Proverb 25.4 Take away the dross from the silver and there shall come forth a vessel for the refiner.
When silver is mined, it comes with impurities attached to it. It needs to be made pure and this is the job of a refiner. The refiner heats it up till it melts and it is allowed to cool. All impurities solidify first and settle at the top as dross. The dross is then removed and the silver still in liquid form is poured into molds. The pure silver is now a material or vessel that the refiner can use to produce what ever is desired.
From pro 25.4, if we liken the silver to man, then the dross will be the things God does not desire in us which include sin and sorrow and the refiner will be God. Just as the silver comes out with impurities attached, so is man born with sin nature (Ps 51.5). The problem is within (Jer 17.9) so we are not sinners because we sin. Rather, we sin because we are born as sinners. And just as only the refiner can remove dross from the silver and not the silver itself so can only God free man from sin and sorrow and not man himself. The good news here is that He has already done that by sending his only begotten son to die on the cross for us that who so ever believes in Him shall be set free (Rom 5.8, 1Cor 15.3, Heb 9.15). The very moment we as individuals accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, His blood cleanses us from all forms of sin be it murder, fornication, theft, lies etc. and at that moment, we stand before God pure and honorable vessels that He can use for his own glory. This is because that person is a new creation in Christ and every thing has become new (2 Cor 5.17) implying all our past sins have been forgiven and completely washed away.
If the silver could go back and be re attached to the dross, there will be no vessel for the refiner because the silver at that point won’t be good enough for use but the good thing for the refiner is that silver has no such powers to ever go back. But because God created man in his own image and likeness and gave him the power of choice, we sometimes decide to go back to our past sins after being purified. We decide on which ones to let go of and classify some as too difficult, can’t be resisted or necessity to survive, which of course is wrong and hinders God from using us. Some of us are doing great in handling sin but there is much sorrow in our hearts (e.g from death of loved ones, disappointments of all sorts, sickness etc) which is also undesirable by God and hinders Him from using us. Remember, the blood of Jesus does not only set us free from sin but also from sorrow. The bible says we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice and be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12.1-2). This means that we stop seeing things the way they look and depend completely on God and to come out from any form of sin or pain in our hearts, we start from our minds because once the mind is completely made up, the body succumbs. The mind is in the head and as Bishop T.D. Jakes puts it, when your head comes out of a situation, the entire body is oblige to follow because it can’t stay separated from the head.
In normal life for example, when we are expecting an important guest at our homes, e.g some one in power or in position to give us something we want so badly, we do thorough cleaning of the house including places he probably won’t see like the children’s room. Then we freshen up the whole place using air freshener and prepare a very delicious meal and in my mother’s village, a whole chicken is prepared and served intact, all in effort to show how important this person is which pleases him so much so that anything we desire of him is difficult to be denied. It works same with God and I know lot of us desire to be used by Him. So after we have overcome every area of sin in our lives, we have to make the environment sweet smelling to God and that could be done by praising and worshiping Him and like the whole chicken offered to important guest in my mother’s village, we have to worship Him with our whole hearts. When these are put in place, brethren we become honorable vessels for his use.
I pray that God should give us the grace to stay away from the dross of our lives so that like the silver we would become honorable vessels for his use. And that He should use us exceedingly, abundantly and above all we could ever think or ask in the name of Jesus. Remain blessed in the Lord.
By Sister Pamela