Posts Tagged ‘tested by fire’

Sharing in His Glory

“And the Glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (Jn. 17:22-23)

The Glory which the Father gave to Christ Jesus has been offered to us. As we come to experience Him and begin to look into His Glory… we are changed. We are transformed in that place like no other place. Its a place of incredible revelation! If we continue to come up into that place, climb the mountain of the Lord, and abide in His holy place, we will be continually changed from one state of Glory to another (2 Cor 3:17-18). Glory will increase in us in the same way that faith increases when we exercise it in the trials of life. What emerges as we are stretched and transformed is pure gold… precious and tested by fire.

Weightiness of the Glory:

Gold is weighty like Glory; called “kabod” in Hebrew. Glory is the weighty manifestation of God’s Presence that is revealed more visible on the other side of tests. When we are changed from Glory to Glory through the trials of life, gold appears in our character and it is manifesting an eternal weight of Glory for us (2 Cor 4:17).

Joy in the Greater Glory:

So count it all joy when tribulations come, knowing that it is perfecting and completing you (Jms 1:2-4). You are His temple being overlaid with gold – every part of your inner and outer man is increasing in Glory. In Moses’ day there was a curtain keeping the weighty Glory separated from the rest of the temple, but when Christ paid the ultimate price of redemption on the cross, the veil was rent in two and the way burst open for the presence and power of God to fill the whole temple with Glory. So – we must not miss our opportunity to rejoice… the way is made for us to enjoy the greater Glory of the latter house of God (Hag 2:9).

Jesus Christ is your hope of Glory! (Col 1:27)

If Christ be in you and if you are allowing the Holy Spirit to form the mature stature of Christ in you, then your heart is an everlasting door that can provide opening for the King of Glory to come through into the atmosphere of your life (Ps 24:7-10). Jesus Christ is the King of the Glory.

Ezekiel 10:4 – “Then the Glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’s Glory.”

We are the Ark of His Covenant – Overlaid with Glory – a Temple of the Holy Spirit where the Eternal weight of Glory increases even as the noonday sun takes ownership of the sky.

Excellence and Passion

To do things with excellence requires passion. To love well, run our race with an enduring strength and pursue a life with no regrets, requires something bigger than ourselves… something we are passionate about. Doing things well is part of living the abundant life and should be the standard for Kingdom People. We are called to walk in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. An excellent heart comes from who we are in God and who God is in us.

The Counterfeit:

Excellence is not the same as perfectionism. In fact, it comes out of a totally different motivation. Perfectionism is a desire for approval that flows from a religious spirit. There is no creative flow to perfectionism, because it relies upon human reasoning as its standard rather than passion and love. People who come from this motivation are often judgemental and find fault in almost anything they see accomplished.

A good example of this is when Mary pours out an expensive ointment on the feet of Jesus and Judas speaks up with a contentious attitude. To Jesus this expression was an excellent display of affection, but to Judas it was a terrible waste of money (Jn 12:3-6). Although the room was filled with the fragrance of worship, the heart of Judas was filled with criticism and judgement. Interestingly the Scripture gives us a hint of what motivated Judas. He had no concern for the poor, but was taking money from the money box, because he was a thief.

Power to Excel:

Dunamis is the Greek word for power that described the Holy Spirit’s outpouring on the day of Pentecost. Jesus said “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is poured out and you shall be witnesses to Me… in all the world” (Acts 1:8). Notice that this power would become the motivator for the witness they carried out in the world. The Holy Spirit would release such passion that they would bear evidence of a lifestyle from another world… Heaven.

Heaven’s Purpose:

Now there is some excellence in Heaven. There are some creative ideas in Heaven. There are things yet to be accomplished through Heaven’s creativity and purpose in the Earth. Jesus wanted us to accomplish the things of Earth with Heaven’s resources. Passion, creativity, wisdom and ability are designed to be released through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Its part of our delegated authority in the natural world to be a witness of Heavenly standards. “Gold, silver and precious stones rather than wood, hay and stubble” as the Apostle Paul would say. Your work will be tested by fire and the only thing that will endure will be that which had an eternal quality (1 Cor 3:12-15).

