Tested & Refined

Are you going through a test and trying to figure out why this is happening to you?

This is Vince Miller.

Our text today is from Proverbs 17:3. It reads:

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts. — Proverbs 17:3

Such a simple proverb today, but the imagery in this text is incredible.

But to see the imagery, you must understand the individual components and how they work together.

First, you have a crucible. A crucible is a small bowl that can be superheated. In it, you place metal substances you want to purify. The objects of this text are silver and gold.

Second, you have a furnace. But it is no ordinary furnace. It is a furnace that contains a superheated fire. A refiner places the metal within a crucible and then puts the crucible into the furnace. Over time, these components work together to activate a purification process. In minutes burns off impurities increasing the purity of the metal to increase its value.

Third, there is one final object — the heart. And by "heart," the writer is not referring to the fleshy muscle that pumps blood through our body. In this case, the heart refers to the unseen soul within a man. It's the place where our innermost desires dwell. And these desires spark every thought and action. And this heart, our heart, is impure and needs purification. In Genesis 6:5, God declares:

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. — Genesis 6:5

You see, the real problem with man is our heart. That's the root of all our problems. Our actions are not the real problem. They are part of the problem but not the source of the problem. But actions expose something we need to know — we have an impure heart. One that needs to be refined. And there is only One who sees every unseen desire. Only He can refine it like we refine metal. He tests it and purifies it to add to our value.

So if you are going into a test, in a test, or coming out of a test, learn the lesson of the crucible. Don't fight it. Don't run from it. Don't ask God to remove it. Instead, look beyond the crucible to the God who has a good purpose for this test — to purify you and increase your value.

You can visit me at vincemiller.com.

And live all for him, who lived all in for you.

ASK THIS: What is your current or latest test? How is it refining your character? What lessons are you learning about yourself and God?

DO THIS: Learn the lesson of your crucible. Then share that lesson with others.

PRAY THIS: God, I will not fight you in this test. Refine me by your will. Purify my heart and renew a right spirit within me.

PLAY THIS: Create In Me.

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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

8 thoughts on “14 All-In Verses For Men | Tested & Refined

  1. Tom Smith says:

    Great lesson! Sometimes the hardest part in going through a test is having patience and trusting the process for however long it takes.

  2. Duane McPheeters says:

    Hi: I’m going through various tests. In 2021 lost my wife to heart attack unexpectedly. God is showing me how to live all in for Him.
    my step-son has been enable by my wife the previous adult years of his life. Vince knows about this and has prayed with me when he spoke at Hume Lake Men’s Conference last October. Kent called me yesterday and spoke with me for over an hour. He got counsel from his Men’s group in Indiana on “he feels “contempt for because I said “No” when he got his car impounded for not making previous 3 payments on the loan which my co-dined on. Now my name is on it to. He claims to be hurt by family even his Mom who is gone. She loved her son and wanted him a to have a good life. Yet he struggled and she told him “be kind”. So he is doing trauma counseling at the Church and is dating seriously Karman who attended my wife’s celebration of life service in Santa Rosa, Ca. Where we lived for 27 years. Her father is pastor of a large Church in Indiana where they both live. I’m having trouble with him being hurt by my saying “No” to him and using it against me. How or should I approach him and speak to him on being destructive in relationships. He told in his California counseling last year that he learned he was destructive in his relationships. It’s still happening in my view when he talks about immediate family. Please for wisdom and thoughts on how to approach and ways to speak the truth in love. Thanks Duane McPheeters

    • Scott says:

      So sorry to hear of your tough times. I don’t specifically remember meeting you at Hume, but that was a great conference and there were a lot of us there. Be steadfast. Continue walking your walk. I think you are already doing the right thing when it comes to your step son, so i would not give you any new advice. It is hard saying NO. As my kids grow, I find it more and more difficult, but it is the best thing we can do. It sounds like he is getting Christian Counseling. Be sure you are too. A great counselor will help you navigate these waters with confidence and less guilt. Stay Strong Brother. Hope to meet you at Hume 2023!

  3. Gary Wildermuth says:

    Oh my, how God is speaking to me today…. Through some psalms and Proverbs devotions and now here with Vince! I am in the midst of a marital conflict that has resulted in separation and divorce proceedings …. I have at times been taking a high moral ground forgetting that I am no better and that i also am a sinner in desperate need of a Savior and need to humble myself. God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble… i seek your prayers that God will continue the refining process of my soul and heart. Thursday is next mediation, i pray for calmness even in the face of ending a 33 year marriage. May i trust in God’s sovereignty and place my anger and bitterness in the depths of the seas. Thank you Vince for these timely messages!!

    • David L. Trima says:

      Prayers for your marriage. That God will step into BOTH of you, and you can come through this and together have an incrdible testimony

  4. Eric says:

    We had a guest speaker at church last weekend
    He spoke about freedom and how we limit our prayers to God. The week before my pastor spoke about the hardest prayer in the Bible. I am sorry if I am getting ahead of you Vince. The last 2 verses of Psalm 139. Search me, test me, know my anxious thoughts.

    A little over a month ago my wife lost her job. We prayed for God’s obvious direction and to lead us. I never thought part of that path would be through a refining process. God is soooo Awesome. When I saw the title of this, I thought of Refiners Fire, but Create in me is way better.

    Thank you for your faithfulness O God.

  5. Eddie Ackerman says:

    Thanks for the impactful devotional and the inspiring music. I am a big fan of Rend Collective and also of the All-In ministry you represent Vince. There is a parallel verse that immediately came to mind when you shared this one.

    Proverbs 27:21: The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise.

    The fire brings the impurities in silver and gold to the surface, the ones that don’t get burned off in the fire, and the blacksmith or forger then has to remove the dross, junk that survives the heat, manually, like skimming leaves out of a pool. People are tested by how they respond to being praised. If they claim the praise for themselves, they are revealing that they have selfish desires in their heart, but if they redirect the praise back to God, they are revealing a right relationship with God. This is what they Lord wants, not for us to accept praise, but to redirect praise to the only one worthy of it, God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    The other illustration I have heard about the purification of metals from the blacksmith/metal forger is that God is the forger of us, and the metal is refined until the blacksmith/metal forger can see his reflection in the metal. God is refining us until we are reflections of Him. The heat is uncomfortable, but it has a purpose brothers. Don’t resist the refining process, embrace it and grow closer to a proper reflection of God, the Master Forger.

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