As I was reading and praying this morning I had a short vision that I believe is for many of us. I believe that the Lord has called many to “go beyond.” The journey has been difficult, and many have had to face personal loss. The road has been hard, painful, seemingly never ending, and many are wondering if they can make it. Many are at the point where they feel they can not take another step. I believe the Lord wants you to be encouraged. Gather your strength for one last push, breakthrough is at hand.
I saw many people starting off on a wide road; they were in “pioneer” dress. As I watched the road turned uphill and became two ruts, then a single trail, then it got still steeper with rocks jutting out, it continued to get harder and yes, more dangerous to travel, finally becoming little more than a ledge on the side of the mountain. Each time the road got more difficult people turned back, until at the end there were only a few still pressing on. Those left were all wondering if they could go another step. The view panned back and I saw that another step was literally all that was needed; they were that close to the top. Just beyond their view I could see a clear mountain lake and a crowd of people waiting to greet the overcomers with fresh clothes, and a banquet prepared for their arrival.
Like the broad way that Jesus spoke of in Matthew, the road starts out broad and easy, and there are many travelers upon it, but we have not been called to remain on the broad road, but rather to seek the path less traveled. All were in pioneer dress, suggesting to me that all were ones who had responded to the call to go beyond, to answer the call of the Lord to follow His voice wherever it may lead. At each stage of the journey the road got harder, some would turn back, unable or unwilling to pay the price. Others would build there, deciding that they could go no further, but some would press on, often to the ridicule and judgment of the others.
Finally there were only a few left, but the pressed on in ones and twos, each group thinking they were the only ones left. I could see that each step was a struggle, the winds were whipping them and threatening to blow them off the mountain. I could also see that they were each one at a point where all pathways came together at the top. They were all so close that with one more step they would be at the top. In fact, if they could have lifted their heads and stood straight they would have seen the top, it was that close.
There was a mountain lake, speaking to me of refreshing, new clothes, speaking of new anointing and new ministries, and finally a banqueting table, symbolizing a feast, celebration, and new strength. Waiting for them was a crowd of people, speaking of the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before, as well as those they would minister to.
Friday night as we were worshiping, I heard “Purified seven times – no shortcuts.” As I meditated upon this the Lord began to speak to my heart. I believe that it goes with the vision, and will be an encouragement to many.
Some I have called and anointed have fallen because they rushed ahead of my will and timing. Some did so out of a desire to serve me, some out of selfish ambition. Regardless of the reason the result was the same. Because they did not allow time for My seven fold refining to be completed things remained in their lives which caused them to step outside of my grace and into sin. In my mercy, I allowed them to fall, both for their sake and for the sake of My church.
(In my mind I saw a large metal part. It looked massive and strong, yet I could see impurities hidden inside it. As I watched small cracks developed, hidden at first but becoming more and more obvious. As I watched, they joined together and the piece shattered.) In many cases their gifts were great. This allowed them to go far, for My gifts are without repentance. Yet in time, the impurities that remained allowed weakness to develop and eventually failure to occur.
You have allowed me to refine you, hammer you out and refine you again and again. You have endured the process even when you wanted to run ahead. Others have even urged you to do this or that, go here or there, but you have waited, not always patiently, but obediently. At times, you have been confused, not comprehending the work I was doing in you, but like Job, you kept your focus on me and refused to curse me.
Yes, it has been hard, but all I would use must face this process. The testing comes that you may be refined and proofed. (Proofing in this case is a process where a gun barrel is subjected to a proof charge many times greater than the charge for which it is intended to ensure it will be able to withstand the pressures of day to day use. In the days before modern metallurgy every barrel was tested and then marked with a proof stamp.)
Know that the process is at an end, for I have begun to see my face in you. Soon, very soon, you will be ready for the Master’s use. Then I shall release you into ALL I have promised.
I have spoken and I will do this. I shall cause it to come to pass quickly as in the twinkling of an eye. In that day, you will not look back with sorrow, but with joy, for you will see that what you once counted loss was instead gain.
Be blessed, and be encouraged. It has ALL been worth it.