“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved (slip). For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us; thou hast tried (REFINED) us, as silver is tried.
Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through the fire and through the water: but thou broughtest us into a wealthy (an abundant) place.” Psalm 66:8-12
When I wrote my last post, a little something else “jumped out” at me. Remember our story of Apostle Paul, To refresh the point:
Acts 28:3,5: “And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper OUT OF THE HEAT, and fastened onto his hand. And he shook OFF the beast INTO THE FIRE, and FELT (suffered) NO HARM.”
This is one of those double mirrored meanings, there is an old saying “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen” but for us, as Christians and desiring anything of the Kingdom, you better learn to love the heat.
I have always thought and taught that the biggest hindrance to the much-anticipated end time outpouring of the Spirit and the signs, wonders, and manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit is US!
We can be saved, we are saved, but we also have a choice, we can simply sit passively and enjoy that salvation OR we can desire and reach for something so much greater.
As Jesus said, ‘Greater works than these…” but those greater works come by a greater understanding and a greater submission into His Spirit and His will. As He also said when explaining WHY the disciples could NOT cast out the demon, “Howbeit this KIND goeth not out but by fasting and prayer.” and part of that submission is surrendering to purification by His Holy Fire.
So lets check out the mirror side of the story of Paul.
Once we start to seek the Lord as he leads us gently into the conviction process and we do take stock of all the dreadful sins and worthless, unfruitful parts of us and we do TRY to gather all those dead, withered, useless “twigs” that the Lord reveals must be removed as we are being grafted into the true vine.
We CAN lay those things on the altar and PROMISE to “give” to God all those old ways that we are to forsake and never pick up again, only to find some that we aren’t so ready to surrender.
But what happens as that heat starts to get a little hotter and more of our carnality is being spiritually burned away, as we go through that process we often find ourselves suddenly presented with situations or circumstances that “bring out” those venomous beasts, often in the form of our own attitudes.
Bringing out nasty, rebellious beasts who ARE full of deadly spiritual poison and that clamp down on us spiritually, clinging to us in hope of avoiding that heat that will destroy them and purify us.
Change hurts and our “flesh” and carnal minds are never willing to go without a fight.
And how easy is for those “beasts” to want to flee form that purification. Just as Jesus also told the disciples, as He asked them to stand with Him during His time of sorrow and they could not.
Matthew 26:41: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit INDEED IS WILLING, but the flesh IS weak.” Which only confirms other verses throughout the Bible that teach us that we do have a very real war of the spirit versus the flesh being fought INSIDE of us.
So what happened?
Paul shook of that “beast”off, just as the Holy Spirit will shake off the shackles and chains of sin and bondage from off of us.
He will shake off every speck of dirt and dust from this world that clings to us.
IF WE WILL LET HIM.
And we also have to be willing to not only be shaken but also shake off those things within ourselves, fear, dread, anger, resentment all those things which MUST be surrendered to that purifying fire.
Doesn’t mean it won’t hurt, sometimes we have to let people go from our lives, we have to let jobs go, we have to let go of things we so desperately want to cling to, but spiritually they are “beasts” who are actually clinging to us.
It was VERY painful for Paul to have that creatures fangs, teeth whatever latched onto his hand and of course, it WILL hurt us, for a moment, but just as Paul SUFFERED no injury, that pain was TEMPORARY and God will NEVER allow us to be “injured” by anything we have “shaken off” in obedience to Him.
And by this SAME process those who feel the “heat”,of conviction and the need to surrender parts of themselves to that purification and YET REFUSE and allow those carnal “beasts” to stay attached preventing their “hands” from working in the Kingdom, and care more about keeping those things that God has commanded to be surrendered, they fall into the condemnation of “having their conscience SEARED with an hot iron”.
There is NO escaping the fire, just as the sacrifices of the Old Testament were consumed by fire as an answer that they had been ACCEPTED of the Lord.
That same fire STILL decides what IS accepted today.
Romans 12:1: ” I beseech (urge) ye therefore, brethren, that ye PRESENT your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, which IS your reasonable service.”
The presence of God which was once held only in the Temple of God and allowed access to only by the High Priest has now through the death of Jesus on the cross been made manifest in the Temple of God which IS now inside of US!
1 Corinthians 3:16,17:”Know ye not that YE ARE the temple of God, and the Spirit of God DWELLETH IN YOU?
If any man defile (destroys) the temple of God, him shall God destroy: FOR THE TEMPLE OF GOD IS HOLY, WHICH TEMPLE YE ARE.”
And WHO is our God, WHO dwells within us?
Deuteronomy 4:24: “For the Lord thy God IS a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”
Jealous meaning that he does not play second to anything or anyone in our lives. His Holiness is a purifying fire that burns away all that CAN NOT stand in His presence nor inherit His kingdom.
As John gave us description.
Matthew 3:11:”I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me IS mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND WITH FIRE.”
Which was fulfilled in Acts 2:2-4: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled ALL the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire (divided flames), and IT SAT UPON EACH OF THEM.
And they were FILLED with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (languages) as the Spirit GAVE them utterance (spoke unto them).”
The bridging between the books and the Temple of Stone becoming the Temple of the Heart.
Hebrews 12:18-29: “For ye are NOT come unto the mount that might not be touched, and that burned with fire, NOR unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest.
And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which the voice they that heard intreated (begged) that the word should NOT be spoken to them any more:
For they could NOT endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible WAS the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:
But YE are COME UNTO mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.
To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
And to Jesus THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
See that YE REFUSE NOT HIM that speaketh, For if they escaped NOT who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall NOT we escape, IF WE TURN AWAY FROM HIM THAT SPEAKETH FROM HEAVEN: WHOSE VOICE SHOOK THE EARTH;
But now he hath promised, saying, YET ONCE MORE I SHAKE NOT THE EARTH ONLY, BUT ALSO HEAVEN.
And THIS word, YET once more signifieth the REMOVING OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SHAKEN, as of things that are made, THAT THOSE THINGS WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN MAY REMAIN.
Wherefore we RECEIVING a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, WHEREBY WE SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR. FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.”
God was so terrifying on Mount Sion that even Moses SHOOK with terror and at the sound of His voice the Hebrews trembled and BEGGED that He only talk to Moses and NOT to them.
This IS the same God that gently calls us today to allow Him to shake all those things until all that remains are the good things of Him that will remain and He calls us to not only ALLOW but to EMBRACE His Holy purification process.
And as that process unfolds, it is not uncommon for many “beasts” to rise up in resistance to that heat.
1 Peter 1:6,7: “Wherefore ye greatly rejoice though now for a SEASON, if need be, YE ARE IN HEAVINESS THROUGH MANIFOLD TEMPTATIONS (in distress due to many trails) that the TRIAL (genuineness) of your faith BEING MUCH MORE PRECIOUS THAN OF GOLD THAT PERISHETH, THOUGH IT BE TRIED (tested) WITH FIRE, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
God reveals the process this way:
Isaiah 48:10:”Behold, I have REFINED thee, but not with (as) silver; I HAVE CHOSEN (tested) THEE IN THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION.”
So whatever those “beasts”may be today, no matter how hot that fire is getting or just how uncomfortable that “heat” is starting to feel, know that it is a process and EMBRACE it!
Revelation 3: 18(a): “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire…”
So don’t be afraid and whatever starts coming out of that fire.. LET IT COME, HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU!
As those are his words, and THAT IS HOW GOLD IS REFINED AND YOU ARE MORE PRECIOUS TO HIM THAN GOLD!
Love till next time!
Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Nb 2018