On the surface, an anvil may not be all that impressive to look upon or technologically advanced, yet this fundamental forging tool is indispensable to the master craftsman in performing his work. This device is sturdy and intended to make that which is unyielding, yield. “The block is as massive as is practical, because the higher the inertia of the anvil, the more efficiently it causes the energy of the striking tool to be transferred to the work piece” (Wikipedia). Inertia means the resistance to changing directions; it is constant in its position. To that end the anvil must have integrity; it cannot be made of lead, plaster or wood. With various contours and contortions, it is the foundation used to mold material into the shape desired. The end product is a fine work of art, glorifying the artisan.
“Hey Kelly, wouldn’t that be a beautiful metaphor as applied to the Bible!” Why yes it is; let me expand on that!
Growing up I remember my pastor affirming that the Word of God was “the anvil against which our lives are 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. That image into which we are being conformed is the image of Christ. And the change is not superficial but comprehensive – 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.” This anvil is not static but dynamic in its purpose. It reveals those areas, those character imperfections which inhibit us from sought Christlikeness.
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.
Placed between the unchangeableness of the Word and the Holy Spirit – the material (a disciple) is formed into that image which is pleasing to the Maker. The word is the truth in which we are sanctified (John 17:17). The Word informs, reforms, conforms and transforms us into that picture in God’s mind of what we are to be as followers of Christ. If we truly are to be that Bride of the Lamb, “having no spot or wrinkle,” we need to be willing to be “cleansed by the washing of water with the word.”
So, the “heavy” question of the day is, “Are you on that anvil of God?” Have you willfully placed yourself upon that altar to surrender those rough edges? Have you made yourself available to be molded into the image of Christ?…Quite simply, are you in the Word, and allowing God through His Spirit to transform you by that truth?
Hopefully, you are. Hopefully, you are virtually unrecognizable in comparison to that person you once were before your life in Christ. Hopefully, the image of Christ emerges more and more clearly through time…Hopefully. I know it’s not easy, and that it hurts at times. I know that it takes sacrifice. And I know it is a long journey of seemingly imperceptible modifications to our stubborn wills, yet, we are assured that the glorious image of Christ forged in us makes it all worthwhile.
Christ in us, the hope of glory!