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May 2, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died.”—Genesis 7:17–22 (NKJV)
Let’s just get this out of the way right from the very start . . . God walks us through purification and it’s painful. There’s no way around this simple fact. In order to purify gold, acid is used—it essentially burns impurities out. Water purification involves removing undesirable chemicals, viruses, parasites, biological contaminants, and other waste to make it good to drink. Some of the processes involve UV radiation, extremely high temperatures, and chlorine. Whatever process of purification you can think of, it’s not quick and it’s not painless.
Whether its 40 days of rain or 40 years in the desert (Exodus and Deuteronomy), when you’re walking through a trial it feels like its own eternity. But every time God allows us to walk through this season it leads to a purification and victory that we could not have experienced otherwise.
Forty days wasn’t just the period of time they calmly floated on top of the world. It was a full-on rainstorm; unrelenting waters coming from the heavens. Not to be gruesome, but let’s try to imagine for a moment what was actually happening as the rain kept coming and the waters rose. There must have been panic and chaos, heartbreak and destruction all around them. Maybe some of what was disappearing excited them as they saw things they wanted to forget start to fade away, but there were also memories, friends, and traditions they wanted to hold on to.
When God sends us into the fire for purification, it knows no degree of sin or distraction. Just like undesirable contaminants or toxic waste is removed from gold or water, whatever is not of the Lord will be stripped away and only what He has given will remain. Now, I know this sounds awful, but here’s the thing I want you to see: The end result will be so worth it! When God purifies us He is making us more like His Son! He is removing the undesirable and replacing it with the holy. He is a jealous God, and He is so, so faithful that He fights for our redemption. Why? To save us from the cost of sin: death.
So today, be encouraged. What He has will always be better than what we held onto before. When we walk and live among the world, we are bound to get attached to its ways, its excitements, and its pleasures; we’re certain to pick up some impurities. But when He calls us to walk through the fire (or the flood), have hope that what is to come is better still, and be assured that He will always deliver on His promises.
DIG: Read Psalm 66 and Malachi 3. What do these verses tell us about purification?
DISCOVER: Have you gone through a season of purification? Have the flood waters beat down on your life, stripping away that which was not of God? How did that season feel? What was the result?
DO: Ask the Lord to search your heart and life for any impurities that aren’t of Him. Pray that He removes them, and be sure to press into Him as He does the work in your life.