There has never been a time like this. Not because of COVID, but because of God.
Not since that far-off day in the mists of time, when His Spirit hovered over a formless empty planet – poised and ready to bring this world into being – has so much depended on what God is now preparing to do. But there is also a vital difference between then and now – because what happened then depended on God alone, but what happens now depends also on those ‘who have been called according to His purpose’.
There is nothing ethereal about this. The unseen God, whose immense power created this visible, tangible, material world, will once more be seen and known in this world for who He really is – fulfilling His own words: “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)
Wonderful though that is, the really amazing thing is that God privileges us – His flesh-and-blood people – to join together with Him in completing what He began when He first formed this world and created us in His own image.
This is a thrilling prospect. Not only for us, His people, but also for the entire physical Creation which for so long has been ‘in bondage to decay’ as it has waited “in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed”. (Romans 8:19) There is nothing mysterious about those ‘sons of God’ who are about to be revealed. In fact if, like Jesus, you have willingly submitted your life to God, you are one of them.
Just think of it: when God’s sons are revealed for who they are in this world, the whole of creation will be set free! Don’t ask me to explain it because I can’t. Yet, even while my mind cannot take it in, my heart leaps – because I know it is true.
At the same time, that thrilling prospect is also a very sobering one for all of God’s people, because to be called by God is to stand on holy ground.
You only have to read the account of Moses at the burning bush to sense his awe as he heard God say: “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground”. And yet, God’s call upon us today is far beyond the mission He gave to Moses. That old shepherd was called by God to lead His people out of Egypt – while we, today, are called to take part in the liberation of God’s world from the oppression which began on the day Adam handed it over to God’s enemy.
Such a calling from God requires nothing less than total commitment – not to a cause, a creed or a belief, but to God Himself. Which means making Him everything by yielding to Him your everything. Which is no different to the conditions Jesus spelt out for each and every person who chooses to follow Him: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”
…to be called by God is to stand on holy ground.
Since my last message – The Virus…and the Victory – I’ve had a growing awareness of what God is doing in this world and its implications for us, His people. One day, He got my attention with these words:“…it is time for judgement to begin with God’s household” (1Peter 4:17). I already knew that scripture, but this time was different. That statement, written so long ago by the apostle Peter, struck my heart as a message from God to His people today …and with it came a sense of urgency.
In quick succession, my heart was drawn to these words of Jesus: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21- 23)
I knew those words too – but once again they rang in my heart as a warning from Jesus to His people today. And what a warning! Judgement and rejection await all who dare to use His name and His gifts to accomplish, not His will but their own.
Throughout history God’s greatest issues have been, not with the unbelievers, but with those who honour Him with their lips but whose hearts are far from Him. While He longs to draw each and every person to Himself and make them His own, He is so often frustrated – not by those who reject Him, but by those who represent Him.
I say this categorically: there is absolutely no place in God’s Kingdom for anything that is not in accordance with His will – no matter how ‘godly’ its presentation, how impressive its performance, or how miraculous its results!
From the humblest gathering of just two or three believers to the largest mega-church, if who they are and what they do is not a true and living expression of the true and living God, they do not represent Him. Worse still, they mis-represent Him. And that’s a fearful position to be in, for: “The Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name.”(Exodus 20:7)
…there is absolutely no place in God’s Kingdom for anything that is not in accordance with His will
I write this, not to point the finger nor to judge, but to warn. Because as God’s Spirit moves throughout this world to usher in His glorious Kingdom and to accomplish His purposes, He will also pass judgement on those who have set themselves up to build their own kingdoms in His name. Which also means that the day is fast-approaching when Jesus Himself will pronounce these chilling words with their dreadful finality: ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
God’s true Church is never the work of men’s hands. It can only ever be the work of God’s hands. It is Jesus’ Body – His Bride – His Glory.
I know the gravity of what I’m saying here, and its implications for all God’s people – especially those who claim to lead, to speak and to act in Jesus’ name. I also know that, just as surely as God sent the massive floodwaters which covered the earth in the time of Noah, He is right now preparing to flood this world with His Spirit. Then, just as it was in Noah’s day when God Himself closed the door of the Ark, the time in which we are now living will pass away – and when it does, there will be no going back, because the time for repentance will have passed with it.
So my message to you is this: Now is the time for each one of God’s people to come to Him in total abandonment and wholehearted surrender. It is the time for every person who has been doing their own thing instead of God’s will, to cast away the works of their own hands, to purify their hearts and their motives …and to once and for all declare as Jesus did: “Here I am, I have come to do Your will”.