Coming Forth As Gold

A few days ago, I prayed through James 1:2-3 and was intrigued by the additional possible meanings of each Word recorded in an online Bible lexicon (sources: https://biblehub.com/lexicon/james/1-2.htm, https://biblehub.com/lexicon/james/1-3.htm): 

“Let your leading thought (consider), one piece at a time (all), be an awareness of God’s grace (joy), when you are totally surrounded (encounter) by many colored (various) testings (trials), coming to know through personal experience (knowing) that the being found genuine (testing) of God’s persuasion in you (faith) brings to a decisive conclusion (produces) your by God-enabled remaining under the challenges allotted (endurance).”

What continually strikes me, each day I sit to pray through Scripture and look up the Words in the online Bible lexicon, is how the translations we have chosen focus so much on human effort, when the underlying meaning of the Words I look up always emphasize God’s doing for us and His proving of Himself in us, for us and through us.

This morning, I found my faith failing me. I felt depressed, hemmed in on every side by trials that just proved my weakness, my inability to press through and make things happen that are beyond my control. I felt like giving up, but also heard that little still Voice inside me calling me to come rest with Him.

So, I lay down in bed for an hour to give my physical and spiritual heart rest. I woke to find this verse in my inbox:

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” MATTHEW 7:13-14 NIV

I suddenly remembered the verse I had been praying a few days earlier in James (1:2-3) and found my heart rejoicing, realizing this narrow way I was being pressed into was God’s Way for me and He was inviting me to let go of my faith in myself and my ability, to rest in His. So, I grabbed my bike, with my husband’s and children’s blessing, to head to the forest nearby.

I trusted God to help me through the incessant chest pain and pressure and shortness of breath I have been experiencing daily since a bike ride on Monday. Feeling abandoned by medical professionals who I have trusted to help me, God helped me remember this isn’t His abandonment of me and that my desire to come away with Him to pray, was His desire for me too.

As I biked, the Words “come forth as gold” came to my mind. Turns out they are words spoken by Job as he too was hemmed in on every side by painful trials of physical and emotional affliction. As those around him, rather than helping him, were making things worse, even telling him he must have brought all the calamity upon himself, Job cried out (Job 23:10 KJV):

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

As I looked up the Word “know”, I again discovered the Word “yada”- to know one another as Adam knew Eve, conceiving a child from that intimate union. And the Word “gold” could also mean “oil”. Does it remind you of what it reminded me too?

And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves. Matthew 25:8-10 ESV

So, these trials that are burning away my faith in my own ability to stand by faith are in fact bringing forth oil: God’s Holy Spirit power for me and in me, as He calls me into knowing Him more and more intimately.

When I wanted to give up as my weakness and inability was exposed, the Father’s still small Voice called me:

“Come away with Me, Anna, and let Me prove My ability and power for you and to you. Let me show you the truth of My Promise to you through my beloved Peter:

1 Peter 1:6-7 HCSB
You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Yes, YOUR faith perishes through the fire, but that’s only so MY SON’S faith and HIS persuasion of you to believe and trust Me may be revealed in and through you. So that the trust of JESUS may be revealed in you. Rememember what I told you: “There’s life in the womb”.

Oh yes! All those places the way becomes narrow and impossible for us to walk through is where more of Jesus is being birthed in us: His life, His breath, His faith for us. Praise Him!!! He is LORD alone!!

And that reminds me WHO our narrow gate and door truly is – JESUS working in us, for us and through us to lift up our weary and discouraged hearts in praise:

New International Version

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.

New Living Translation

Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.

English Standard Version

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:9

There are many reasons us humans give for not believing in God, and I face them daily in my own heart also – but now I see that when it comes down to it, all that’s needed is the Spirit’s touch. There’s no reason or logic that can stand against the power of His holy touch upon us …that’s how He brought me, His lost lamb, home too those 8 years ago.

It was walking the hills around Wanaka in New Zealand, looking out onto the glistening lake and surrounded by mountains every side. I felt the power of God descend upon me with such incredible peace, right when my heart was shattered into a thousand pieces, having just heard Mum had two to three months to live. In one moment God cut through all the accusations and lies of my accuser to wrap me in the truth of His love for me.

Gates of Praise
A poem by Anna Louise Smit


I am your light and your salvation
I am your glory within
Call your walls: salvation
Your gates: praise.

I am your glory within
Swing wide you heavenly gates
Your gates: praise
Let the King of Glory come in.

Swing wide you heavenly gates
Return to your fortress, prisoners of hope
Let the King of Glory come in
Light shines in darkness.

Return to your fortress, prisoners of hope
I am a wall of fire around you
Light shines in darkness
I am the Lifter of your head.

I am a wall of fire around you
Call your walls: salvation
I am the lifter of your head
I am your light and your salvation.



Psalm 24: 9 (ESV)

Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.


1 Chronicles 16:28 (ESV)

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!


Psalm 22:3 (ESV)

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.


Isaiah 60:18 (ESV)

Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.


Zechariah 9:12 (ESV)

Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.


Isaiah 62:1 (ESV)

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent,

and for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet,

until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,

and her salvation as a burning torch.


John 1:14 (ESV)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.


2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (MSG)

6 It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. 7 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us.

Part 2: Chapter 3 – Day 7: Sea of Holy Fire

Welcome to Part 2 Chapter 3‘s Day 7 of Arise and Shine. Today, Anna is sharing a poem as a final free will offering of gold, looking expectantly toward the eternal perfection that awaits us in Christ Jesus, as He completes what He has begun in us. She also shares the Scriptures that have inspired and form a part of her poem.

He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it—ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea. The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths.

1 Kings 7: 23-26 (ESV)
SEA OF HOLY FIRE

From North and South
From East and West
We come
Your Temple raised.

Purified in fires we've met
Refined and tested
Your Living Word
Has proved us Yours.

Not in our outward wiping clean
But in mercy's washing clean
In Your blood shed
And Your Body broken

You led us the old to shed
To know You
In Your death
And resurrection.

Purified of Satan's curse
Washed in a cup of wrath
You bore for us
Our hearts awash in mercy.

We ran the race
In Your jealous flames of love
Your liquid gold now pouring
In incense sweet arising.

Our hardened hearts You broke
To flow in mercy
Your Holy flame in trials thick and fast
All dross destroying.

Made in Your image
Temple
Of Your Holy Spirit
Purposed born

We bear Your Name
To lay down our crowns
At these
Your feet.

Harps are playing
Our hearts
And lips
Are singing:

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
    O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
    O King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Revelations 14:3 (ESV)

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
    O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
    O King of the nations!

Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Revelations 14:2-3 (ESV)

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1: 12 (ESV)