Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23)
We spend all our lives working in schools, jobs, homes, marriages and so on, but if we neglect our hearts, everything else will fail. The heart is like a womb that gives birth to everything we do in life. Money cannot buy everything. From the heart, our actions spring forth (see Proverbs 4:23).
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 3:1-6)
These verses from Malachi 3 describe God as a refiner’s fire and prophesy that we will be put on trial to be refined by Him. The heart determines who you will become, and your heart can betray you. Is your heart open to God’s refinement?
May we all live honorable lives, making sure to take care of the needy, especially the widows and foreigners living among us. Let us not be judgmental or prejudiced based on race, religion or any other distinction. Let us accept others for who they are in spite of their background. We would not want to face the wrath of God by failing to do the things He cares for so much about.
… for he is the kind of person who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. (Proverbs 23:7)
As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. (Proverbs 27:19)
We spend so much time worrying about the future. Our minds refuse to stay in the present, forever wandering and sapping all our energy. That is why we get so tired.
Malachi 3:3 tells us that our God is the great Purifier. He will test our faith and purify our hearts.
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:6-7)
Is your faith in God strong? Does your faith bring glory to God or to you?
You will have more energy if you invest strong faith in God, for He will take away your anxiety and give you peace. But this is an active, daily decision we must make, lest the devil claim victory over our minds and our lives.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Mathew 6:25-27)
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. (Mathew 12:34-35)
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26)
For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” (Matthew 15:19)
Guard your heart and let God refine it by His holy fire so that you will have a heart of gold.
For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water but you brought us to a place of abundance. (Psalm 66:10-12)
If you want God to take you to a place of abundance, you need to be willing to pass through the refining fire.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)
Consider your trials pure joy; you are being perfected to maturity.
“I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” (Malachi 3:6)
Our God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and His promises are real. We are His covenant people, and God will always guard us and not destroy us.