Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my mind and my heart. Psalm 26:2
Metallurgy was in its pre-industrial stages in biblical times. The process involved the application of intense heat to ores, which caused the desired metal—gold, silver, copper, tin—to separate and liquefy. Refinement by heat was used as an image of spiritual purification in the Old Testament (Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2). The image of testing by fire is also applied to Christians—the Judgment Seat of Christ will determine whether the believer’s works have had value or not.
The notion that impurities in life may impede spiritual progress and revival is well-documented in Scripture. Perhaps the best example is David’s desire for cleansing in his life: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Personal revival begins with the search for, and purging of, impurities—things offensive to God that will block the Spirit’s work. Such purging begins with known impurities and can continue with David’s prayer, asking God to reveal things of which we are unaware.
To move toward revival in your life, ask God to show you the condition of your heart.
Pure gold shows its purity chiefly in the furnace. Jonathan Edwards