You can’t judge the strength or the flavour of a tea bag until you actually place it in hot water. Yup, it’s gotta be boiling water to actually ‘test’ the bag and to bring out the best (or the worst) in it! It is in this testing time that the constituents of the bag surfaces – the quality of the tea and the ratio of any foreign particles that shouldn’t really be in a tea bag!
Trials and temptations make up the hot boiling water that tests the strength of our spiritual tea bags! When we are immersed in that particular boiling water is when we know if all our ‘declarations and claims’ of being a Christian, of loving God is authentic or not.. If authentic, it is through this hot water we will know how mild or how strong our tea bag is. If the spiritual tea bag doesn’t withstand then that is an indication that our relationship with God is on the surface, that we haven’t gone deep into intimacy with Him, into trusting Him! No matter how hot the boiling water, if we stand firm in knowing who God is, we may be shaken a little bit, but we know the boiling water will bring out the best in us, not scald us or burn us!
Likewise, there are many men and women of God out there that we look up to, from whom we seek approval from… It is when they are put into the boiling water, their words are tested – whether the words are authentic or whether they are put on!
Some are good at issuing strong prophetic words and when the receiver becomes defensive about it, the one operating in the ‘prophetic’ would shrug their shoulders insisting that’s what God told them. It’s natural that the receiver will first be defensive as it’s never easy to receive criticism. However, someone who loves the Lord will take it to God in prayer and ‘test’ the word. There are times the word isn’t meant for them but for the ‘messenger’ themselves or there are times when the word is filtered through the human wisdom of the ‘messenger’ or there are times that the word was indeed for the receiver for such a time as this.
Getting angry or emotional is natural… We all err, we all stumble – we are humans and we are work in progress. However, someone standing firm in God, wouldn’t ‘sin’ in his/her anger.. As long as our words aren’t condemning or name calling, and as long as we aren’t responding by shunning them then that’s ok. Yet in the process if the receiver feels the needs to ‘sin’ in their anger, then it’s obvious that the ‘word’ has hit a nerve somewhere along the line. Even those whom we look up to, can be counterfeit or influenced by counterfeit spirits just as easily as you and I can be.. even the mighty prophet Elijah was driven to fear and run away by Jezebel.
It takes the boiling water of prophetic words or trials or temptations to test the authenticity of the vessel.
In the past, the very people whom I have looked to for approval as I looked at them as role models, are the very ones who have rejected me to the extent of name calling or blocking or pushing out. It used to hurt me badly and the enemy was using this weakness of mine to weigh me down. God began to show me, that not all that glitters is gold. Now when such situations take place, it doesn’t affect me. Of course there are times I’m surprised as such behaviour isn’t expected but I calm down after that initial shock. I also have realised I need to seek repentance for thinking they have got it altogether as their words are ‘pleasant’. Yet double standards and other acts of darkness will begin to surface when placed under the testing times.
Words that were offered by this person claiming something wasn’t done right is the very thing this person does when the tables are turned and they are at the receiving end of a word that doesn’t ‘applaud’ them but rather warns them – in love and without condemnation at that.
God wants us to seek our approval from HIM.. He wants us to please HIM.. and to remember, that just because someone talks or writes eloquently doesn’t actually mean that that person walks the talk.. Likewise with ourselves too.. we need to constantly seek God and allow Him to search our hearts for any blindspots that we have.. yet not be harsh on ourselves as searching for such is to improve our walk with HIM, not for condemnation…
What would the test of boiling water reveal about the quality of your tea bag?