Recently the Lord began showing me how he was taking various ministries “back to zero.” It has been a very painful time of shifts in relationships, changes in plans, and the ending of ongoing activities. For some it has involved the death of a dream or vision.
In the midst of it all, God has been at work. We are in an amazing time of change. Every time something gets removed from my life, I come back to the Lord and say “Thank you for making an open space in my life that you are going to fill.”
One afternoon I was praying and as my mind wandered, the Lord showed me a large grey stone. I asked the Lord what it was and the Lord showed me it was a lump of ore.
“This is my church” the Lord said.
Inside a lump of ore there are all kinds of precious materials. Some ore contains gold. Sometimes it may contain iron, or copper, or zinc. It may contain precious minerals. All this is locked inside that grey rock.
As I continued to pray, the Lord began showing me how he was heating up this stone. The process of smelting first involves crushing. Then it involves heat to release the various elements in the stone. After this various chemical reactions are applied to separate and isolate the various components. Some of these chemical reactions involve catalysts that irritate the various components to cause change. Then more heat is applied. Often the components are then bound to an aluminum alloy where they can be analyzed and easily separated again into the elemental parts–with more heat and pressure.
I am grateful to my brother Myles Milham who explained this process to me in detail.
After all the heat, pressure, crushing, and chemical treatment, finally the various parts are refined into useful materials. Then the gold, silver, copper, zinc, and iron can be used for truly useful purposes.
God began to show me that many have been committed to a vision of the Body of Christ that is like that lump of ore. We want the church to walk around in a primitive state that is useless. This church is much like that ore. It is a big rock that might be good for a paper weight or to throw at someone, but not much else. Through the smelter the rock is separated into various parts, and they are useful. What God wants to create is something akin to a smart phone. All the parts–the chip, the processor, the case, and the screen were all once locked in the ore. But once they are separated out, they can then be used in tandem to achieve something far greater than the sum of the parts.
If you feel under pressure, isolated, irritated, or beaten up it’s time to begin to give thanks. God is doing this to achieve something wonderful in your life.