On the surface an anvil may not be all that impressive to look upon or technologically advanced, yet this fundamental tool is indispensable to the master craftsman in performing his work. This device is sturdy and intended to make that which is unyielding, yield. With its various shapes and contortions it is the foundation used to mold material into the shapes desired. The end product is a fine work of art, glorifying the artisan.
Growing up I remember my pastor affirming that the Word of God was “the anvil against which our lives were hammered out.” What beautiful imagery, and how true are those words! God uses His Word as that beautiful delicate instrument of precision to mold us into the vessels He desires. As disciples it is all about Spirit-led biblical Word-of-God formation. The Bible informs us about the person of God, and how we are to live before Him. As we read God’s Word reforms us into new creations. The image into which we are being conformed is the image of Christ. And the change is not superficial but exhaustive- it is transformational, a new creation!
Hebrews 4:12 avows this very power of the Word, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
God’s Word is able to discern the true character of a person’s heart, their repentance. God’s Word is an expression of His Will, and His Way, and it is able to excise those malignancies and imperfections, internal and external, spiritual and otherwise, which are corrupting that desired image.
The question is whether we are willing to place ourselves upon that anvil; are we willing to “go under the knife”? It’s really got to be a voluntary act to place ourselves in the capable hands of the Master Artisan. Are we willing to surrender our will on the altar? Are we truly willing to allow the Master Potter to have His way with His clay? No anesthesia, no blood, no operating room, but an incredibly invasive and thorough process. With every strike, a part of our will is “exchanged” for His. With every procedure the image becomes more refined.
It is important to note that it is not just about biblical information; Satan has tons of information, yet he is not transformed. How sad the many who are informationally flush, and yet transformationally insolvent; they are no more changed into the image of Christ than a library, or a computer hard drive. There needs to be submission to that biblical information if we are truly to be transformed. But the end result is announced in the preceding verse of Hebrews 12, “Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest”. We cannot labor to save ourselves, we must rest in the finished work of Christ. The fruit of submission to God is rest, an ever-decreasing commodity in today’s mile-a-minute world. Can we just permit Him to perfect His will in us?
The Word informs, reforms, conforms, and transforms us into that picture in God’s mind of what we are to be as true obedient followers of Christ. If we are to be that Bride of the Lamb, “having no spot or wrinkle” we are to be willing to be “cleansed by the washing of water with the word.” God has the perfect image for us; He has given us His word to effect that change.
Is it painful? Likely, yes, as are most productive surgeries.
Is it purposeful? Absolutely! God doesn’t do anything absent of divine intention.
Is it perfect? Oh yes! It is the will of God for your life.