This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ Zechariah 13:9
Testing of people is something required in most areas of life. It is commonly thought that testing is only for children and college students. However, adults, outside of school, get tested on a fairly regular basis.
Many workplaces require annual testing on various skills to ensure the workers keep up on those skills. Workplaces also get inspected often to ensure that they are following certain guidelines.
God said there would be a small remnant of Israel left, after being scattered, who would be tested in a fire. As they are tested they will call upon God and make Him their God.
Very few people like to be tested and no one likes to go through a fire. Both can be scary and may destroy a person. The bitter-sweet thing about being tested is that it can reveal both strengths and weaknesses.
As a fire, the testing can get rid of the bad parts, cleaning up the life of a believer in God. It can cause a person to run to God and trust Him in the process. The true remnant will run to God, the rest will run away, not trusting God.
In America and the world, God is doing a time of testing to see who will remain faithful to Him and who will fall away. This fire is to set to burn out the impurities of sin and corruption in the lives of believers. A remnant will come through to say God is their God and God will say that they are His people.
As you are going through a fire, tough and difficult times, you need to turn to God and trust Him. Allow God to be your God. He knows what is best for you and is allowing this time of testing in the fire. Allow God to burn out the impurities and distractions in your life.
When you allow God to clean you up by His testing, your testimony will be even greater. God will be able to use you even more in building His kingdom. You will be a brighter light shining for God in this dark world.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to test you; that you will make God your God; and that you will shine for Jesus.
You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord. Ezekiel 34:31
Very few people like to be owned and controlled by someone else. They like their freedom. People like to be able to do what they want, when they want and how they want.
While everyone loves absolute freedom, everyone is also partially under control of someone else. Most people have a job and are controlled in what they can and cannot do while at work by their employer. Every nation has rules that govern what things can and cannot be done. So no one is truly one hundred percent free all the time.
God tells the people of Israel that they are His sheep and that He is their God. This is despite the fact that they have fallen away from Him. He will draw them back.
Every person is free in themselves, but at the same time, every person has to answer to God. The one who has chosen to follow Christ has chosen to give up his own personal rights and obey God completely. He is now a sheep of God’s pasture.
The sheep does not get to choose what he does or where he goes. The shepherd guides the sheep into what is best for the sheep. Left on its own, the sheep will get itself hurt and in trouble.
In the same way, the believer, left on his own will fail and be destroyed. Following God’s commands and word will bring life. The believer must allow God to be his shepherd, His Lord and God, the one who controls everything.
As one allows God complete control of his life, he will have everything that is needed at the time it is needed. Just as a shepherd provides all that is needed, God will also provide all that is needed.
You have a choice as you walk on this earth as to who will be your leader and guide. You can try to lead yourself, in your limited knowledge and wisdom and sight. Or you can allow someone else to lead you.
In allowing others to lead, you also have a choice. You can allow those with the same limited knowledge and wisdom to lead you, those in this world. Or you can allow God to lead you.
Allow God, in His infinite wisdom and love, to be your God and to lead you to a full life that will extend into eternity. Let God be your God.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to lead your whole life; that you will trust God with all of your life; and that God, alone, will be your God.
So you will be my people, and I will be your God. Jeremiah 30:22
All around the world there are many different nations and inside of each nation, many different groups of people. Each group of people has their own way of doing things that make them unique. Each group has their own set of leaders that they follow. Each group has their own desires that they feel are the best for them.
Some of the things that they follow or agree to have become like a god to them. They follow with a whole-hearted devotion some person, belief, tradition, or concept.
Israel had been chosen by God, but at some point they chose to walk away and follow other false gods. God had chosen to put them into exile and destroy them as a nation. However, God also planned to restore them and bring them back as His people. Jeremiah quotes God in saying that they will be His people and He will be their God.
A question every person must ask themselves is who is their God or god?
Most nations have a belief in God somewhere in their history. At some point, as a whole, each nation had followed God. However, most have turned away from God as a whole. They have chosen to follow false gods and reject God.
There are many in the church who claim God as their God, but in reality follow false gods every day. They follow self, the ways of this world, the things of this world, rather than God Himself.
This does not have to stay that way. Just as He had done with Israel, God is ready for people to return to Him and follow Him again. Jesus is right there ready to forgive and restore God’s people back to Him. Regardless of what nation or people group a person comes from, God is willing to be his God.
As you take a look at your life, who is your heart truly seeking and following? Are you being like the world and following the things and ways of this world, following false gods? Are you allowing little, false gods into your life?
Turn to God and find forgiveness and make Him your God. Allow God to be the one who is in absolute control of your life.
He wants to be your God, your only God. He also wants you to be part of His people, His family. Who is your God today?
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow God with all of your heart; that you will allow God to be in control of your life; and that God, alone will be your God.
I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:7
It is a easy for people to know about someone, but it is a totally different thing to really know a person. People know about people all the time. They see people every day in the workplace, at the store, in the community that they recognize, but really don’t know who the person is. They do not know their character or their heart, only what they physically look like.
Some people feel that they know famous people, such as actors or singers, because they follow them. Yet, all they know is the public surface of those people.
God tells Jeremiah that there will be a group of exiles who He will give a heart to know Him. They will return to Him and follow Him with all of their heart.
Thousands of people go to church every week. They claim to know God, yet, do not really live for Him. They purposefully live in sin, never read the Bible, and rarely pray. Their heart is not running after God. Knowledge of God is only on the surface, but not deep in the heart. People know about God, but do not know Him.
Those who allow God to soften and change their heart will get to know God personally. He will no longer be a God who they go to church to hear about, but will know Him themselves.
God wants to give every person a heart of flesh, one that can know and love Him. However, the person must be willing to accept that heart change and seek God with all of his heart.
You may already know about God, but how well do you know God? Are you seeking to get to know everything about God on a personal level?
Allow God to work in your life and change your heart. He is willing to make Himself known to you beyond just the written word. He wants to walk and talk with you daily in every situation in your life, not just on Sundays or around a meal time or during bad situations. God wants all of your heart.
You can be one of God’s chosen people, if you allow your heart to be changed. Be the new creation God wants you to be and know Him.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will give you a new heart to seek Him; that you will seek God with everything in you; that you will have a personal relationship with God; and that you will live your life sold out to God.