Trial By Fire

1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

1Co 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

1Co 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1Co 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The lord looks for those who can withstand trials and tribulations, let downs, set backs and such.

No man is an island to himself as I have said, one plants the evangelist, the minister is the one who waters, both are nothing but humble servants, it is the lord alone that gives the increase or no increase.

At times one will be, as I have in the past, the one who planted and the one, who watered, but still it is the lord that gives the increase, or you may see no increase.

The message is clear the lord tries by fire, and this is serious, one must expect every kind of trial, temptation, attack, persecution, and tribulations with much, much testing, our faith is tested as it is more precious than silver or gold, we are refined in the refiners fire to bring out the dross, the impurities.

There is no getting around this, no short cuts, no five steps to success, not in ministry-not in the christian life.

Ministry is blood, sweat and tears, You will be often misunderstood, criticized and persecuted, if you are not, you need to examine your life and ministry, as it should scare you to death if your walking in painless Christianity.

Think on what Paul faced, it is the same today with true ministries and true ministers, and real Christians.

2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the
city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

2Co 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

2Co 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

These are your ministry credentials, not your ordination or degree, if you have all the paper work in order and do not have these credentials in 2 Cor ch 4, something is wrong, or you are new and have not faced them yet.

Trial by fire is the way it works, suffering and enduring is our credentials it is part of the real deal.

The lord is cleaning house. The lord is purging and chastising his people, he has a purpose for the days ahead; we are not to resist this, but embrace it.

In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world.

Can that word be taken in faith and stood on, this is why trials come to see what we are made of, to see if we are in this for the long haul , or just for a time.

He who endures to the end shall be saved, it takes longsuffering, patience, endurance, love, faith, hope and such, and if we cannot endure trial's by fire, we are unfit for the master’s use.

We are given the Holy Spirit and Grace; we are given all things that pertain to life and godliness.

We must use these heavenly tools, we cannot do it, but as we yield to the lord, he does it through us, there are still times when you will, feel nothing, this is where standing on the word, endurance and trial by fire takes place, understand and may the lord give you knowledge concerning this

  I end with this portion of a book it is very fitting;

Austin-Sparks.Net - Open Windows

Mat 23:9  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Perhaps one of the things which you and I and the Lord's people
everywhere need to recognize more than anything else at an end time is
the fact of our heavenliness. There is going to be a testing of
everything which bears the Lord's name by the law of the beginning
governing the end. In the beginning they were a heavenly people, with
everything for them in heaven, in Christ, and being drawn from Christ
in heaven. All their government, direction, resource came from Him and
was in Him as in heaven. The Lord comes back again and again to test
things by that beginning, and in the end the test is going to be
applied very stringently.

 We are going to see the outward form of
things, which is earthly, man-made, man-constituted, an imitation or a
representation of spiritual things, breaking down, shaking at its very
foundations. All the organizations of our work are going to be
shattered. In the nations all that framework will be broken up. That
which alone will be left will be the people themselves, and they will
probably be scattered. Then the test will be as to how much of this is
Christ here. If there has been dependence upon orders, churches,
systems, even meetings and conferences, the many things which in
themselves are looked to as the means of support of the Christian
life, when they are gone, broken, the question will be, How much of
Christ is here? What is the measure of Christ, the heavenly Christ?

You see how that was the crisis for the disciples. They had three
years with Him, but there was an outward detachment, an outward
dependence, a physical, sentient association. In those days they could
say some very bold things, they could make great confessions and
professions, they could declare themselves as to Him, Who He was, what
they thought of Him, what they believed concerning Him, what they
would do for Him. Then He was taken from them, and what was left? No
Christ, no Life, nothing to live for, everything gone! When the life
of senses ceased, the outward order came to an end, they had nothing
left, they were in despair, and their faith was shattered.

 There is
much of that today. We do not know how much there is until the break
comes, until we are no longer able to do anything for the Lord, until
we are no longer able even to pray and read the Word of God, and carry
on the usual devotional exercises, until we are no longer able to meet
with the Lord's people. Multitudes of the Lord's people are coming
there now.

By T. Austin-Sparks from: That Which Was From The Beginning - Chapter
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