"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” Luke 3:16,17 NLT
In Biblical times, after wheat was harvested, it went to the trashing floor. Wheat was a main staple of people in the ancient world. The wheat kernels would be beaten off the stalks and then tossed in the air with a winnowing fork to separate them from the chaff. The heavy grain would fall to the trashing floor as the lighter chaff would blow away. We don't use the word "chaff" very much today. Chaff means, husk or worthless in comparison to something greater.
John the Baptist said that Jesus would use the power of the Holy Spirit and the fire of refinement and judgment, to separate those that would follow Him or reject Him. In Christ followers the power of the Holy Spirit and the fire of refinement is like being wheat stalks on the trashing floor. God separates from us those things and areas of our lives that are chaff. What is eternally valuable stays with us, what is worthless by comparison, blows away.
Do you feel like you are on the trashing floor? What areas of your life is God refining? What "chaff" is He beating away? It's hard to be on the trashing floor. You feel out of control. You see areas of your life falling away. When you are in the middle of the trashing floor, remember that the One who holds you, loves you. His goal is not to leave you beaten, but to remove those things from your life that are keeping you from receiving the fullness of His love and grace.