Be Creative:

Being creative does not mean everything has to be original or amazing, it just needs to carry our unique flow of expression, passion and gifting. You and I are the Children of God that the creation has been waiting to see, waiting with groaning and birth pains (Rom 8:18-23). We carry a glory that must have expression!

  • There are songs, yet to be written and sounds, yet to be heard!
  • There are inventions, yet to be seen and businesses, yet to be created!
  • There are cures for diseases, resources for the poor and justice for the downtrodden that must break forth!
  • There are revelations to be discovered and dreams to be dreamed!

All because of the Holy Spirit’s anointing… we have been blessed with the glorious liberty of excellence and passion.

Overlaid with Glory

“And the Glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (Jn. 17:22-23)

The Glory which the Father gave to Christ Jesus has been offered to us. As we come to experience Him and begin to look into His Glory, we are changed. We are transformed in that place like no other place. If we continue to come up into that place, climb the mountain of the Lord, and abide in His holy place, we will be continually changed from one state of Glory to another (2 Cor 3:17-18). Glory will increase in us in the same way that faith increases, when we exercise it in the trials of life. What emerges as we are stretched and transformed is pure gold… precious and tested by fire.

Weightiness of the Glory:

Gold is weighty like Glory; called “kabod” in Hebrew. Glory is the weighty manifestation of God’s Presence that is revealed more visible on the other side of tests. When we are changed from Glory to Glory through the trials of life, gold appears in our character and it is manifesting an eternal weight of Glory for us (2 Cor 4:17).

Greater Glory:

So count it all joy when tribulations come, knowing that it is perfecting and completing you (Jms 1:2-4). You are His temple being overlaid with gold – every part of your inner and outer man is increasing in Glory.

In Moses’ day there was a curtain keeping the weighty Glory separated from the rest of the temple, but when Christ paid the ultimate price of redemption on the cross, the veil was rent in two and the way was gloriously open for the presence and power of God to fill the whole temple with Glory.

  • We must not miss our opportunity to rejoice… the way is made for us to enjoy the greater Glory of the latter house of God (Hag 2:9).

Jesus Christ is your hope of Glory! (Col 1:27)

If Christ be in you and if you are allowing the Holy Spirit to form the mature stature of Christ in you, then your heart is an everlasting door that can provide opening for the King of Glory to come through into the atmosphere of your life (Ps 24:7-10). Jesus Christ is the King of the Glory.

  • Ezekiel 10:4 – “Then the Glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD’s Glory.”

We are the Ark of His Covenant – Overlaid with Glory – a Temple of the Holy Spirit where the Eternal weight of Glory increases even as the noonday sun takes ownership of the sky.

Building

If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. (1 Cor. 3:12-13)

Three nails, driven into the flesh of a Perfect Man. The foundation of our faith and work is Jesus Christ. There can be no other foundation in true Christianity. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Our works are not the foundation – nor our traditions, our doctrines, or any other thing. True Christian faith is intended to be different from mere religious duty. Other religions are typically founded on works or laws that must be followed and obeyed in order to reach God. Christianity is grounded in the amazing reality that God loved us so much that He opened a pathway through Jesus Christ for our salvation. While certainly works should follow our faith, those works are based on the work God has already done on our behalf.

The Faith Dimension:

Be careful how you build, because you want true beauty to be evident. When God tests the quality of our faith… He wants us to succeed! He wants our faith to be real and growing more pure everyday. Success means that our faith has a purity that will stand in the final Day… the Day when Jesus returns for a spotless Bride. To be refined by fire is to allow that which is pure and beautiful, the “treasure” to come forth, as having come from the sure foundation of Christ.

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 1:6-7)

Testing Purifies

If you desire to walk righteously before the Lord, rest assured you will be tested. In fact, the deeper your walk with Christ the more intense your testing will be. The Bible makes this clear: “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits… When they fall, they shall be aided with a little help… And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time” (Dan. 11:32-35).

A great time of testing is coming upon “those of understanding”. Who are these people to be tested? They are the righteous, those who do exploits for the Lord, who walk with God and have the wisdom of Christ. Perhaps you’ve wondered lately, “Why am I being tested? Why is all this happening to me?”

