De-Drossing of the Saints

(Why is my life so hard to live?)

Often in the life of a saint, the Lord takes opportunity to remove from him or her that which He does not want in the saint. According to the scriptures, the refiner goes through the process of seven times removing the dross to get purity. (Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. Malachi 3:2-3 But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.) Since God is interested in righteous relationships with us, He will purify us by getting the dross out of us. Then we will be in a right relationship with Him, an adorning to His glory. (Proverbs 25:4 Take away the dross from silver, And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry. Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.)

Skull and crossbonesSo what does this dross look like and how does God refine it out? The dross is anything that is not His intent for us to be, poison to righteousness. Dross is the sin in our lives that keeps pure righteousness from influencing our relationship with God. (I use the term pure righteousness to express what God calls pure not what man may call pure.) The dross lurks around in our inner parts and shows itself in our thinking, our feeling, and our behavior. The dross is sometimes like a fine web that must be walked through to be found because we are not looking for it until we discover it. The obvious sin must also go. These are things that we are aware of and know God is not pleased.

Pot of goldConsider gold ore or silver ore. At first it comes out as rock. In what was dug, there is more rock than there is gold or silver. The ore is crushed and then heated. The gold or silver is melted out of the rock. This is similar to being born again - coming away from that which is not me to what I am intended to be. We are not intended to be part with sin nor part with rock. We are designed by God to be 100% humans. Next the collected gold or silver is melted down several times. When the metal is melted down, that which is dross is brought to the surface. The dross is lighter than the gold or silver and so it floats. Because it is not gold or silver, it is not what the refiner is desiring. The dross is that which is not human in perfection. Sin is not supposed to be a part of us. We were designed for purity. God wants us to be pure for He is pure. (1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy.") As the dross is exposed, it is drawn off carefully so that no gold or silver is lost. God allows the pressurizing situations so the sin in us is brought to the surface. He is not causing the sin. The sin is already in our members, in our developing thoughts, in our meditations. After each de-drossing, the gold or silver is allowed to cool. The gold and silver are reheated, each time a little hotter, until all the dross is gone. God continues to allow us to be in pressurizing circumstances so we will melt down under the pressure. The pressure reveals things in us that are not what God intended us to be - anything that is not according to His righteousness. As the pressure continues, we may give up the dross/sin or we may resist and press the dross/sin even deeper. If we resist, the pressure is greater and the circumstances more destructive until we are ready to give up the sin/dross.

Once the dross/sin is on the surface, the Lord draws it off. We do not have to shake it off. The blood of Jesus covers all sin. Imagine a perfect wrapper of gold that envelopes the sin/dross without melting and take it as far from us as east is from west. Once each piece of dross/sin is out, it cannot return. We can go through multitudes of de-drossings. Each sin/dross must be removed until we are 100% pure. With each melt down, there is less and less to be removed.

All of this pressurizing and meltdowns occur in the hand of God Himself. (Ecclesiastes 2:24 Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God. 9:1 For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.) He is very present as the saint is melted and the dross exposed and drawn off. We can comfortably undergo the pain and embarrassment of the cleansing of de-drossing if we trust God’s nature. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Ingots of gold with the face of Jesus on them.We have been made to be image bearers. If we cannot bear His perfect image, we are not yet complete. The refiner knows when the gold is 100% pure for He can see his perfect reflection on the surface of the gold.

The work is done by God and submitted to by saints. The work is not easy for us because we do not know what the Refiner is after until it is revealed. We must, by faith, submit to God’s refining so that we can find in Him our perfection and His perfect rest. It never seems worthwhile to the emotion in us but the logic says, "Go for it!" Go by faith, endure by faith, be refined by faith, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.

All scriptures are taken from the New King James Version, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers.