God the Father will refine you into the pure gold (Malachi 3:3) through a process that will remove all your impurities and the taint that you have acquired living in the secular world. Now in order for the changes to have a lasting effect they will have to removed by fire. (1Peter 1:7) What is meant by that is that God will have to heat up your situations temporarily to provide enough stimulus to create real lasting changes. The Father will give you a little "furnace time" as part of his refining program, as Jesus said "for everyone will be salted by fire". (Mark 9:49) He will turn up the heat and "stir up the pot", it is like how metal is heated to red hot before it is put on the anvil and hammered into the correct shape. Without the heat the desired changes will never take. King David said "It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn thy statues". (Psalms 119:71) God uses a series of temporary trials and tests to create true and permanent changes in us. One impurity after another will be removed over a period of time with confirming tests to check and see if the changes really took. Being refined and purified is a bit stressful when you are going through it but be aware that it is the same process for everyone, you are not being singled out and punished or anything like that.
All of God's children have to put in a little "furnace time" during the Father's training program for them. If you did not ever feel any heat and you have not been saved yet, it may be the rather bad sign that the Father simply does not desire you. In other words the Father will allow the people that he does not desire to have success in their worldly endeavors just so that the single minded pursuit of it will become a self reinforcing behavior and that they will never come and bother him as he finds them distasteful, putrid.
The natural tendency of all human nature is to always follow the path of least resistance, a rich person has no desire to bother themselves with seeking such an intangible thing as receiving the Father's Holy Spirit and will almost never put forth the effort required to receive it.
The refining process is most succinctly mentioned in Malachi 3:2-3:
2"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiners fire and like fullers' soap. 3"He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of God and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness. 4"Then the offerings will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
It can sting a little bit sometimes but you will develop great faith by directly seeing God do his work in your life, and after the sting fades away, the faith remains. Periods of relative peace and prosperity tend to cause people on mass to lose interest in God, they stop fearing God. The Father is forced to make some trade and cause a period of fear and worry causing a flood of people returning to God. It is the hard way to have the children pay some attention to their Father. If you are aware of the divine purpose of the few bumps in the road that you will run into, you will not become discouraged and you may also be able to speed up the end of the trial by more readily seeing the Father's purpose behind it and then making the changes that you perceive that God is working towards in you. The most important thing to remember is to never complain in any way during this process. (see - God hates (blank) the Most) The reason this is so important is that you have to understand the degree to which God is in control of absolutely every big thing and every little thing in your life. When you complain about anything, even in your own mind, you are directly giving the Father a slap in his face because everything that you experience he either directly caused or allowed it to happen. It can't be stressed strongly enough how important this is, never ever complain.
At first it may trouble you a little bit knowing that the Father produces lasting changes in believers lives through trials and testing (1Peter 1:6) but be assured it is the only way that is effective. You control the amount of heat that you receive by your response, if you show up voluntarily then he will not have to stir up your pot very much to force you to earnestly seek him. The more receptive and sensitive that you are to the Father the quicker you will move through the Father's training program for you. The rewards of patiently enduring the learning process are huge, you will actually lose all your fear, worry and stress for the rest of your life. You will literally float on a permanent sea of peace, contentment, confidence and indescribable joy when the refining process has been completed. It is literally the process of becoming Holy and transforming your tainted worldly definition of "normal" to one that matches God the Father, it literally is the process of becoming a saint.
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