The bible says, we as a people were born in sin and shaped in iniquity (Psalms 51:5) and no human being apart from Jesus is the exception. This is why no one can be born a Christian, to be a Christian is to have at some point in a person’s life, confessed your sins before God and asked Jesus Christ through his blood on the cross to cleanse you of those sins and then to be Lord of your life. This is called the Born Again experience (Roman 10:9-10), anything less than that and you are NOT a Christian and need to do that asap!
To be a Christian does not mean everything all of a sudden fixes itself and life becomes a bed of roses, on the contrary, things may even begin to get worst. As God starts to deal with your heart, things that never used to be an issue before all of a sudden becomes a big issue.
The way you speak changes, the way you think changes, what you do changes. It is called the Refiners Fire. As a result of this you may find certain people start having a big problem with you because you are not doing the same things you used to do, therefore certain associations you used to have begin to drop away. You may even find that because of your new stand for Christ, it may put you in hot water at work or you get challenged at home. This is all part of your refining.
When a steel refiner wants to make the metal harder, he first puts it in the fire to heat it up, at this point the metal becomes soft and has to rely on the strength of the refiner to be manipulated into shape by the finer. Once the metal is shaped how the refiner wants it, he cools it down and it comes rock solid in that shape. This is how God deals with us. Tests are not to break us, they are to refine us, but during that test, we are to rely on the strength of our refiner.
Paul understood this when he stated:
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
If you try to fight against the refiner, the refining process will just take longer and unnecessary heat may need to be added, to make you ready for the changed.
Israel experienced this, which caused them to be the wilderness for 40 years on a journey that should have only taken them 11 days.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31)
Many times as Christians, we just want to focus of the aspects of God that are pleasing to us, i.e. God wants to bless us and provide for us because he loves us etc, and all of this is correct. However what we forget is, an important part to love is correction and discipline, so God WILL discipline those who he loves.
I want to leave you with an analogy about a piece of clay, which i heard my pastor give yesterday.
A potter took a piece of clay and started to mould it, during this process the clay cried out and said “this is to painful please stop” but the potter said “No, I am not finished with you yet”. Then potter then starts to cut pieces of the clay away to form the shape and the clay said “No stop this is too painful” but the potter said “No, I am not finished with you yet”. Then the potter put the clay in the oven and the clay screamed out “No stop! This is far too painful for me to bare” but the potter still responded “No, I am still not finished with you”. Finally the potter takes the clay out the oven and places it on the side shelf and it cool down. As time goes by the clay crying to the potter says, “You have just left me here and forgotten about me”. The potter says nothing. Finally the potter picks up the clay and stands in front of a mirror and says “Now look at yourself”. When the piece of clay looks at himself, he realises he is a beautiful Tea Cup. When he sees himself, he says “Wow I am beautiful, you may as well just put me back on the shelf where I am safe and can be shown off”. However the potter responds, “No, you were created for a purpose, I am going to pour into you, then I am going to empty you, then I will fill you again and empty you again. You were created to serve”.
As you can see you are saved and refined for a reason, not to sit back in your salvation, while the rest of the world goes to hell, but you are saved and refined so that you can serve the kingdom.
Parallels Business Principals
Every one of us started our Reliv business for a reason, many times it was because of a desire to be free, whether that be financial or health. Also it was coupled with the desire to help others be free also. Not everyone sees what you see and as a result of that you can and will face opposition and a lot of the time, it comes from the people who are the closest to you.
When you first got saved and started witnessing to your family and friends, how did they act? Probably negative right? Did you walk away from your salvation based on their negativity? Well why do you think this will be any different.
This is part of your refining. The reason why you keep on hearing about the system, the system, the system, is because based on experience, it is during this refining process that most people quit, because this is where they are at the most softest point. However if they just plug into the system and allow the system to manipulation them through this process, tapping into the strength of the system, once they have gone through it and things have cooled down, they become rock solid and their wall of belief is so solid, one on can shake it.
Refining in your business is not to break you, it is to develop you and every success Reliv distributors would have gone through their fair share of refining.
So, are you going to quit during the process, or are you going to come out the other end as solid as rock?
Jason Gregory Business Coach & Mentor
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Me and Aneela with the European Chairman of Reliv International
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For the past Eight years, I have been hosting a weekly prayer call for the believers in the offline company that i work alongside. Looking at biblical principals and seeing how we can apply them into our businesses.