Unclench your heart. Let go of what holds you tight. Release your soul to experience the true rest of the Spirit in the midst of the fire…
A few days ago, I was praying with several friends over an online group chat. We asked the Lord to begin showing us what he was doing across the Nations of the earth. He began to speak and we took turns sharing visions and pictures and words. It was so powerful. God loves to share his thoughts with his children.
One of the images that was shared was the image of refining fire. Any metal that is mined has to go through a process of refining in order to be made beautiful and useful. Take gold, for example. When a gold nugget is found, it doesn’t look very appealing. There are many impurities in it that must be removed, because they take away from its true brilliance. In ancient times, craftsman used heat to melt the rock into a molten liquid. As the liquid was stirred, the impurities would rise to the top and they would be skimmed off. Only after the gold was purified could it be molded into something valuable, something powerful.
God is refining his Church right now. He trusts us enough to test us. James 1 has some incredibly beautiful truths that we need to meditate on. It says, “My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested, it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.” James 1:2-4 TPT. The testing of our faith is incredibly crucial to our maturity. Do you want there to be ‘nothing missing and nothing lacking’ in your spiritual journey? I do. If you do too, you need to count your current circumstance as joy.
We don’t count it as joy just to appease a religious requirement. God doesn’t say to ‘grin and bear it.’ Choosing to rejoice isn’t putting a mask on our faces so that other people think we are awesome. No, we experience genuine joy in the midst of difficulties because we are certain that God is actually inviting us into completion and fulfilling his promises to bring us into the maturity of the faith. True faith isn’t shaken; it is exposed, by trials.
As pictures and prayers came together, I realized that two things happen to us when we experience the grace of refining fire. We become brighter and we become stronger. Brighter, because purity reflects light. The beauty of the Bride is only truly seen after she emerges from a trial. Stronger, because being broken makes us soft. Being soft makes us able to be molded. The Bride is discovering her true power in surrender.
As I was praying later in the online prayer chat, God told me to turn to Ezekiel 36. I didn’t know what was there, but as I glanced at through the chapter, my eyes got stuck on the following verses. I believe this is at the heart of refining seasons. I believe this is what God is speaking to his Church right now.
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.” Ezekiel 36:26-27 NLT
God has been showing many of us over the last few months that he is calling for a pure generation to rise up. What I am realizing is that purity–specifically the manifestation of holiness through true worship in our lives–comes when our heart becomes soft. Soft, as in easily moved by the Lord. We can’t strive our way into being spotless and perfect. We can only ask God to completely rewire our hearts. He does this by letting our faith be tested and refined in fire.
How many of you know that any test you can pass, you can also fail? Sometimes we think that good old trials and tribulations do the job by themselves. That’s not the case according to James 1. It’s our faith in the midst of those trials that brings us into ‘perfection’. So how can we endure the current events in faith?
We need to unclench our hearts. We need to let go of trying to control the journey God has us on. When plans begin to disintegrate, we need to activate our faith and trust our Father. Most of us realize that we can’t control the outer things very well, but did you know that it’s the same for the inner things? Of course, we can position ourselves in order to better receive from the Spirit. But I suggest to you that as long as we try to be in charge of our journey in the fire, we are limited by finite imaginations and limited vision. We are still trying to contain Him who is unable to be contained.
Friends, God wants to take us through this trial and every other trial with his faith and joy welling up inside of you. All he is asking for is everything.
Will you give your unwavering attention? Don’t be distracted by the current events. Don’t even allow your personal progress to take up the majority of your time. Turn your eyes on Jesus and let him walk you through the fire. Let him soften your heart and purify your life. You will be brighter, softer and more powerful than ever before. Pray this with me:
Abba, let our hearts be easily moved by your Spirit. Melt what is controlled by ourselves or the world around us. Use the fire to bring us to a place of purity and power. We rest in you.