1 Corinthians 3:13
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”
Trying to determine whether a work is of God cannot be determined through a short time period, but it is determined through time and testing. The work of the Apostles has proven to be right because time and testing have proven their works to be right. Too many people have jumped on the bandwagon of a work because of a winsome personality and not because of their fruit. God never said that a man’s ministry is verified because of their personality, but because of the fruit of their work. If more people stopped following personality and started looking at the work a person has produced, you would avoid following the compromiser who became popular because of their winsome personality. God says that the “fire” is the test of man’s work. If the “fire” is the test, what is the fire?
First, the fire is time. Time has proven many people to be right, and it has also revealed many to be compromisers. Time is one of the greatest revealers, for it not only vindicates one who has been falsely accused, but it also reveals the works of those who have stood for right to be true. You may not like waiting on time, but time is one of the greatest tests of what a person truly believes.
Second, the fire is fruit. You will notice that the work is “revealed by fire.” That which stood through the fire was the fruit of the man’s work. The fruit of a man’s work is not the personality they have, but the results of what their work produced. Does their work produce souls getting saved? Does their work produce preachers who stand for truth? Many men seem to be what they are supposed to be, but most of the preachers their ministry produces seem to be more like the world. My friend, if everything you turn out looks like the world, you had better consider what you are doing that would produce such worldly fruit.
Third, the fire is trials. Trials have separated many from the ministry. It is easy to serve God when life is going well, but when you face the hardships of life and keep going, that is what proves to the world that what you are doing is right. It is easy to say God is good when life seems to be good, but do you still say that God is good when you are burying a loved one or are facing health issues that will never leave? My friend, life’s trials prove you to God, to yourself, and to the ones you have been trying to reach that what you are doing is right.
Fourth, the fire is battles. If you crumble when the battle comes, what you say you believe is not real to the world. What made Stephen’s testimony so real is that he didn’t crumble when he was being stoned. His testimony to stand in the battle, even to death, is what worked on the heart of Saul. Had Stephen crumbled in the battle, the Apostle Paul would have never gotten saved. Battles are going to come, and you can prove that what you believe is true if you are willing to fight the battles and continue to stand for what you believe in the battles.
Have you quit in the fire? It is the fire that justifies your ministry to the world. It takes time to prove to the world that your ministry is true. When the fire comes, yes, it will reveal the weaknesses that you need to strengthen, but it also reveals to the world that what you are doing is right.