When asking God to make you who He wants you to be, it is tempting to say, “Be careful what you ask for.” But that might suggest that you should reconsider or think twice before saying that prayer. That is absolutely NOT what I want to say. When you are ready to surrender your life to Christ, and truly allow Him to be The Lord of your life, do it. Don’t stop. Don’t hesitate. Don’t let Satan fill your head with lies, and your heart with fears. By all means, give yourself over to your loving God. BUT…be prepared.

Taking this leap of surrender will not mean hopping from one mountain-top high to another. It isn’t possible to physically climb from one mountain peak to another without going through a valley. And it isn’t spiritually possible either. The moment you turn to your Heavenly Father, and say “I’m yours Lord, do with me as You will. Use me for Your glory. I want to serve You,” you have landed on a mountain top. You are going to want to do nothing more than spread out the picnic blanket and sit down with your Lord to enjoy the view. But you can’t just sit and soak. You must prepare for battle. You see, the moment you surrendered to Jesus, red flags went up all over the enemy camp. Satan jumped to attention and ordered his demons to seek and destroy. But do not be afraid! God is with you!!!

While you are basking in the presence of the Son and filled with His Holy Spirit, you will do battle. Do not let your armor slip. Stay in the Word. Pray without ceasing. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. There is no greater thing than to know that you are doing the will of the Father in your life. That He is directing you, calling you, to His service, and you are understanding, obeying, and witnessing His hand working in your life, and through you in the lives of others.

As you learn to humbly be used by God, you will begin to recognize when Satan is attacking you, and you will begin to learn how to fight and defeat him. This is so important. It is a time when your faith is made stronger. Your relationship with God becomes more and more important to you, until it is soon your first priority. You are able to truly understand the Psalmist when he said that yearns for The Lord as a deer pants after water. You will hunger and thirst for time spent reading God’s Word, and for time in prayer communing with Him. You will realize that you really do NEED Jesus living in you, and you can’t live without Him. It is like an addiction, but of the best possible kind.

At some point you will notice that you have begun to descend into the valley. You may feel more and more disconnected from God. You will need to rely on your faith during these times. That faith that God worked to strengthen while you were on the mountain top is going to be so very important. You will need to believe that the Holy Spirit of Jesus continues to be with you, even though you can’t feel Him. Believe it. Do not give in to the lie that He has left you. He has promised to always be with you, and He will never break His promise.

While you were on the mountain top, you learned to recognize spiritual attack. While in the valley, you will learn to recognize something else, the refinement. The time when you are not under attack, but you might think you are because it hurts. This is the time when something big is going on. The battle is huge and it feels as though you are being sucked through a bottomless pit of quicksand. No, it doesn’t feel like a battle. That would end quickly. It is more like a war that goes on and on.

There is no way I, or anyone else, can tell you what battle, or war, this will be. It may be disease, or some sort of loss. It may be more of an internal battle. The most important thing you can do is to continue in the Word, and continue in prayer. Seek God with all your heart, and trust that only He, in His infinite wisdom, and perfect love, knows what is best for you. You may not see it at first, but God will eventually reveal to you that this is the refining. God is purifying you. Rejoice!!! He has not forgotten you, though it may feel like He has. HE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN, OR ABANDONED YOU…HE IS CHANGING YOU! He heard your prayer of surrender, and He is accepting your offering, your sacrifice. Do not give up during this time. It will not last forever. God will again bring you out of the valley to the mountain high. When He does, you will be a more effective servant of the King.

Isaiah 48:10 (NKJV) – “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”

Isaiah 49:14-16 (NCV) – But Jerusalem said, “The Lord has left me; The Lord has forgotten me.” The Lord answers, “Can a woman forget the baby she nurses? Can she feel no kindness for the child to which she gave birth? Even if she could forget her children, I will not forget you. See, I have written your name on my hand. Jerusalem, I always think about your walls.”

Even in the refining, when God feels so distant, He does not forget you. In fact, your name is written on His hand, and that very hand is busy forming and shaping you for God’s glory. It will be painful, but it will be worth it in the end.
Praise The Lord!