Echoes from the Campfire

All things cost a price.  Good or bad we’ve got to pay the ante.”
–Ernest Haycox  (Discovery Gulch)

“God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.”
–1 Corinthians 7:23 (NLT)
Many times things happen to us and we do not see the hand of God in it.  We get caught up in the situation or the ordeal and do not see what He is doing, nor do we happen to think of what He wants us to be doing.
I have often asked the question, “How does God work on me when I’m sleeping?”  God is always at work in our lives, so what kind of work does He do on me while I’m asleep?  It is probably the only time He gets me still and quiet enough to use His spiritual hammer.  Perhaps that is why I wake up sometimes in the night.  I felt the whack and it woke me up.  
Sure, some people have those “dreams” and even a few have the “visions.”  I don’t have those, but I do believe He is working, even in our sleep.  I recall the story of Jacob.  I found a little note written by C.H. Overman that discusses what happened one night to Jacob.

“Sometimes faith is weak.  The outward and often adverse circumstances prevent us from recognizing the presence of God.  Such was the case with Jacob.  Having left his home and countrymen, he spent the night out under the stars with stones for a pillow.  While he slept, he dreamed about a ladder reaching into heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it.  Above the ladder stood the Lord God, and he spoke to Jacob, reminding him of the covenant made to his forefathers that in his posterity all the nations of the earth would be blessed.  Jacob awoke in a new light, recognizing that he was in the presence of God.
The Lord is in this place!  It matters not where that place is–a place of isolation and aloneness, a far country where all is strange–God is there.
To fully and personally know this truth, there must be individual heart and soul response.  Jacob believed and vowed to serve his God.  And this is what God desires of us.  He loves us and seeks us.  May we acknowledge and trust the God who is present everywhere and with all.
Prayer:  Father, grant that I may trust in your divine presence and protection.  Even when the day seems hard, long, and lonely, comfort me with thy loving presence.  Amen.”

So, go to bed tonight knowing that God is with you, even in your sleep.  He is working His plan out for you.  If you happen to wake up, be like Samuel and ask the Lord what He wants.
Proverbs 17:3, “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”

Remember the Scripture, “The Lord is a consuming fire.”  Tremendous heat is needed to refine silver and gold.  All the impurities must be removed from it.  Man’s heart is evil and desperately wicked, so God uses heat to reveal and remove the evil.  The heart of the child of God must be refined, and it takes the fire of the Holy Spirit to do it.  The heat is used to sanctify us.  If God is doing it, then why do so many of God’s children run from the thought of sanctification?  Because they are rebellious, and the Lord must melt away our slag of rebellion.
There is no easy way.  The child of God must go through the heat; he must feel the flame that comes from the altar of heaven.  Remember, there is purpose in it–refined, pure gold–a refined pure heart.  Even in the fire, God gives a song, “in the night season and all the day long.”