Are We Alive or Dead to His Leadership?

“I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.” (Revelation 3:1-2)

The Lord is purifying a Bride for His Son.
We Americans are (present tense, in October 2022) being transformed and prepared for the return of a Perfect King Who will rule the nations with perfect love and perfect justice and perfect integrity.

In case we need to be reminded, “His ways are NOT our ways.” :)

Not withstanding, our hearts were designed to thrill and be supercharged under His style of leadership.
We just don’t know it – or fully believe it – yet. (We will…)

EVERYTHING that’s happening in our world right now is being used by a perfect God to bring our hearts into perfect alignment with the perfect reign of this King.
Everything.
Personal acrimony.
Politics.
Church tensions.
Family fracturing.
Gender confusion.
Plagues. Masks. And vaccines.
Racial insensitivity.
War. And threat of war.
Social media interactions.
Economics.
Everything. 

We are being prepared to herald a new type of leadership that is completely foreign to the weary weary way of the world. It is more noble; more glorious; more efficient; more empowering; more holy; and more fulfilling than anything we’ve ever seen or imagined. And it’s coming – with Him.

Although His ways are foreign to the ways of the world, our transformation to His ways should not be foreign to us. Our transformation is a central part of our covenant with Him.

The New Testament is filled with scriptures that describe our need to be radically reoriented to His government, and His way of thinking and ruling and living.
Isaiah 40:3-5
Matthew 4:4
Luke 6:25
Galatians 4:19
Ephesians 5:28
Colossians 1:28
Hebrews 12:29
1 John 3:3
Revelation 3:1-2
Revelation 3:19
Revelation 19:7

It’s all in the Book.

Having said this, our hearts are in need of (MUCH) more alignment than we are consciously aware of.
The truth of the matter is, our hearts are actually (even now, in our redeemed state) more resistant to the ways of His leadership than we know…
Our hearts see more wisdom in pride than in humility.
Our hearts like to force our own way more than trust the ways of meekness.
Our hearts are still more exhilarated by unrighteousness than being exhilarated by righteousness.
Our hearts are bent toward self-justification more than ruthless purity of heart.
Our hearts are spring-loaded toward alienation and separation. We don’t love mercy-giving much – at all.
Our hearts bulge with curse and violence rather than blessing and peace.
We’re still much more filled with arguments about saving self than we are about ways to lay our self down for the sake of the increase of Jesus and His ways. 

If we don’t understand that ALL THE CURRENT EVENTS AND CRISES in our lives right now are about shaping our hearts to embrace and champion His ways we will misread EVERYTHING that’s circulating in our culture right now.

The raw, Biblical truth is: If the Lord did not send us tribulation (“trouble”) our hearts would not do the hard work of moving from our self-centered paradigms into the ways of His Kingdom.
And we would NOT do the disciplined work of making ourselves ready, and bringing our hearts and minds into agreement with the way He will run His government on the earth.

When we say “yes” to this transformation our hearts remain “alive” to His leadership. 
When we start saying “no” to the necessary transformation of our heart, we become “dead” to His leadership. (Revelation 3:1)

One of the most efficacious prayers we can pray and live right now is to pray: “Father, I want to live fully alive to the perfect leadership of Your Son. Teach me to embrace and even rejoice in Your judgments. I want to come forth in vibrant Christlikeness. I want my heart to be in ‘PERFECT’ agreement with the way Your Son will rule and reign on the earth. Though it cost me my life, I choose to leave my impoverished land of pride and force and unrighteous affections and self-promotion and curse and war and alienation in order to become a subject of the government of Jesus. He Himself is worthy of my allegiance.”

One day, when we see Him face to Face, we will be filled with unimaginable joy over the fact that we said “Yes” to living alive to His present-tense leadership.

____________________
JSB • October 12, 2022

Insurrection Against God

This has been the “way” of our American evangelical family over the last seventeen months:

When the Lord visited the earth and our nation with a plague in 2020 our response was false prophecy, and then redacted false prophecy. We ran quickly to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and feasted on rumors, fear-mongering, malice, and vows of self-preservation. We did not humble ourselves. We did not cry out. We emboldened ourselves in our self-righteous opinions. And failed to notice that our “convictions” were rooted in pride and protest rather than humility and prayer.

