As we are about our Father’s business, He will often come and meddle in our business.
A few nights ago I was awakened by the words, “That’s not gold, that’s wood. That’s not silver, that’s hay. Those are not costly stones, that’s straw and stubble.”
Often what’s gold to us is wood to God. I asked the Lord, “Are You messing with me again?”
“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 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. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor. 3:10-15, NIV).
I see the Lord striking a match to set His church on fire. But first, this fire will burn up some precious things that are not of Him.
There was a shipwreck at sea, and the sole survivor was a man who swam to a nearby deserted island. He took as much of the food from the wreckage as could be salvaged and put it in a pile, then covered the food with the mast of the ship. He knew that when the food ran out, he would soon perish.
One day he took a walk to the other side of the island. As he was returning, he saw huge flames shooting up out of the pile of food that was stored. He became extremely angry and began beating his fists into the sand and cursing God. As he was cursing God, he heard a sound—mmmmm, mmmm—a foghorn in the distance. He looked up and saw a big ship on the horizon.
He watched as men began to climb down off this huge ship into small boats and started rowing toward the shore. The first small boat to reach the shore had the big ship’s captain in it. The captain stepped out of the boat and walked up to the man on the island. The captain said, “Mister, if you hadn’t lit that fire, we would never have found you! If you hadn’t lit that fire …”
Sometimes what we lose becomes our rescue.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:8). Paul counted his losses, not his victories, to win Christ.
I sense that many of God’s people are bewildered and angry right now because for some reason, the Father has allowed some precious things—relationships and things you thought you couldn’t live without—to go up in smoke and flames.
Focus on what you’re gaining, not what you’re losing!
The enemy is trying to convince many people to blame God for what they have lost and to turn away from Him. Many are so angry and bitter that they cannot hear God at all right now. But I hear something for you. Listen very carefully. This is what I hear: mmmmmm, mmmmm. I hear a spiritual foghorn in the distance; Jesus is very near!
The enemy is telling you to look at what you are losing. Jesus is saying, “Look at what you are about to gain!” If you have lost something that you believe it is God’s will for you to have, then He is able to bring it back in His timing. Things that we think we can’t live without are often very frail and combustible.
Is God dwindling us down to needing and loving one another?
I hear the Lord saying, “Circle the wagons for what is coming.” I saw a circling of the wagons that looked like a defensive move in the Spirit, but it was an offensive move. We got out of those wagons that held—you name it—and gathered around a campfire to warm ourselves and make those marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker things. As we did, I noticed the wind blowing a spark of that campfire that was blessing us onto a covered wagon, catching it on fire. Then that wind blew the fire onto the next wagon and continued to burn the rest. Even the wagon wheels were burning. If it was the enemy, the Lord seemed to allow it, because for some unknown reason, He wanted us to travel light.
I then saw us standing together, circling the campfire, holding hands while the campfire began to go out. We were discovering that hands were meant to be held. We may not have liked one another, but soon we realized that we would need each other to survive. Often, survival comes before revival. Then as we embraced one another and realized our need not only for God but also for each other, the fire of God blew upon us, and we began to burn as firebrands in the hands of God as the Lord began to do great things, new things and awesome things in the earth through us. “He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants” (Ps. 104:4).
Fire often helps us to surrender those things that we are unable to give up on our own. But God gives beauty for ashes (Isa. 61:3).
I smell something precious burning. Travel light.
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full-time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books, and his latest is Handfuls of Purpose. Subscribe to his prophetic emails and visit his website at billyount.com or email him at [email protected].
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