I believe several in the body of Christ are currently going through a purification process, burning the compromise out of our lifestyles. However, purification requires fire, and this fire offends.
Many years ago, I recall the time I went through a similar experience. Below is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Permission to Burn, describing some of that process! May this meet you where you are and minister to you; drawing you closer to the One called Love—Jesus Christ!
I look back now and see how I was being sharpened and pressed deeper into His heart. I would learn how to pray through deep anguish and to love even when it hurt! I believe that everyone goes through these seasons in their walk with the Lord. I was zealous for the Lord and even when I thought I was failing, the deep inner craving for more of Him continued to grow. I found my entire identity, purpose and destiny in Him, but little did I know that the holy fire I lived in would offend some of the believers I looked to as mentors.
Jesus didn’t come into the world to offend, but offense came. He was actually called the “Rock of Offense” (Isa. 28:16; Rom. 9:30-33). The offended persons, most often religious leaders, justified their behavior because they hated the light and burning that came with the message and person of Jesus. The Light of the World was a flame of pure fire which exposed their double standard and compromised lifestyles.
For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. (John 3:17-20)
Often times in the times of pressing and walking through the fire purification we wrestle through offensive thoughts. These thoughts can either lead to repentance, freedom and greater maturity or to fault finding, offense, and judgement. Pause! What’s going on in your heart?
Pray: Jesus grace me to forgive and not harbor resentment, pain and judgement. Fill me with fiery passion for you and those who hurt me because of my fire for you!
Ahhhh! That feels better! Let Holy Spirit do the work!
This is just the beautiful process that shines the glorious light into the darkness of our hearts and the hearts of others around us, as mentioned in the passage above. This fire burns away carnality and leads us into a lifestyle of burning!
The truth is that when we embrace the fire and run to it and not away from it, we will love this lifestyle of purity and holiness even when it hurts! We are never alone!
Beloved, the Fiery One shines so brightly through you when you go deeper into this truth and those who love the darkness can’t help but respond with offense. But know that they see Him and you are being the light in their lives! Do it with His love. Take heart, my friend! If you are experiencing the fire that you have cried out for, you are being formed into His image! You are looking more like your Heavenly Father every day! Be quick to forgive and know they just haven’t embraced the fire yet!
I’m praying for you!
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