The Lord laid this on my heart a while back and I wanted to share with this blessed community of believers. Be blessed brethren. I pray this is a timely word for someone. May the Lord be glorified! Psalm 105:17-19 and James 1:1-4Notice in both of the above scriptures that there is a "trying" (testing, proving)....This is the same process used to purify gold and silver. This work is done in the fire. It is a work that purifies the inward motives and intentions that tend to fuel our earthly endeavors which may not be rooted in Him! He is obviously trying to purify you and bring you to a greater maturity! My encouragement to you would be to let Him melt down your thoughts and desires that originate with self. We all tend to resist His will and the cross without even knowing it sometimes. In the times He calls us to suffer, we often times respond as Peter did in Matthew 16:21-24. And yet other times He calls us to rest and we say "But I will labour more". Do not worry about asking Him to change the circumstances right now, as it is clear He is using it to do this refining work. If He were to remove His hand from this work, you will have to go through it again as the work was not finished. When in the flames of testing (which is to bring about your maturity and conformity to His image) it is no easy thing....But it is an abundant joy and peace and rest to know that He is the refiner who knows perfectly!!!Ezekiel 22:22, Psalm 66:10, Proverbs 17:3,Whether we are melted as silver and gold in the fire of God's wrath or the fire of God's testing, His purpose is to always bring forth a "vessel for the the finer [Himself]." Proverbs 25:4 and to bring us to the place where we "might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:7 Have your way in us today Lord, as the great refiner!! May we come to learn the lesson John spoke of and knew! "I must decrease"! It is in the decremental work of the flames of your love that we are truly reduced to a soft enough state to be purified!! Give us strength to yield to you in all things!It is a sure reality that when we decrease, HE WILL INCREASE! This "Decreasing", is the the dethronement of self! The increase is the exaltation of Christ to His rightful "throne"....that throne being our hearts and this world!!It is a sovereign thing indeed. The Psalmist knew this very well, for so he says in the midst of his crucible...“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.”Psalms 119:67-68, 71, 75Solomon also wrote a sweet fragrance for us to breathe in...“The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Proverbs 27:7When our souls are full of self or of the world, even the sweetness of Christ and eternity is bitter to us and has no sweet pull upon our minds and hearts and strength. But when our soul hungers and thirsts for Him [Psalm 63:1 and Matthew 5:6], it is then, that even the bitterest of circumstances are sweet to us! Why? Because “HIS mouth is most sweet: yea, HE is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” Song of Solomon 5:16. Blessings!
Have your way in us today Lord, as the great refiner!! May we come to learn the lesson John spoke of and knew! "I must decrease"!
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Brother Josiah, This is very much a good and timely word🙏🏻 Thank you for sharing as it’s (so far) the best and truest thing I’ve read all week (outside of the scriptures). Recently this principle of affliction (multiple times -Psalms 119) has been reintroduced into my life by the Lord and in such a way so as to cause me to desire it as it is indeed happening “for” us and not “to” us... we will either be victorious or victims, the choice is ours +:) When our hearts have been filled by Christ, tho our situation may be dire we will find good in it and joy will be our lot... when our hearts are full of self, no matter how good our situation is it will never be good enough and bitterness will be on our lips-
Welcome dear brother, thanks for your word!You wrote:[Have your way in us today Lord, as the great refiner!! May we come to learn the lesson John spoke of and knew!"I must decrease"!It is in the decremental work of the flames of your love that we are truly reduced to a soft enough state to be purified!!Give us strength to yield to you in all things!It is a sure reality that when we decrease, HE WILL INCREASE! This "Decreasing", is the the dethronement of self! The increase is the exaltation of Christ to His rightful "throne"....that throne being our hearts and this world!!]Looking up the bible verse John 3:30 it says 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.Looking at my flesh, rotten as it is, will resist the decrease with full force unless the Master has presented himself to me in his majesty and grandeur. I have no desire to decrease unless he increases first in me. My flesh cannot resist itself, if I try to decrease first, it will be by the stealth force of an unsanctified desire to still increase, because I want to boast in earned merit. Isaiah saw the Lord high and exalted before he could shout "woe to me". Levy the tax collector heard Jesus before he left his booth and followed him, Zaccheus had the masters self invitation before he distributed his goods.The Kingdom to come has to be seen before I can repent.It is easier to trade in my filthy rags when I am offered pure white linnen, it is easier to trade my dull silver of worldly lusts for a bar of pure heavenly gold.Even Christ endured the cross because of the glory that was set before him.Yes, trials and crosses should sharpen my view of the glorified Christ rather than leading me into despair.