Two years ago, I began settling into what would be the breakthrough summer of my life. I regained a solid stride. My outlook recaptured its idyllic state. Electric expectancy became my calling card. And finally, after a grueling transition year, my destiny had gathered some sheen.
Things were looking up then.
But one essential ingredient was missing: the trials. Though new wine of a changed heart had been tasted, it hadn’t garnered a seal of approval. And yes, though I had tapped into some momentum under favorable conditions, the road to freedom had only begun.
Back then, the stark contrast alone between past and present days provided propitious hope. But despite the abounding good, youthful ignorance kept subtle habits (i.e. replaying the past, sporadic forgiveness, belief in certain deceptions) from being completely relinquished. Thus, every defining moment during those summer months lost crucial capability to intimately cement itself to my identity.
I still showcase a smile when reminiscing about those days. For in the accounts of my memory bank are profusions of affirming memories.
But with those past “deposits” granted, the Lord should have been permitted to drill more of him deeper into my being. Instead, I rode on waves of diverting contentment, which loosened select standards and cracked me to concerted brokenness.
During last weekend’s Not Alone 2010 conference, the difference between times became more apparent upon hours of soaking prayer. Among the prophetic words of knowledge, pictures, and healings that took place, perhaps none struck me so vividly then the following revelation:
Often times, our knack to celebrate integrity can only happen to the extent we overcome adversity and emerge victorious from moral combat. When failures emerge from resolute patterns, as compared to erratic blunders, the veracity of a person must be interrogated. Still, I would submit it’s better to learn from heart pains, than coast on a cruise control that caps Christ’s power to permeate his glory into our radiance. For when God shines, we must absorb all His glimmers, sparks, and gleams. When favor falls, hold to it closely. Never let go. Quench the temptation to convert excitement into a distraction. Burn the right way. Don’t let a genuine Spirit move fizz into an evaporating buzz that crashes the Kingdom (rather than advancing it).
For how can one be on fire, if it is not asked or desired? How can roots of sin and strongholds deracinate without a thirst for iniquity-consuming flames?
Fire (a.k.a. a passionate, holy burn) should always be a versatile element no matter the realm. It helps maintain a hunger for the ways of God and consumes transgression at the point of surrender. If we want a soul fire, why not let it burn vertically? Are we believers that want convenient bonfires or explosive wildfires that push our thresholds of vulnerability?
It’s time to get real, people…