Original Entry Date 11/6/2012: God tests our hearts, to see what is in them; is this heart true and genuine, is this heart ready for His reward? (3/8/2021: think about how gold is tested for quality and in the same instance is purified: with fire. Just like gold, God tests and purifies our hearts with “fire.” Read these descriptions that came up on Google about refining gold: Can you test gold by burning it?
Real, pure gold, when exposed to the flame, will get brighter after a while as it gets hotter, but will not darken. Fake gold pieces, such as fool’s gold (actually pyrite, an iron sulfide) and pieces made of brass, iron or copper alloys will darken or otherwise change color when exposed to fire.
Pure gold is virtually indestructible. It will not corrode, rust or tarnish, and fire cannot destroy it. This is why all of the gold extracted from the earth is still melted, re-melted and used over and over again.
This is why God allows us to go through hard times that bring “Fire” upon our hearts, to refine and purify us.)
* God’s reward is the Wisdom/Knowledge/Relationship with Him. His Spirit over flowing in the abundance of His Love.
*The Book of Ezra describes how God, He is SO amazing, stirs the heart of Cyrus, King of Persia (a pagan king) to allow the Israelites to return to their land and to Build the Temple of God that had been destroyed.
Ezra 1:1-4 NKJV: Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,
2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:
All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. 3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.
After resistance from the people of the surrounding lands including a command by King Artaxerxes; rebuilding of God’s Temple was put on hold.
(3/8/2021: think of how God frees us from the bondage of the world; then we are to build a Temple for Him [our bodies] to reside in. We will come face to face with opposition just as the Israelites did and we may put our spiritual growth on hold)
In Chapter 5 God stirs up the people of Israel again to continue with the construction of His Temple by sending the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to speak to them. They then rose and continued onward despite opposition of the land and it’s ruling, to complete the construction of the Temple of God. They were questioned by the governor and others who asked them who gave them permission to continue building and of course, that was God. The report back from the governor included the following verse.
Ezra 5:8 NKJV: 8 Let it be known to the king that we went into the province of Judea, to the temple of the great God, which is being built with heavy stones, and timber is being laid in the walls; and this work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands.
The whole book of Ezra correlates with us today in how we are to build this Temple for God, the Temple of the body, with the Holy Spirit residing within us. If we diligently work on our spiritual selves (Temple) God will also cause our work/hard labor to prosper, just as the verse above states.
*Our Heart’s Desire is that which is the Reward God has for us, as stated above: Wisdom/Knowledge/Relationship with Him; a constant flow of His Spirit. Obedience to God’s Will…even when it puts us through the fiery flame of refinement…will bring about the reception of our heart’s desires.