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Scripture:  I Corinthians 14:8  "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

The ancient Hebrews used an instrument that was called a shofar, which was a trumpet that was made from a ram's horn.  It was used to sound an alarm, to summon the people together, and was also used in other various rituals.  It dictated to the people what their response should be, for it made a certain and clear sound with a specific purpose in mind, which was to call the people to war, celebration, or worship.  It is still used today by the Jewish people at their New Year's celebration of Rosh Hashanah and their most holy day of Yon Kippur. 

The shofar was put under much pressure before it became the instrument that could be used in such a manner.  It had to be cut from the ram and the inside of it had to be totally gutted and made clean.  It then had to be boiled until it was soft and pliable and put under fire so that it could be shaped.  After this process was complete, the shofar had to be sanded until it became smooth.  Only after this enduring process was it ready to fulfill its purpose and its destiny, which was to make a clarion call to battle, celebration, or worship. 

The Apostle Paul encouraged us to be like a trumpet that gives forth a certain sound.  We all want to fulfill that call and purpose, but most of us do not want to go through the process of becoming the instrument that God can work through, for it is much like the process of refining the shofar.  Our souls must be cut away from everything that would hinder our freedom in Christ and we must allow ourselves to be totally cleaned within by God's Holy Spirit.  This is not an easy process because God offends our minds in order to test our hearts.  Often we do not understand His works of righteousness, for there is much pain that is involved to affect His purposes in our lives.  God allows us to experience the fire so that we will become soft and pliable enough to be shaped in His hands.  Then just about the time that we think He is finished and we feel that we are ready, He begins the sanding process. 

We must remember that God is not trying to be cruel to us.  He just wants to make sure that our words and lives are making a clear and certain sound to those about us.  He said that we were the hope of His glory and His kingdom depends upon our witness and testimony.  We are epistles read of all men and we are not to be confusing to those about us.  Our lives are to be sure and our sound is to be certain, whether it is a call to battle, celebration, or worship. +++

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