In just a little over one year the world has turned upside down and been shaken hard. Satan and his minions are driving people into a state of confusion using deception, fraud, fear and terror. Even God’s own are dwelling far from the land of comfort. Although we might think satan is in control, God is allowing these trials for one major purpose. His purpose is to prepare a Bride for His Son, a Bride that cannot have sharp edges. To make this happen, His people must be polished with love in this period of shaking and tumbling.
A deep silence
For the last several months, Wanda and I have withdrawn from all news and most of our online presence. God has led us into a place of quietness so we can hear Him speak gentle peace to our souls. We even contemplated letting go of this blog, considering this deep silence and distancing from the world. However, in recent days God has given us a few visions that pertain specifically to His church that He has nudged us to share. As obedient servants of our God, we can do no less than reveal what we have seen.
It all started with a rock
During one of the rare times this winter Wanda and I have been able to walk around the neighborhood near where we live, I spotted a shiny stone near the sidewalk. Caught by the unusual rock, I picked it up to show our daughters. I was more amused by the novelty of this item than the spiritual implications.
Later God gave me an image of ceramic polishing media without comment or insight. I had seen such items recently in a video where a machine was polishing metal items, Now I had a polished stone and the mental picture of the media used to polish them. I was unsure why my Father was bringing these things to my attention, but I trusted He would reveal His intent in time.
God then gave a revelation about these two pictures and how they relate to His church. He said that in this season His people are being tumbled together to polish them and remove their rough edges. This polishing process prepares them for the wilderness and intimacy with Jesus. The tumbling process knocks the stones together, and each interaction breaks off a bit of the stone. Done enough times the stones become polished with love. The process is neither fun nor enjoyable, but necessary if the stones are to shine.
The time of divisiveness
You may notice that the whole of Christendom is being rocked with scandals, division, fear, manipulation, persecution and tyranny. Many people opine relentlessly on the issues and divisiveness rules the day. Never in our lifetimes have we seen such chaos ruling the world and the church. Yet God is allowing this to happen for a good reason. Why?
To understand this, we first have to know the deepest motive in God’s heart. His motive is love and desire for intimacy with His creation. Intimacy with Jesus, however, cannot be entered into lightly. Unfortunately, we posses a small thing called the ‘self’ nature which is directly and violently opposed to God. God and ‘self’ are wholly incompatible therefore we cannot be the Bride of Christ and still have the ‘self’ nature as well. Ergo God must take us through a process whereby He can remove the offending filth of our ‘self’ nature first so we can be then wedded to the Son. This process is called the wilderness, and it starts with a bang.
The brutal nature of polishing
For many, the wilderness is a quaint idea that occurred long ago and is not important for today. Our present reality is dispelling that notion and replacing it with hard truth. God can, will, and has allowed our world to be violently turned upside down just to break up the calcified ‘self’ nature in each of us. This current time of turbulent interactions between people has the uncanny ability to expose and knock off the sharp edges of ‘self’ we all have.
In much the same way a rock tumbler bashes the hard rocks into each other, breaking off their sharp points and polishing them smooth. This is the image God is giving to help us understand this season of seemingly unstoppable turbidity. Our Father is very clear that He is allowing this time so His people will start being prepared for the wilderness and betrothal to His Son. We must be polished with love before God will present us to Jesus as a Bride.
The initial jolt
Although I wish I could tell you that this time of upheaval is the totality of the wilderness I cannot. The usual pattern is that the beginning of the wilderness is extremely tough but levels out as God turns His own into people of faith without ‘self’. The Hebrew slaves had to face the Red Sea. Our family had to face the first 40 days of our homelessness living in the woods under a tarp. These are but two examples of the extreme nature of the start of the wilderness season in a person’s life, and it is the norm.
The beginning of any wilderness is the worst part however God puts a time limit on the duration.
The purpose of the initial jolt is to break but not destroy us. Once we are humbled by the tumbling, we can begin the process of bridal preparation. There will be long days ahead, but the intensity and length of this season will not be matched. God’s people will be continually tested as we follow Him in faith, and as the ‘self’ nature is brought to death, the intensity diminishes. Eventually, with maturity and intimacy on the rise, trials become easier victories and valuable learning experiences.
A Bride for Jesus, polished with love
What is coming forth in this hour, and the days and years ahead, will be a people that have been polished in the furnace of affliction. As it says in Isaiah 18:7 “At that time shall a present be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and polished, from a people terrible from their beginning and feared and dreaded near and far, a nation strong and victorious, whose land the rivers or great channels divide—to the place [of worship] of the Name of the Lord of hosts, to Mount Zion [in Jerusalem].” Does this not sound like the Bride of Jesus?
Embrace the shaking brothers and sisters, because it is bringing forth the Bride, completely polished with love!
Homer and Wanda