For almost 20 years God has been faithfully building His Church in my life. To do that He has had to dismantle the foundation which men had built, which was the very thing I was building upon. This process is one of those things you would not wish even on your enemies. But, looking back, you value the results more than gold.
God loves His Church and He loves His people. God truly is love, and everything He does is fueled by His love. That said; this doesn’t mean that it will always feel like what He is doing is motivated by His love. Also, it certainly does not mean that we will always understand why He is permitting what is happening to us.
I do guarantee this; He is fully in control and not a hair falls from our head that He doesn’t know about. I guess the question is: “Will you trust Him? Will you trust the Divine hands of the Master Potter to shape that which He made? Will you be pliable in His hands or will you go kicking and fighting against the Potter’s wheel where He shapes and molds you?”
Here is some free advice. The sooner you surrender to the Divine hands of Destiny the shorter your time will be on the wheel. Let’s look at the process in phases much like a building contractor does today.
God’s Dismantling Process
Phase 1 – The Removal of the Mistress
Our God is a jealous God and he will not share His bride with other lovers. For God to build, He must remove the idols from our hearts. The first idol which he removes masquerades under many names, such as my ministry, my call, and my church. I call her “the mistress” because while we are married to another, she comes in to usurp His place in our lives. We see her every morning in the mirror. A comic strip character named Pogo said in 1970, “We have met the enemy, and he is us”. I couldn’t agree more.
This phase is specially handcrafted by the Master Potter for each individual. No two look alike, but the end result will be the same. The Lord will allow us to experience human failure so we can taste Divine victory. Much like the implosion of an old building to build a new one, the coming down crashing is quite fast. With most of God’s leaders to whom I have spoken, this part of the process takes from 3-5 years.
We wake up one day with the debris of “our ministry” all around us only to realize we were building our own mini-kingdom in the name of God. We built the brand but the brand was us. Like a drug addiction, we needed it. And, when it’s taken away, we will go into withdrawal.
There are as many different reactions to all this as there are unique shells in the sea. Some will fight it and try to rebuild over and over again until they realize that they are kicking against the goads. Others will go crazy and run to the world to self-medicate their addiction. Some will turn to a job to feed their family, but wake up every day with deep feelings of dissatisfaction.
In the meantime, the Loving Potter will mold His prized possession and special treasure into something beyond the clay’s imagination. It will be something so beautiful that the plans (blueprints) can only exist in the mind of Divinity. Slowly and lovingly each imperfection will be removed. The fire of the testing will surface all the alien particles which were hindering God’s design. After the removal of Adamic viruses and the human programs, please be patient when God begins defragmenting your heart. Soon (Divine soon can take years), that will be finished and then and only then can we be allowed to build and be built.
Phase 2 “Dead Man Walking”
“Dead man walking” is a term used for death row inmates. In essence, it speaks of life beyond a death sentence. Well, life beyond the death to self is what phase two is all about. Paul said it well:
Gal 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
Some say the destination is the process, but while the process will always continue, there is a place where we will experience spiritual overdrive. Some say, “Only in heaven.” But what good would the life of the Man Christ Jesus be if humanly we can never achieve what He taught? Phase two is the building phase. You may never know you are there if you are still chained down to human measurements for success.
Phase two is a place where we do nothing but what we see the Father doing. While urgency for His Kingdom remains, all anxiety is gone—along with the need to be always “doing ministry.”
I know 75 year old ministers of the Gospel who have 50 years in ministry and still have not learned the lessons of being still in His presence and waiting upon the Lord. Like the axe head that fell off, they continue to think they must just hit the tree harder with just the handle to get the desired results.
It is difficult to describe 25 years of ministry in one short article, but I know there are many brothers and sisters “on the wheel” that just need to know they are not going crazy, they haven’t lost their faith, and God still has a wonderful plan for their lives. Let the church hear what the Spirit is saying!
This is a “how to” article so here are some survival pointers;
- Pray for God to raise up intercessors who will pray for you when you can’t (or wont) pray for yourself.
- Seek spiritual elders and fathers in the faith who have wisdom and can hold your hand and cry along with you.
- Find others who are on the Potter’s Wheel and come together because there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors.
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
Yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed.”
Says the Lord who has compassion on you.
ISAIAH 54:10 NIV
Jose L. Bosque
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