And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. Zechariah 13:8-9
The consuming fire from God is wrath and judgment but it is also a refining process for those that are saved. Two parts are going to be cut off but the third part will go through the fire and be refined as silver is refined and as gold is refined. For gold to melt the temperature must be 1947° Fahrenheit and silver is 1761°. These are both hotter than a crematorium.
When God says that he will bring the third part through the fire, what do you think he wants us to do in the fire? He is going to refine us. When gold is put into a refinery what happens to it. At a gold mine, they bring the ore in carts out of wherever they are digging. They put it in big vats to melt. Along with the ore there is dirt and other kinds of minerals. There can be some iron, there can be some quartz, and there can be some other kind of rocks. It isn’t pure gold when it comes out. It has to be melted down and the impurities come to the top because they are lighter than gold. The gold goes to the bottom. There is a person skimming the top of the vat. They are skimming off the dross, the impurities, all the stuff that isn’t any good. When they finish, they say that the gold is 99.99% pure. When God says he will bring the third part through, you have to be willing to be put into a furnace.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13
What is it that tries us? Our trials try us. We are going to have trials that we think are really strange. Have you ever had a trial and thought that it was strange? God will come and say; don’t think it’s strange concerning the fiery trial that is trying you because there is a purpose in it. The purpose is that God wants to get off anything that can’t please him or that won’t glorify him. Anything of ourselves needs to be burned up in the fire. It is the trials, the hard trials that show what is on the inside. Sometimes when you are in a hard trial, what shows on the inside isn’t very pretty. There may be little impatience, little agitations, little grouches, or little things that you don’t like. God wants those things burned up so that whatever shines out from you will be for the glory of God.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 1 Peter 1:6-7
Every trial that you go through is a trial of your faith to see whether you are going to trust the Word of God or whether you are going to lean on your own understanding. God wants us to trust him with all of our heart. It is in the hard trials where we show whether we trust him with all of our heart. In the hard trials, what does God want you to do? He wants you to offer praise, honor him, and glorify him. If in the hard trials, your really hard trials, you can’t praise God, you need to be burned up so that you can praise him. In the hard trials, if you can’t give him any glory, there is something in you that needs to be burned up so that you can give him glory.
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were put into the fiery furnace and it was heated seven times hotter it was about 11,000° to 12,600°; that is hot. There isn’t anything that will not be burned up at those temperatures, naturally, in that kind of heat. What happened to the men that were throwing them into the furnace? It was so hot that they were killed from the heat of the fire when they got near.
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego went into the fire, what was burned up? The ropes that bound them were burned up. That was all that burned. The men were loosed from the ropes that had bound them. There wasn’t a smell of smoke on them. The men were walking around there and what were they doing? They were praising God because someone was with them. Who was with them in the fiery furnace? Jesus was with them, so it really didn’t matter how hot it was.
What is the difference between 1,000° and 12,000°? It is hot! Jesus was right there and the fire didn’t scorch them and it didn’t burn them. The only thing that it did was loose them from what bound them. Your fiery furnace, when the consuming fire comes, wants to burn up whatever that God sees that you can do without. Whatever doesn’t please him and whatever doesn’t glorify him let it be burned up. Don’t try to hold onto something if God says for you to let it go to the fire. You need to let whatever the Lord shows you go into the fire so that you can be a praise, a glory, and an honor to God.
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10