Step 4. The First Firing
Almost immediately, the Lord takes you out of the wilderness and places you in a large room with other dried vessels. At first you are relieved, but as fire starts to come through the floorboards and the top of the ceiling, you panic.
The Lord has moved you from the shelf to the kiln, from the wilderness to His consuming fire. You can sense the heat. You can feel the relentless blaze. Perspiring yourself, you suddenly look over at the sweaty people next to you and realize you don’t even like them!
The Lord never fires just one vessel at a time. He takes a church, a family or a group of friends and sets them on fire to expose everyone’s hearts. In the intense heat, all the impurities of the soul come to the surface. Resentment, bitterness, anger and greed are revealed.
As the fire gets hotter, the pain increases. You cry out, “Lord! Everything in my life is dying!” Relationships with family and friends become strained, you experience persecution at work, and you can’t get along with the people at church.
“God, if you love me, You’ll turn off the heat!” you complain. But the fire continues to blaze even hotter. Finally, the doors open, and the Lord removes the clay vessels and places them back on the shelves.
Now you’re actually happy to be in a hidden place. You decide to sit in the back of the church and not give prophecies or be a part of the prayer team anymore. Oh, yes, you still raise your hands and occasionally pray for people, but you’ve become lukewarm. When the Holy Spirit stirs your heart to give a word, you say, “No! If I give a word, others will judge me. No, Lord, find someone else.”
For a while, God tolerates your pulling back. Then He begins to nudge your spirit. He says: “Are you willing to settle for this, or do you want more of Me? Do you want to become My anointed bride?”
Step 5. The Glazing Room
Something deep inside you stirs—that first call, that sense of destiny you felt as a new believer. “Lord,” you cry, “I don’t want to just sit in the back pew and die. You made me to be a lover of your people and to go out and find broken vessels and bring them to the Potter’s house.
“I know it won’t be easy,” you continue. “I know I will pay an incredible price for the anointing I will carry for You. But, Lord, I want to become Your bride.”
So the Lord takes you into a huge glazing room filled with tables. Angels are moving pitchers from one table to another and placing them with cups on other tables in preparation for the high firing. The soft sound of weeping is heard as vessels that have been together all their lives are being separated.
God is sovereignly moving His different vessels to prepare them for His Great Commission. Some will be staying at home while others will be going to different cities and nations. The angels continue to carefully pour, paint and brush glazes onto each vessel before carrying them into a large kiln.
Step 6. The Second Firing
With raging intensity, the second fire starts to burn through the kiln. Quickly you move from a time of separation into a time of death. There are impurities within each clay vessel that only the fire can purge.
The Lord and His angels shut down the dampers on the kiln, cutting off the flow of oxygen and filling the kiln with carbon dioxide. Black soot along with heavy smoke and flames consumes every vessel in the kiln as it becomes a black fire, your personal Gethsemane.
Abandonment, isolation and death itself are all around you. The fire is so intense that you can’t hear or see the dear friends who have been your comforters and intercessors for so many years. Everyone you love seems to leave you as you die in this blazing inferno.
You say: “Lord, the fire! I’m dying in the midst of it! Everything I’ve built and loved my whole life is being consumed!”
Your heart breaks as your reputation and your walk with the Lord are condemned. Competition, position, jealousy and pride are driven out of your life by the purifying flames.
You feel as if you’re going to explode under the ever-increasing pressure. The Lord tenderly explains, “My child, in the midst of the black fire, a mystery takes place. Brilliant color is pushed deep into the body of the clay vessel.
“My mysteries and My revelations are revealed in the tremendous pressure of the high glory fire. This is a hidden time when the most beautiful colors are formed in the earthenware vessel. The richness and depth of color come from the darkest hours of agony and grief, just as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds come from hot fires inside the earth. In the midst of this second firing, My glory is being released into the depths of who you are.”
Step 7. The Glory Fire
At the moment when you just know you’re going to die, the Lord opens all the dampers. Carbon and black soot escape, oxygen pours in, and the fire starts to burn clean, white and fresh. The resurrection light of the Lord and His white transparent glory fire fill the kiln. Everything seems new because you are no longer looking through the haze of ego, pride or religiousness. You start to see with clarity in the Spirit.
Suddenly, in the midst of the white, transparent, glory fire, you hear the voice of the Lord and see all the angels as well as the Lord Himself. Fresh anointings and impartations are poured out, and fresh hot commissions and renewed visions are etched into the hearts of men.
The Lord begins to place His chosen mantles on various clay vessels. He takes coals of fire and places them on stammering lips to ignite prophetic giftings that were declared over these vessels when they were on the Potter’s wheel. Shaking and crying, healing and deliverance, deep repentance and intercession fill the kiln as hungry hearts cry out for more of God.
They’ve been through a time of appointing, a time of testing, a time of separation and a time of death, but in this high fire they’ll go through a time of resurrection as they start to move in the anointing with authority.
When the Lord walks through the kiln and sees Himself reflected on each vessel as in a mirror, He turns off the kiln. With great joy He announces, “Now that you reflect My glory, I can send you out to all the world.” The Master Potter has perfected His work of art.
The late Jill Austin ministered the prophetic word of the Lord at conferences and in churches around the world.
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