At the end of the day, the current furor over our many social issues is all about the returning King bringing our American Church narratives, ways and values into subjection to the eternal narrative, ways and values of His Kingdom.
What did we think “Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand!” was going to be all about?
What feels like chaos and calamity is really the separating process of the Lord’s winnowing fork. He’s blowing off the chaff so that only that which is fruitful remains. (He’s worthy of 100%…) The Body of Christ will not find peace anywhere unless we understand what the Lord is doing.
“His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Lord’s process is so thorough that just as in the days of 1st century Judea, it required a willingness to let the old be lost; to bring the insufficient order to death – all to receive the dawning glory of our King’s new order.
“I baptize you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire… then all Judea… went out to him and were baptized… confessing their sins.”
Just like Caiaphas – where we see the unique ways of Jesus threatening the security of our national exceptionalism we are greatly tempted to defend the old glory of our fathers – rather than humble ourselves and risk it all on the Son. If we give in to this temptation we spurn His Kingdom in order to retain our own.
“Bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have _________ as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to _________ from these stones.”
Our theology can also tempt us to believe that He would never manifest His wrath upon the temple and the land and whatever else we have come to regard with such jealousy.
“You brood of vipers. Who warned you to flee the wrath to come?”
We need to bring these vain imaginations to the waters of baptism as well.
Just like faithless 1st century Jerusalem, our refusal to humble ourselves onto the threshing floor; and our unwillingness to undergo the refining process will be catastrophic. This is a promise.
It takes faith to let our old ways go – faith that believes that the new order that Jesus wants to give us is far far far superior to the old ways and values and narratives that we work so hard to hold onto.
“He Who is coming after me is mightier than I…”
The King is coming! And He is so committed to having you and I be ready for His Kingdom that He’s leveling every mountain in our lives in order to have us.
“Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight!”
The only place our lives, our churches and our communities will find security in this hour is on the threshing floor of prayer where we allow our ways to be lost and brought to death, and allow His ways and glory to flourish.
“He must increase…”
JSB • July 17, 2022