I have held fast… as faithful as I could be… to several words God gave me from my teen years onward. One of them is about His Presence in my life.
Another one of them I have held onto for 11 years. 11 years? Yes, 11 years!
A few weeks ago the Holy Spirit explained… or “dropped into my spirit” as some like to say… this understanding of why He causes us to hold onto a word for so long.
Simply put: IT SHAPES US
The challenge phase
First, lets take a look at some reasons why God’s seeds… His words spoken to or over us… do not grow. It’s because the kingdom of this world challenges us to lose focus and to be concerned about the things of this world.
From those parables I can find 4 reasons:
- We dont understand the meaning of the word
- The worries of this life
- The deceitfulness of money
- When trouble comes because of the word
The Holy Spirit showed me that these phases occur every time God gives us a word. Every time we get a word we WILL be challenged.
YES I have found that is true. If I am praying or declaring something, trouble comes, I worry about what other people think, I wonder if I really really understood the meaning of what He was saying… perhaps He meant something else?
But IF we get THROUGH this phase… THEN… we see then fruitfulness of His words to us.
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. – Luke 8:15
- a noble and good heart
- hear the word and retain it… hold onto it
- and then by persevering
you will produce a crop!
But what’s the point? Why?
The KEY THING that He showed me was that in these 11 years of waiting, praying, believing…
Until his word came true, until the word of the Lord tried and tested him. – Ps 105:19
the act of being faithful to the words given changed me, grew me, shaped me.
The same happened to Joseph, David, Jesus Christ
Think about Joseph… the word he was given CAUSED the trouble and money problems and family problems… but as he held steady and believed, the act of staying faithful CAUSED him to grow and evolve and become the person God intended.
Think about King David… the word he was given CAUSED the trouble and money problems and family problems… but as he held steady and believed, the act of staying faithful CAUSED him to grow and evolve and become the person God intended.
Oh. You noticed that I used the same words? Because the same thing happened in both lives.
And Jesus Christ? His faithfulness to God’s words CAUSED Him to suffer death, become sin, go to sheol for 3 days… and then rise up to the right hand of God. If He had given up on the words God gave Him then those things would not have happened.
And me? I have held onto these promises and the one that has taken 11 years… that one in particular has shaped me beyond belief. I could not have imagined that simply waiting for someone would have caused me to experience persecution, having my business destroyed, my superannuation confiscated, my family and church people doubt my relationship with God.
In a way the disloyalty of the church people… those who should know better, who should be my brothers and sisters, helping me… is the hardest to accept and forgive.
But that’s what that parable says will happen. And the end result is that I can honestly say… as Joseph did… to those who persecuted me…
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. – Gen 50:19-21
The overall BIG picture
I know it’s a lot to absorb… which is why the Holy Spirit showed it to me in a picture style story.
The image I received was (almost exactly) this one which I have re-created below.
Tried and tested? No.
Those words “tried and tested”… that is the amplified. I dont like it. It’s not conveying the correct meaning.
God is not being mean to us. The purpose of the words and our being faithful… or as faithful as possible… is to cause us to grow… our faithfulness looks foolish to the outside world but it actually results in our purification and it causes God’s words coming to pass.
Tried… the original hebrew word is tsaraph…
and it means… (Strongs H6884)
to smelt, refine, test
to smelt, refine
to test (and prove true)
smelter, refiner, goldsmith (participle)
(Niphal) to be refined
(Piel) to be a refiner
In this instance the stem is Qal
so the correct meaning is to smelt and refine… or… to make pure.
Water the words often
The words that God gives you… if you hold onto them, watering them frequently… will refine you.
What does it mean to “water” them? As a gardener (of sorts) I can personally confirm that seeds die in the ground if you dont water them every few days. One hot week in summer and all your hard work is finished.
So how do you water them? You believe Him. You use your words (your mouth, your lips) to speak life, not death.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue – Prov 18:21
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 2 Cor 4:13
I believed, therefore have I spoken – Psalm 116:10
Simply hearing the words doesn’t cause them to come to pass, you have to add your faith!
but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith – Heb 4:2 AMP
Can we complain? What if it hurts?
Yes of course you can complain. King David bitched and moaned throughout his 49+ psalms… he cursed his own life, he cursed his enemies… but he always ended up restating his faith.
I trusted in the LORD when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; – Psalm 116:10
His complaints were simply truth… and since God knows the truth anyway, its dishonest to deny the truth. Instead, tell Him the truth, tell Him how you feel… but hold fast to the words of God.
Talking to Him about your feelings IS faith. Talking to Him about whats happening IS relationship with Him.
God bless you as you hold fast… and I mean steady, faithful, true… to the words He has given you.