Venezuela - that wonderful South American country! - It has some great iron mines. In fact, I am told that much of the ore is shipped to one of the largest iron works in the world - near Philadelphia, Penn. U.S.A.
So if I were to go to that country and get some of the ore and tried to get iron OUT OF IT with, say, a hammer, I would not be successful. Why?
Technically: "Iron is not a mechanical agglutination; it is a chemical union." Because of that, the ore must go through into a great furnace. Then, as the temperature rises the iron "within" the ore /watch for a spiritual truth/ the iron "within" the ore turns to liquid AND the pure metal runs out. Wow!!
My friend, whether we like it or not, this is the way God works in our lives. Notice Mark 9:49,"EVERY PERSON WILL BE SALTED WITH FIRE"
There are several theological interpretations on that verse, but this is the one that I am molded into. As salt was sprinkled on the various offerings in preparation for their being devoted to God, so would the apostle by trials, calamities and the like represented here by fire be prepared as a sacrifice or offering to God.
Fire denotes the sacrifices or trials. That stands in contrast with the things of our carnal nature (flesh). So since God loves us so much we must recognize that He will "salt us with fire" until all the impurities are burned away and like the iron ore, the pure metal runs out.
I don't like the idea, naturally, of being willing to go into the flame, but I know that difficulties, hardships and maybe the circumstance through which you are going right now, WILL produce a produce worthy of our and the Lord's admiration.
So, to that end, the subduing of our lusts, the enduring of our trials, the removing of the offenses ARE the proper and only way to be "preserved" in the service of God.
Lord, for your glory and for our spiritual purification we do in all sincerity ask that you watch over us as one who is looking over the purification of iron ore. We acknowledge your knowledge of the temperature on our life. Thank you that you DO ALL THINGS well.