Buying Gold in Times of Testing
by Dana Candler
Times of shaking are never neutral and always laden with holy invitations. In their disruption, they are meant by the Lord to shift us, to uproot our false comforts, to expose our spiritual shallowness, and ultimately, to gain something in His grace of eternal worth. In the global disruption of recent days, I have often found myself trembling over the Lord’s jealousy for the hearts of His people—for my own heart. He truly wants our all: heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37; Luke 10:27). His words in Revelation 3 resound with a sober relevance in this hour. He comes to us with chastening love—the jealous love that is willing to go to great lengths to bring our faith and love to maturity. He stands at the door knocking and very personally beckoning each of us to buy from Him gold in the midst of the testing.
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you might be clothed. . . . As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:18–20
Jesus jealously desires that we would be fully His—not just with lip service or even the sincere proclamations we speak or sing, but down to the deepest secret affections in the hidden recesses of our hearts, where He alone searches and knows. In the midst of our disruption, He is knocking with invitation. He has come to move us nearer to Himself. He has words of counsel to give us in this moment that arise from His jealousy to transition our love for Him from sincerity to maturity. There is gold to be bought, a chastening to be endured, repentance to be offered, and ultimately, a greater depth of communion and friendship with Jesus to be known.
The questions I believe He is putting before us all are: Are we willing to walk the difficult road that leads to deeper friendship and communion with Him? Will we not only be those who pray, “Let me see Your face” and “Let me love You more” but those willing to be refined by the fire that buys the gold and gives the preparedness necessary for Him to come in and dine with His friends?
Jesus reminds us in these times of shaking, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19).
We need to be reminded that the Lord leads His people this way—with loving chastening. Understanding this is so critical for our hearts to respond to Him rightly. He is the Bridegroom who loved the Church and gave Himself for us that He might bring us forth not just as those redeemed by His blood but with a love purified by His fire and proven worthy of His call (Ephesians 5:2, 25; 2 Thessalonians 1:11). We are beloved to Him, and He loves us too much to leave us spiritually shallow and blind. Thus, He weakens His people in the way at times. He tears us and wounds us, refines and prunes us, out of His zeal to bring us into wholehearted love and fullness of joy (Hosea 6:1; John 15:2; Hebrews 12:3–13).
It is easy to forget that Jesus does not stop short where we would stop short if left to ourselves. He sees the end from the beginning and knows just how far He is ultimately going to bring us by His grace. He leads each of our individual lives in conformity with the aim of our radiant future; that as we respond to Him in partnering with His grace, He might present us together to Himself as a glorious Church, holy and without blemish, in full splendor and mature love (Ephesians 5:25–27). He is after love and loyalty to Himself in us that are faithful to Him when no one is looking, no matter what we face. Yet He will not force us against our will. He desires our partnership. He summons the voluntary heart forward to respond and partner with Him—that our testimony would be one of holy choosing and not mechanical submission.
If we have eyes to see, we will recognize that these pressures and testings of the Lord are actually answers to our very own prayers. I’ve felt Him reminding me of my own earnest cries of Let me see Your beauty, of Let me truly know You, and of Let me love You with all my heart. Do we know how real these prayers we pray are to God? Have we considered the costly preparation needed to enter into them? He takes these cries so seriously, and He has every intention of answering them. He stirred these groans in us originally, and now, in the midst of testing, invites us to press into them as never before.
When He faithfully leads our lives in such a way as to actually answer these costly prayers, when He presses upon us as a potter molds clay, or when He refines us as a refiner purifies gold, we often faint with discouragement rather than zealously partnering with His good leadership (Isaiah 64:8; Malachi 3:3). We misinterpret His chastening as His rejection or His indifference rather than seeing it as His most tender and passionate commitment to us. Our hungriest prayers have acknowledged how little we know Him, how little we’ve seen Him, and how deeply we long for Him. Now He comes to us in these refining fires, giving us sacred invitation to acquire the very thing we have longed for: the gold of knowing Him.
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich. (Revelation 3:18)
This gold is the most vital commodity we could possibly possess. It is the genuine relational knowledge of the Man Christ Jesus and of His beauty—tenderizing and filling the heart with holy delight and indestructible joy. It is worth the loss of all that the world esteems. Jesus counsels us to let go of our lesser comforts and to lay hold of this gold of knowing Him by prayer, fasting, and loving meditation upon His Word. This will be our stability in times of trouble, even when all that can be shaken is shaken away (Isaiah 33:6; Phillipians 3:7–14; Hebrews 12:27).
Testings and trials expose the true state of things. They even refine our past prayers. They forge a fork in the road. Will we be like the church of Laodicea, believing we are spiritually richer than we are and that we see more than we actually see (Revelation 3:17)? Or will we humble ourselves before Jesus’ searching eyes of fire and respond to His loving counsel to us, His Bride? Will we take up the burning prayers of our history and with fresh faith press ahead, exchanging spiritual lack for the gain of richer intimacy with Him? Jesus stands before us. Before you. Before me.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)
With such tender and jealous affection, Jesus calls us each by name. He knocks on the door of our hearts. If we will hear His voice and open the door to Him, He will come in and dine with us. We will know a depth in friendship with Him only made possible by His loving chastening. We will sit across the table from the One who loved us too much to leave us spiritually poor. And our hearts will burn within us, with a refined, fervent love—a love that many waters cannot quench (Song of Solomon 8:6–7).
What is something you can let go of to get more of Jesus?
Personally knowing God’s delight is key to sustaining faith in times of testing and trial. Dana Candler expands on the power of knowing God’s love in the midst of shakings in her message Receiving the Tender Delight of Jesus in Times of Disruption.