The Church in our nation (my tribe) has been under a season of intensified judgment from the Lord. a.) I hope this isn’t news to you. b.) This is a good thing. It’s not something irregular, or something we should be alarmed about. What should concern us is when we (for any number of reasons) believe that God does not and will not bring us under His judgment.
There are 5 Biblical reasons why the Lord brings a people under His judgment. This is a major reason we wrote our book, “Seek My Face” a year ago. All of these reasons are designed to produce first commandment love for God in the human heart.
When a people refuse to respond to the Lord’s judgments in humility, contrition, and repentance five other things happen in our lives, and in our world:
1. We do not grow in increased first-commandment love for Jesus. The judgments are meant to produce dialogue. And dialogue produces intimacy and increased love and adoration for Jesus and the ways of His heart. When we do not give ourselves to His judgments (the things He wants to have conversation with us about) our love for Him is stunted and stalls.
2. Sin and unrighteousness goes unchecked and actually proliferates in our lives and relationships. The curse around us (in our lives and in our world) compounds. A pound of sin never sits quietly in the corner. Sin will always corrupt and grow unless checked. Evil begets evil. Unrighteousness begets unrighteousness. The old saying: “There is no honor among thieves” depicts the fact that those who give themselves to sin will, as a natural result, have more sin visited upon them. If we could see it clearly, we’d understand that this is a basic law of physics – as real as gravity – and more weighty than time. It’s only by the mercy of God that sin and the curse of sin doesn’t exponentially envelope us and consume all 7.5 billion of us on planet earth. This causal result has massive implications for the Church on nine different levels; from our pursuit of devotion to God, to how we serve others, to our experience of unity in the body.
3. We fail to grow in Christ-likeness. Our manifestation of Christ in and through us grows dim – it does not grow more vibrant. Apart from humbling ourselves, taking up our cross and obeying the Father, we have no means by which to cultivate true, authentic and Spirit-empowered Christ-like wisdom, character and supernatural power.
4. Our unsaved world does not receive a witness of how to respond to the holy and loving Lord of all the earth. When the judgments of the Lord are on the earth, the inhabitants don’t have a ready-paradigm and example that informs them about how to respond to this God that they have not known. This is the chief reason why the Lord brings His judgments to His household first… (See 1 Peter 4:17-18)
5. The Lord WILL visit us with increased pressure to have “must-have” and vital conversations about our patterns of thinking, and the ways of our hearts. He does this because He’s committed to us living in vibrant, and righteous love. He also does this because He’s promised a “like-minded” Bride (See Philippians 2 and 1 John 3) to His Son at the end of the age.
To be blunt, this means that if we don’t respond to Him with humble, contrite conversation, He will up the ante. He will place more and more intense pressure upon us, in terms of greater social upheaval, trouble and natural calamity, in order to get us to stop trusting in our own way, and our own thinking, and get us to entertain the idea of coming to Him in our “inability”. Under this construct many eventually turn Him for help simply because we have lost our capacity to control our circumstances.
Ultimately, should we continue to rebuff the Lord’s judgments, He will give us over to delusion and the forces of unrighteousness that by nature would consume us anyway. The ultimate end of this state is to come deluded to THE DAY of judgment and have no awareness that your soul was so lost, and you were so detached from the heart of Jesus. (We don’t wanna be the guys in Matthew 7:23 and Matthew 25:44)
Consequently, I can say with great confidence: increased trouble and pressure is coming. It’ll come upon us – in our generation. It will come because the Father loves us and is committed to us – and to the promise that He’s made to His Son. This isn’t rocket science. This isn’t even being prophetic. It’s simply knowing God; know the record and intent of His Word, and doing the math.
Today is a very good day to cultivate that needed lifestyle conversation with the Lord; to humble ourselves, to embrace the spirit of contrition, and to repent into all that Biblical repentance entails. It would do us well for the fear of the Lord and our heart’s desire for increased first-commandment love to constrain us in this.
JSB • September 15, 2022