Go back to your schooldays. When a test is given, it reveals how much you have actually been taught. The Apostle Paul speaks of a different school, one where we are “learning Christ” and are “taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph. 4:20-21). If you belong to Jesus, you are in His school. If you have served Him for some years, you may have thought you graduated. But none of us graduate until we are in heaven with Him.

David spoke often of being tested and tried: “I know also, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness” (1 Chron. 29:17). I would suggest that there are at least three tests common to every Christian.

1. We are tested by afflictions and sufferings.

Today there is a mistaken belief that those in covenant with God will never suffer. But all the heroes of the faith mentioned in the Bible suffered stonings, torture and violence (Heb. 11:37). The Apostle Peter explains to us, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Pet. 4:12-13). Peter seems to suggest that something of value was being produced and refined in how we experienced our tests… “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:6-7). Genuine faith is pure and pleasing to God, because it is unhindered by selfish ambition and focused on reflecting a pure expression of what God values.

2. We are tested by delayed answers to prayer.

Why does God delay answers to sincere prayers? It isn’t because He lacks power. He could merely blink an eye or think a thought and the work would be accomplished. And He is willing; even more than we are, to release His purposes in the earth. The answer is found in the fact that we must see the big picture. Jesus said to His disciples, ”…that men always ought to pray and not lose heart”  (Lk. 18:1). The Greek word for “lose heart” means to relax, becoming weak or weary in faith, to faint or give up the struggle. We must learn to contend in our prayers, because our breakthrough is just beyond the testing.

The Apostle Paul tells us, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9). The Lord is seeking a praying people who will not relax or get weary of coming to Him. These people will wait on Him; they won’t give up until the work is completed. And they will be found waiting when He brings the answer. For most of us, the hardest part of faith is the last half hour, when it looks as if God won’t answer. We’re tempted to give up, put it all behind us and go on to something else. But, that is not what God intends! When you are praying for what is obviously the will of God, you have every right to hold on and never give up until Jesus answers. You must not listen to the devil, the flesh or human reasoning. You are contending for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

You must ask God to plant the faith of Jesus Christ in you (Gal. 2:20), and not give up until you see completion (Heb. 10:35-39). This has happened to me at least a dozen times. I’ve given up and said, “Oh well, this must not have been God’s will”, and almost immediately the answer came! That may be exactly what’s happening with you. You’ve given up, no longer pressing in for your breakthrough. But God is at work in you and your answer is on the way.

3. We are tested by our frailty and failings.

God never wastes an experience, He is consistent in His training. But His training is for reigning! His goal is to strengthen us and cause us to see the way He sees. Christians who are tempted to fall back into old sins or turn back to the world are being tested. I am reminded of the old TV service announcement that would say “This is only a test! If this was a real emergency…” and in fact some do fall and have real emergencies, but God is faithful to provide a way out of every difficult temptation (1 Cor. 10:13). His goal is to train us to look for His hand at work rather than our human frailty.

I believe most Christians have a “sin consciousness” rather than a “righteousness consciousness”. The Christian must be willing to cast off the sin that so easily ensnares and hinders our growth. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1). Its the Holy Spirit working in us that purifies us and deepens our spiritual convictions for empowerment and renewal. 

Maybe you have fallen short in some way, after years of serving Him. Perhaps you have found yourself surrendering to anger, lust or unbelief. That sin is not your destiny, so you gotta shake yourself free. You gave in for a moment, but God is not through with you. He is showing you something and wanting you to deal with it – by faith and in faith! 

Testing Reveals:

If you are being tested in some area, you may think, you are unworthy and wonder just how much ground has been lost? “Does God still love me?” The good news is that its only a test to prove you and purify your desires. My friend, if you allow God to transform the way you think, then you haven’t lost any ground whatsoever. God puts his loving arms around you and says, “I have brought you through this once again… so you could see what is in your heart”. You are making progress, but it must begin with seeing reality! Walking with God, requires us to let God “father” us and bring discipline that moves us into His perfect will for our lives. 

He wants all of our heart and will allow us to be tested until He has it all.

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