When racial hostility flashed (again) across our nation we did not extend justice, meekness, and empathy, we continued to self-protect and condemn; even attempting to justify and whitewash the wickedness in our nation’s history. Something our evangelical/revivalist forefathers never would have consented to. We were not noble in compassion. We spurned every call to contrition. We even developed a theology to inoculate ourselves from having to listen to the cries of our black & native neighbors – many who are our own sisters and brothers in Christ.

We wrapped ourselves in a flurry of false prophecies regarding the gilded candidate that we had erected “as a festival unto the Lord”. We repudiated all who questioned the glitter on the man – even disfellowshipping those who would not bend the knee in obeisance. When these prophecies failed we made excuses, washed the outer portions of our cups, and continued feasting on the food sacrificed to idols. We were more than unapologetic in our rebellion. In our zeal for our definition of civil righteousness we became unaccountable and unrepentant; we swallowed the spirit of the political idolatry that we were worshipping; we spread rumors and scandal, we cursed and fomented counterinsurgency, and then when the dance of baal-worship failed to produce the turn-around we had hoped for, we shifted blame to our “enemies”, never once considering the raging war that was mounting within our own hearts.

When the children of our native neighbors were unearthed, and the heinous racial sins of our nation and our family were exposed, we ignored the dead altogether… we did not weep with those who were weeping. We did not mourn with those who mourn…

Now that COVID is re-emerging we are doubling down in our resistance to His voice; we demand our liberty rather than humble our hearts. We vow to fight and protect our own selfish constitutional rights rather than extend ourselves with tenderness to our confused and fearful neighbors upon our Kingdom cross. Our faces are like flint. Our necks are stiff. Our hearts are hard. Our souls are intoxicated with rebellion – a revolt that heaven sees as insurrection against our King.

On top of all this, we divide, separate, and condemn and we ignore the testimony of God’s Word – from beginning to end. We do not know that He sees us as one body; one family; one people; one Church – us, and our fathers in this land. This is “us”. This wickedness belongs to the whole household of God in America. This is not only part of us. This is the whole of us. One people. When one part of the body has cancer, all of us are compromised. We cannot jump ourselves out of the number (Isaiah 53:12). The prophets did not. Jeremiah did not. And most importantly, Y’shua does not.

What will it require for God to purge us of our rebellion, and align our unrighteous hearts to His?

We’ve given our contentious selves to the social-media-driven opinions of men” non-stop, for 17 months. It’s time to sincerely, honestly, and thoroughly “seek His Face.”

JEREMIAH 22

1 Thus says the Lord: “Go down to the house of the (leaders of My people), and there speak this word,

2 and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, (you leaders) and you people who enter these gates!

3 Thus says the Lord: “Execute judgment and righteousness and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.

4 For if you indeed do this thing, then you shall enter the gates of this house.

5 But if you will not hear these words, I swear by Myself,” says the Lord, “that this house shall become a desolation.”

6 For thus says the Lord to the house of the leaders of His people: “You are a testimony to Me; yet I surely will make you a wilderness, communities which are not inhabited.

7 I will prepare destroyers against you, every one with his weapons; they shall cut (you) down…

8 And many nations will pass by; and everyone will say to his neighbor, ‘Why has the Lord done so to this people?’

9 Then they will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshiped other gods and served them.’ ”

10 Weep not for the dead, nor bemoan him; weep bitterly for him who goes away, for he shall return no more…

13 Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice,

14 who says, ‘I will build myself a wide house…’

15 “…Did not your fathers eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him.16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Was not this knowing Me?” says the Lord.

17 “Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, for shedding innocent blood, and practicing oppression and violence…

20 Go up and cry out, and lift up your voice…, for all your lovers are destroyed.

21 I spoke to you in your prosperity, but you said, ‘I will not hear.’ This has been your manner from your youth, that you did not obey My voice.

22 The wind shall eat up all your rulers, and your lovers shall go into captivity; surely then you will be ashamed and humiliated for all your wickedness.

23 …How gracious will you be when pangs come upon you, like the pain of a woman in labor?

25 …I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear…

26 So I will cast you out…

29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord!”

30 Thus says the Lord: “(These ones) shall not prosper in these days; for none shall rule anymore in the land.”

____________________
JSB • August, 2021