The Spirit is telling the Church worldwide: “It’s time.” The Bride needs to know how to be conformed to Christlikeness through the time of trouble. The Bride needs to prepare herself for the reign of the Son.
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
The judgments of the Lord are essential if we are to do this. The judgments of the Lord are vehicles by which our King gives the depth of Himself to us. Without these judgments we never have the conversations with Him that take us to the next level of strength He wants for us – and we NEED from Him.
This is the strength that Jesus wanted to speak into the lives of the churches in Revelation 2 and 3.
Right now our 1st century sisters and brothers in Christ from Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea are all crying out to the Church in America: “Pay attention to the judgments of the Lord! Do not assume you possess the mind of the Lord based upon your theological persuasion, your favorite teacher or prophet, your reputation in the community, your own internal-analysis, or your particular evangelical peer-group. Lay hold of the One Who’s walking among your lamp stand. Talk to HIM for yourself! Get yourself on the threshing floor and ‘Seek HIS Face’!”
All seven of these churches were born-again, Bible-believing, Spirit-filled, congregations. 100%. Jesus wouldn’t have called them “the church at…” if they weren’t.
The Church in America urgently needs leaders with Holy Spirit boldness and conviction to call the body of Christ to say YES to the courageous, deep, and disciplined work of consecrating ourselves before the coming of the Lord and His purifying judgments.
The season is passing… we will not want steep learning curves into learning the Lord’s ways of righteousness in the tribulation that’s dawning around us.
We desperately need thousands of pastors, teachers, prophets and mothers and fathers in the faith who will lead the body of Christ into deep repentance of our unrighteous ways; the unrighteous ways that have plagued the people of God throughout the scriptures, and the history of the Church: godless humanism, racial insensitivity, nationalism, political idolatry, contra-Sermon on the Mount insurrection, and prideful self-determination.
How shall we do this? Paul’s prayer for the Church in Thessalonica points us into this way.
“Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. NOW MAY THE GOD OF PEACE HIMSELF SANCTIFY YOU COMPLETELY; AND MAY YOUR WHOLE SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY BE PRESERVED BLAMELESS AT THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. HE WHO CALLS YOU IS FAITHFUL. HE WILL DO IT!” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24)
Paul’s prayer here is SO confidence-producing! Consider what we learn about praying for the Church from this prayer for these ancient believers:
1 • The GOD of peace HIMSELF wants to intimately do the sanctifying work in the hearts of His people. It isn’t something that He is willing to delegate to an emissary, or to a rule book. He yearns to be in the center of the center of the purification process! The truth is, it’s in letting Jesus personally engage us that we gain the courage to let go of our insufficient and unrighteous ways in order embrace Him and His righteous ways.
2 • We can pray for COMPLETE SANCTIFICATION for a whole group of believers; AND our whole beings – SPIRITS, SOULS and BODIES CAN be made mature and beautiful in righteousness – together!
3 • We can become a Church, IN THIS AGE, that is magnificently Christ-like. We can “make ourselves ready” (Revelation 19:11) for our Bridegroom. If the Father fully released what Paul was praying for in the Thessalonians what would Jesus have said re: them had they been one of the seven Churches of Revelation? The One Who walks among the lamp stands (Revelation 1:13) can have NOTHING corrective to say about us. (Imagine!) It is feasible for us to be BLAMELESS in His eyes!
4 • Jesus, the One Who called us to Himself in the first place, is entirely FAITHFUL! He has GREAT DESIRE and ABILITY to bring whole believing communities to PERFECT CHRISTLIKE tenderness, humility, brilliant in witness, love, holiness, supernatural power, zeal and endurance. (Wowzers! Imagine what that’d look like in your city!)
5 • Paul, the one who is standing in the gap on behalf of these beloved sisters and brothers, doesn’t believe this is some hyped ideal. He actually BELIEVES GOD WILL DO THIS on account of his prayers.
This is the privilege of what we get to press into and pray for the Church in our region! Glorious!
JSB • March 21, 2022