[This is the second in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.]
After discussing “The Call” in Part 1, I must mention the story of the redemption box, because the story of this journey would not be complete without it.
Often in Scripture God teaches us deep spiritual lessons about His kingdom by comparing them to natural mundane things around us, as in Jesus’ parables. Another example would be when Moses stood before the burning bush, and God asked him, “What is that in your hand?” and used the shepherd’s staff to show Moses His power.
One day God spoke to me and asked me, “What’s that box in your hand?” As a metal artist I love spending time in junkyards, looking for scrap metal to turn into art. I seem to have a particular penchant for old metal boxes, for no other reason than the challenge of restoring them and making them useful again.
One day at one of my favorite junkyards I saw a future treasure, an old rusted, dented, dirty, twisted metal tool box. I could not resist. I pulled it off a pile of junk, paid a couple of bucks and took my prize home. Now, I did not really need another tool box, especially one designed for a specific tool. For some time all the box did was sit in my workshop, a safe environment, with all the other junk.
One day I had no other jobs pending, so I decided to work on my treasure. Now, if I really needed a tool box, I could have gone and bought a nice shiny new one, but what fun is that?
Redeeming something that was thrown away relates so strongly with my identity, it becomes a metal metaphor for my life. I cleaned years of dirt and grease off of it. I used wood blocks to get rid of the dent and twists in it. I repaired and oiled the hinge. I then sanded the whole thing and painted it. It looked great, but I was unsure what to do with it, so I shoved it under my bed and left it there.
Early that fall I started my annual stocking stuffer shopping. Every year I would find unique gifts for my wife, kids, and dogs – it’s one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I would amass a hoard of small items and hide them under my bed until Christmas.
One day after shopping I started to shove the bag of goodies under the bed when I remembered my treasure box. What a great place to store my gifts until Christmas. Now I had a purpose for this redeemed tool box.
Not long before Christmas, I came home with a nice hoard of perfect little gifts for the ones I love. As I pulled out and opened up my now almost full box, something deep and wonderful happened. I was on my knees starting to put the last few gifts into the box when God spoke to me and I understood so clearly what I was doing.
God said, “Wayne, you’re the box!” I’m what? It took me a moment or two for that statement to register in my heart. I’m that box?
God seemed to play a movie in my mind of all the steps from cast-a-way at the junkyard to treasure chest under my bed, and near my heart. God began to show how His work in me paralleled my restoration of that old box. He spoke in a language that resonated deep in my soul.
I was that broken, dirty, twisted metal box which no longer had any purpose, thrown on life’s scrap heap, destined for the fires of the steel mill. He chose me, bought me with His Son’s blood and brought me into His workshop (the church), a safe place. Then began the long process of transformation from what was to what should be.
His blood washed me clean. He took me through processes and pressures which at times were difficult, to remove the hurts (dents). And where life had left me twisted and bitter He lovingly straightened me out so I could walk tall in Him.
His Spirit flowed through me like warm oil, healing something deep within. Just when I thought how great I was, God used brother and sister sandpaper to lovingly remove the old paint. My filthy rags, like those of the prodigal son, had to be removed, and God’s righteousness covered me like a fresh coat of paint.
So, all clean, painted, and now for purpose. I, like the box, was kept near the Father’s heart, but was not to be kept empty. The Father lovingly filled this vessel (as I had filled the box) with wonderful gifts for others, one of them being prophecy.
God gives gifts in the body not for hoarding to ourselves but to share and help others. I Corinthians 12:7 says, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all”. What I did to redeem this box from scrap to treasure is a picture of what my Heavenly Father did for me, and for each one of us.
More in this series:
- My Prophetic Journey: The Call
- My Prophetic Journey Part 2: The Redemption Box
- My Prophetic Journey Part 3: School Starts
- My Prophetic Journey Part 4: Motives
- My Prophetic Journey Part 5: When to share or not to share
- My Prophetic Journey Part 6: Confirmation
- My Prophetic Journey Part 7: Learning the Radar
- My Prophetic Journey Part 8: The Challenge of the Roller Coaster
- My Prophetic Journey Part 9: How to minister in North Dakota and not even be there!
- My Prophetic Journey Part 10: Prophetic Protocol
- My Prophetic Journey Part 11: You Can’t Draw Water from an Empty Well
- My Prophetic Journey Part 12: Using your keys
- My Prophetic Journey Part 13: Prophetic Props
- My Prophetic Journey Part 14: The Angel and the demon
- My Prophetic Journey Part 15: The Last Word
- My Prophetic Journey Part 16: From the Hand or the Heart