I awoke one morning with a compelling pressure on my heart and in my mind. Before I could think, let alone make a move, the word refinement rolled off my tongue, onto my lips, and out of my mouth.
"What?" I said to myself. I didn't exactly know why the thought of refinement had so abruptly stuck to me like a leach, but I knew there was great reasoning behind it.
Mind you, this was a few days after I'd consciously made the decision to take some time to myself, without the influence of others around me. I needed to come into an awareness of who Teachia was, without having people around to persuade or dissuade me; I needed to be sure of myself and confident in who I was in and through Christ, and no one else. As I thought a little deeper about this "time" I was taking by and for myself, I began to think that God was telling me I would be refined in the process. I knew there were some pretty ugly lies I'd been living in that desperately needed to be uprooted, there were characteristics that I'd carried, causing me to be hypocritical in a sense of acting as someone I wasn't, and not being who I really was.
After having such an experience, I knew I had to look up the word refinement in order to get a better idea of what exactly it meant. During my "research" I came across some things that have changed my outlook on life.
Let's go back a little. Before the whole refinement incident, I was led or challenged to see the good in every situation, not by anyone-- but by God. I guess you could say I had something like an epiphany... I had to stop and say, "there is good in every situation, I just need to open up my eyes to see it." I started to realize that life is all about perception; the way we view things determines the reality we create. That's right, we have the ability to create a reality of our own by what we believe to be true. Yeah, this blew my mind, too, and helped me realize that this time alone was not about changing the outward me, but the inward me... my mind! Anyway, each day following this "goodness" challenge, my perception on life began to change.
Then I was reminded of the beginning. In Genesis 1 of the bible, which many of us know to be the beginning of creation, God created all things as good. This place of goodness has never changed in His eyes. His nature is not temporary, He does not change with the seasons... God's nature is permanent, it is good. Therefore, because He created all things good in the beginning, we must believe that all things are STILL good, despite our knowledge of bad. I don't believe in bad people, I believe that "bad" is a characteristic that comes about after exposure to things that take our minds off of the good that STILL exists.
Now lets fast forward to this refinement thing.
As I was studying what was, at the time, only a word to me, I started to think about the good, even though I was in a painful situation. I looked up the definition of refine on dictionary.com and out of all the definitions displayed, there was one I gravitated to most: refine- to make fine distinctions in thought or language. I then broke apart the word refinement and this is what I got: re- meaning again, or again and again; symbolized repetition.*prefix indicates return to a previous condition, restoration, WITHDRAWAL (rebuild, renew, retrace, reunite) indicates restoration word origin- word forming element that means "back to ORIGINAL place; again; anew--> with a sense of "undoing" --- (what I believe to be things that don't belong). Fine- of superior or best quality; of high or highest grade; choice; excellent; admirable; superior on skill, ability or accomplishment. Word origin- unblemished; refined; pure; superior quality. Demonstration of admiration or approval. Ment- denotes actions or resulting state; product of an action; indication process or action.
After having studied the word refinement and thought about what it meant in regards to my life, I can now see how important it is to think pure thoughts. This was simply God's way of reminding me that His will is perfect and good STILL exists in and around me. Romans 12:2, NLT says: "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will LEARN to KNOW God's will for YOU, which is GOOD and PLEASING and PERFECT."
My prayer is that everyday we wake up and even at different moments throughout the day, we are able to see the good and positive sides to every situation. A renewed mindset is not a one-time thing. It takes dedication, it takes for you to press past the pain, it takes for you to believe in greatness... over and over and over again! What you think determines what you say, which determines what you do.... detailing who you believe yourself to be. If you change your thoughts, you will change your life. God is the source!