(Part 8 – continued from same day)
The Shaking and The Sifting
The Lines are Drawn in the Sands of Time
It’s time for the church to “prepare the way of the Lord.” He is calling us to remove all hindrances and obstacles to His work and purposes in us, for us and through us. He’s calling for wholehearted devotion, TOTAL commitment, consecration (being set apart for Him and His purposes), and fierce determination to live purchased/redeemed/blood bought lives for Him, following Him and His Word no matter the cost. We need to be fully prepared for all that lies ahead (including the unprecedented move of His Spirit that will usher in the end-times harvest) (Joel 2, Haggai 2:6-9). The hour is late, the darkness is great, but we were born and chosen for such a time as this. We’re called to arise and shine for Him with His grace and His Truth by the power of His Spirit.
For those who will respond, the shaking that’s occurring will yield glorious results. He’s preparing to do a new thing, but He cannot pour new wine into old wineskins. The shaking is to serve the purpose of removing all that is not of Him, so that what IS of Him is all that remains. As I shared last year, when we bring the “ark of the Lord” (the true Manifest Presence and Power of GOD and His Word) into the “temple” (our lives and the church) we will see the false gods (idols) fall and be broken (I Sam 5:2-4). All that’s not of Him must be shaken from its place (dethroned), shattered and removed that He may take His rightful place in our lives. He’s calling us into deeper intimacy with Him as our first love, leading us into deeper trust, purifying hearts and priorities, going after every undisciplined area, refining and uprooting everything from the old wineskin that cannot receive the new that He wants to pour out on us and in us. The old wineskin cannot handle it, cannot survive, it would be destroyed if it were to receive the blessing of the new wine. So in His love, not wanting us to be destroyed by what we’re not prepared to receive, the Lord is taking His people through the process of becoming new wineskins. We must cooperate with His work to uproot and purge all that is not of Him from our lives in order to fully make room for Him and what He is about to do. He is testing us to reveal who/what is truly on the throne of our hearts; who/what is our FIRST and GREATEST desire and love. He desires to see that we are willing to lay down anything to follow Him because of our love for and trust in Him.
“Babylon” must eventually be destroyed (Isaiah 13, Revelation 17-18), but as Noah and his family were spared in the ark when destruction fell on the earth, as the Hebrews were protected in Goshen when the plagues fell all around on Egypt, and as Philadelphia was protected (in Revelation) during the hour of trial that came upon the whole earth, once again, I believe that those who are faithfully walking with the Lord (truly following Him, keeping His Word, living by the law of Christ under His Lordship and grace) may once again (Lord willing) have an “ark,” a “Goshen,” a “Philadelphia,” a supernatural, Psalm 91 place of protection in Him (Mal 3:16-17, Zeph 2:3, Lk 21:34-36). Whether that means we’re rescued out (as in “raptured”) or rescued through (as in each of these other cases), I’m not yet certain. But I believe we need to be prepared to go through. It’s vital that we be intimately and thoroughly acquainted with the Word ~ Jesus, the living Word, and His written Word.
At certain times the Lord speaks a difficult message that causes many to depart. With winnowing fork, He sifts the wheat from the tares ~ His true bride from those who desire only the benefits of relationship without the exclusive, enduring commitment of marriage. In those moments, when He looks at each of us with eyes full of love and sorrow and asks, “What about you? Do you want to leave too?” what will our answer be? When we realize that following the Lord can cost us all, He says, “…blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” (Mt 11:6). Will we be offended? Do we “love” Him only for His blessings and promises, or will we truly love and follow Him no matter the cost because He is Lord? We are in such a season. The sifting and separating is now. The lines are drawn in the sands of time; we must choose whom we serve.
Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7
Copyright © 2012, Laura Jewell Tyree