September 20, 2022
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“The Lord thunders at the head of His army. His forces are beyond number. Mighty is the army that obeys His command. The day of the Lord is great. It is dread-filled. Who can endure it? ” (Joel 2.11)
We tend to forget the aweful power of the Day of the Lord. That day is when Jesus returns to earth with the full fury of retribution and justice. He comes to defend His people and contend with those who are His enemies. The Lamb of God who uttered not a word on His way to the cross now fully speaks the truth of His glorious appearance. His actions speak with the power of His Word. His Word is righteousness. But, it comes into the world like invasive surgery that is vitally needed. Suggestions, hints, encouragements and gentle knocks on the door of the hearts of the world will have ceased. Good works, charitable gifts and earthly worship will no longer hold fort. On that day, we will all see the depth of our depravity; yes, even among the saints. We will all tremble and fear, even in the confidence of our salvation, knowing we had not done all we could have done for the sake of the gospel and the commissioning of discipleship. We will know that we certainly have not done all we were meant to do as “created by God people” and especially as re-created by Jesus the Christ people. It is one thing to stand boldly in this world against those who are our peers, friends and neighbors. Even then we may be pitifully marginal in our impact. I confess this as well! It is one thing to “see the enemy” still at work in those we love, care for and have compassion for. It is another to see the people in the world at work for the enemy and know we must be equally bold and convicted to do what is right and good and perfect in the sight of God- His righteous and holy will. But, what of that day when the true benchmark of righteousness returns with the full declaration of “enough is enough”? He who declared from the cross of Calvary on Golgotha’s hill with His last human breath, “It is enough. It is finished. It is done. Into Your Hands, Father, I commend My Spirit,” will now speak the truth in awesome and resounding love striking deeply into all of us as a double-edged sword. Our intent and our content will be unstoppably revealed. There will be no place to hide and nothing to shield us from the truth intended to set us free from the bondage of sin and the penalty of eternal death- forever in the state of dying in Hell.
If God is love, and God is most certainly the fullness of love in spirit and in truth, then such a day of accountability must come. If that day had to come in Heaven as Lucifer gathered his insurgent choir to sing against the Lord God with songs praising the darkness over the light as if it were the true light of life, then it will most certainly come on earth as it did in Heaven. That is why Jesus revealed to John at the start of His Revelation that there is no middle ground. On that Day there will only be two present realities: for or against; hot or cold; truth or lie; righteous or unrighteousness. Mighty ones of God, we must be perfectly resolved to accommodate the mode of Christ in this matter. He said to John a word for the community of faith in Laodicea, “Be hot or be cold, but do not be lukewarm; lest I spew you from My mouth.” He does not say “I will dribble you from My mouth.” He does not mean “I will let you trickle out of My mouth.” He speaks of ejection, forceful spewing and in some translations it is interpreted as “I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Distasteful, upsetting, sickening, aching and contrary to the health and welfare of the body. It is far more than ejection from the body, it is a rejection by the body. There is no sense of tolerance, inclusion, pleasing acceptance so as to not offend nor the enablement of misguided truth as one’s personal reality. On that Day the truth of the matter will become indisputable and the opposing realities will be fully visible. We see them now in the world today becoming more dichotomized. The enemy has little fear or dread in a land that chooses lukewarm faith over fire-inspired truth. I fear that the lukewarm faith only becomes a fan to fuel the fire of the lie that scorches life as it spreads across the land. And it is not the same kind of “fire” as that which the Lamb of God brings on that Day. It is a fire that seeks to “steal, kill and destroy” and thus transform life into death serving the priority of sin over faith, hope, love and trust. But, the fire on that Day is a purifying fire which burns away that which is cover. What is the essential truth of the matter will become fully exposed. There will be smoke, fire and the stench of death. There will be no more smoke and mirrors to hide behind nor false sanitizing air coming from the mouths of those who simply want to “save themselves” by serving the lie instead of owning up to the truth. It will be, as the word given to the prophet Joel declared, “a dread-filled Day.”
But, it will not be a Day without hope; we can endure it. For those who choose to be truly faithful, confessing their sins and professing their Savior, all will be revealed as well. The strongest faith and the greatest challenge comes in admitting “as worthy as I know I am in Christ, I still see where my unworthiness dwells and I submit my all to Him.” We, mighty ones of God, are in a constant state of being perfected until that day when Perfection comes and all things will be made new in those who knew “the Way, the Truth and the Life” and know it still. They will bow their knees and confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and He alone can save both the quick and the dead. He alone is the true Judge of heaven and earth. He alone is the protector of Truth and in His light the darkness will flee deep into the valleys of the shadow of death to dwell forever as in the days of Valley of Hinnom where living sacrifices were made of future generations. In that Day, which speaks to an entire season of life, the truth will be unashamedly and unreservedly declared. Young men will share the vision of the Lord. Old men will share their dreams of the One True King. The Spirit of the Lord will fall on all people who call on His Name as those who are called by His Name and the fire of faith will burn with an everlasting life that glorifies God as does the Son of God who remains obedient and faithful to the cause of His Father in Heaven so that it might come on earth in fullness and wonder and awe. Mighty ones, it is time for us to see that Day may well be dawning on the horizon of our current season in life. We are established as the vision-sharing, dream-empowering, spirit-filled people of God on whom His Favor is intended to truly fall. We dare not believe that we are sufficiently prepared for that day when it comes lest we leave some who are still in the middle to be spewed out by the Returning King of kings and Lord of lords. It is not all about us that we are His disciples and His disciple-makers. It is about His people, the sheep of His pasture and we are His shepherds sent out to seek and save that which is lost and prepare them for that Day which is coming. We ought to be able to see that “maybe” has been taken off the table.
Lord, strengthen us by Your Spirit and in Your Truth. Just as we are, we are not enough to withstand the wiles and ways of the Enemy. Fill us more, fill us to overflowing, with Your Word that is righteous and true. May the “joy” of the Lord be our strength as we say “yes” more fully and completely to Your will be done in us and through us by the Name of Jesus who is coming again. AMEN.