“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:10-11 ESV).
Isaiah 48:10 speaks of a purification, God using circumstances to transform us and make us holy. As much as I desire to walk more closely with the Lord, I really prefer to learn things the easy way. But, if I’m honest, the easy way doesn’t always work with me. If I’m brutally honest, the easy way rarely produces change in me.
Why do you suppose that is? Are we hard-wired to be that thick? Despite my preference, I’m grateful that God doesn’t just give up on me when I don’t get it at first. I’m a hopeless case at times, but my God specializes in working with hopeless cases!
Why do you think God so earnestly desires for us to be holy?
Is it for our sake? Does holiness have a positive impact on our lives? Do we become happier and more joyful the holier we become? Does the world benefit from a happier, holier, me and you? Yes in every way!
But God desires for us to be holy, and refines us “in the furnace of affliction” for His own sake. You see, when we live our lives as we desire, our words and our actions don’t always line up with the testimony of Christ that He desires proclaimed through us. He wants us to be holy so that His Name is appropriately held in high esteem.
God is a jealous God. He deserves all glory, and singular, devoted attention!
I’ve been guilty at least a few times. I’m in a conversation with a friend or family member but not really present. Maybe I was checking messages on my phone, or trying to find that last word in a puzzle game. Maybe my thoughts were a million miles away, and I couldn’t give my attention.
I’ve had it the other way too. I’m telling a story and someone else speaks taking everyone’s attention away from what I have to say. I start in a couple more times and am repeatedly shut down until I give up. Or I’m discussing something with someone only to hear, “No way!” Apparently something on the phone was more important than anything I had to say.
I’m sure most of you have found yourselves on both sides as well. It’s not all that pleasant to be the least important one in the room. So it stands to reason, that the One who is most deserving of attention, most deserving of praise, most deserving of singular devotion, doesn’t like to feel that way either. In Isaiah 48:11 He makes it perfectly clear, “My glory I will not give to another.”
When we resist the Holy Spirit’s gentle promptings to change we need to keep this in mind. We need to remember that our resistance is taking God’s rightful glory and giving it to another. Whether it is someone else, or something else, when we devote ourselves to anything over God, we are stealing God’s worship and giving it to another.
Thanks for hanging in there while the Holy Spirit used this blog to remind ME that God is jealous for our affection.
Blessings on your day!