Everything that can endure fire, you shall put through the fire, and it shall be clean. But all that cannot endure fire you shall put through water. (Numbers 31:23, NKJV)
Water purifies by cleansing; fire purifies by refining.
Different purification methods are needed based on the stubbornness of the impurity. Stains on clothing are easily removed with washing, while impurities in gold require an intense refining fire.
In my daily prayer time, the Holy Spirit convicts me of those areas in my life where I fall short. I am quick to surrender the “easy” impurities, e.g., gossip, evil thoughts, or anger. But I find myself rationalizing my pride and resentment, or the sin that so easily ensnares me.
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