REPRINT from March 2020
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured… For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 1:18-20)
In a few short days, the uncreated God has brought our entire world to a standstill. Economies have stopped humming. Unprecedented restrictions are being put in place in every nation. Olympics, basketball, movies, ceremonies, conferences and other avenues of diversion are paused. The Lord has planet earth in “lock-down-mode”.
If we’re merely intent on riding the corona-virus episode out so our lives can return to an old normal, we’re in for a vast disappointment. God is too committed to us to allow either humanity or the Church to return to an “old normal”. The Bible tells us He will shake everything that can be shaken (Hebrews 12:27) in order to bring our world into the “new normal” where His Son will ultimately reign over 195 nations in perfect love and righteousness.
Beloved, no aspect of our planet is ready for this “new normal”. God’s ways are that other. And He Himself is that holy! Because He’s promised His Son the nations, and because He loves us deeply, He wants our hearts and spirits to be aligned with the new government of “the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13) Consequently, He is bringing 7.4 billion souls into His “tent of meeting”, called “quarantine”, where He is passionately urging us to reason with Him together (Isaiah 1:18) regarding the condition of our hearts.
I believe these are ten vital conversations the Holy Spirit is zealous to have with both the Church and the lost so we’ll champion, and not resist, the coming of our Bridegroom King:
1. Humanity, you’re vulnerable. Let’s talk about how weak and vulnerable you are to the forces of this world.
2. You’re corrupted. Let’s talk about your priorities, and your inability to assess your own needs and the needs of those you love.
3. You’re hostile. Let’s talk about how hostile you get toward others when you’re threatened – and how hostile you get toward Me.
4. You’re selfish. Let’s talk about what you’re willing to do to get what you lust after – and how basely selfish you really are.
5. You’re prideful. Let’s talk about how you really don’t want to have this conversation with Me (or anyone else) – at all, and how stubbornly you believe you can best handle things on your own.
6. You’re blind. In spite of all your “googled-wisdom-getting” let’s talk about how little you really see; how little you really know; how little you really understand, and how ill-equipped you are to know how to proceed in life, and in crisis.
7. You’ve spurned Me. Let’s talk about all the times that you’ve held Me at arm’s-length and not intimately engaged Me, the God/Man, Jesus “face-to-face” – either because you were too busy pursuing your own selfish interests, or your own religious causes and activities.
8. …and You’re deeply loved. Let’s talk about how deeply I love you in your weak, blind, corrupt, fearful, obstinate state.
9. You need Me!” Let’s talk about how intimately and perpetually you need Me.
10. You need Me to transform your heart. Let’s talk about what your heart will want to be filled with in preparation for the return of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is zealous for our Bridegroom to find our hearts filled with Awe, excitement, humility, gratitude, zeal for others’ well-being in God, compassion, tenderness, worship, yieldedness to His ways, agreement with His leadership, first-commandment love, trust, intimacy, no shame, purity, integrity, forgiveness, mercy-giving, desire for unity with Him and others, adoration etc.
AND, the Holy Spirit’s dedicated to cultivating these within us during this season – if we’ll humble ourselves, repent and let go of our old ways, and let Him fill us with His (Psalm 27:1-2) light, and , and strength and and salvation. Beloved, now is the (Isaiah 1:18) time to come into the (Psalm 27:4) tabernacle with Him.
“Holy Spirit, thank You for Your steadfast desire to dialogue with us about these vital issues. Use these days to fill our hearts with the attitudes and qualities that are most pleasing to our King. We want to be ready for His glorious return!”
JSB • March 21, 2020