The Lord is currently judging His household (1 Peter 4:17). Out of His faithful love for us, He has been inviting us to turn from our self-saving narratives in order to “seek His face” (Psalm 27:8).
The quickest way for a judgment of the Lord to turn into a “finger of God” (Exodus 8:19) is for an individual or specific group of people to refuse to respond to the Lord’s invitation in humility; to marginalize the beatitudes (where Jesus declared the blessings of the Lord would be found), and assert their rights and abilities in the midst of calamity.
Only the uncrucified flesh would make “the time of trouble” (Psalm 27:5) all about the loss of our freedoms, and proving our ways to be right. The fact that so many in the Church are barnstorming with this entitled spirit is proof that God’s judgments upon us are warranted. In the midst of the Lord’s tempest we’re found boasting before men instead of bending before God.
Just like Pharaoh, if we do not submit ourselves to the judgments of the Lord, our hearts will be hardened. This is a guarantee from all 66 books of the Bible. In our refusal to come to the Lord in contrition we’re becoming blinded by our zeal for self-actualized greatness.
How many of these unrighteous qualities in this list from Romans 1 do we recognize being normalized within our American evangelical family in this hour? 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper,29 people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32)
I count 21. If you, or I had twenty-one symptoms of a fatal disease what would we spare to secure a sure solution to our malady? The mercy of God is such a “sure solution”. The question is, “Will we bear the ignominy and go and receive it from Him?”
This is the lay of the land for American evangelicalism in this hour. Perceived or not, we are being given over to the unrighteous task-masters of deceit, malice, violence, selfish-pride, and idolatry that we’ve been clamoring for. If we continue to mock God’s prophetic warnings; if we continue to spurn His call to “seek His Face” we will be consumed by the storm.
Where we go as a culture/family from here will only be determined by the mercy of the Lord, and our response to Him on the threshing floor of prayer.
“Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up; and it shall be brought low.” (Isaiah 2:10-12)
JSB • August 13, 2022