THE BATTLE OF THE WILL

img_5061“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” – ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:15-16‬ ‭‬‬

Contrite: crushed to powder; destroyed
Humble: low, lowly, abase
Revive: quicken, restore to life
Heart: inner man, mind, will, emotions, character

As I understand the Scripture, GOD is looking for a people who ACKNOWLEDGE not in word alone, (but in action and deed) that HE IS GOD by a people who are destroyed in their own will, mind, and breath and lay low in disposition of character. In other words, NOT SELF-willed; but GOD-willed. Only this dead-willed people will our HOLY LORD GOD REVIVE! This is the BATTLE OF BATTLES, the war between GOD and man, and the sooner people decide to destroy their own self-will, self-desire, in humility and surrender, the sooner GOD will quicken, or revive our spirit and hearts to Himself.
GOD cannot revive what refuses to die! Even demons are more submissive to GOD than the self-willed man. The mercy of GOD waits for people to submit to HIM, but HE won’t strive with us forever, there is an end to this struggle between GOD’S WILL and self-will, but at the end of this battle which side will you find yourself on? The scariest thought for me is to be found in self-will standing face to face with GOD! For as Scripture states HE resists the proud, but gives Grace to the humble.

Compassion for the repentant:

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” – Isaiah‬ ‭57:15-21‬ ‭‬‬

GOD desires to heal us and restore us to life in Himself, but those who refuse to give up their heart, will, and desires to Him, will come under His Judgement.

Judgement for the unrepentant:

“Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew‬ ‭11:20-30‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

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Uprooting Iniquity

Having grown up on a small family farm there are many aspects of scripture that have daily come alive to me. Parables of sheep and goats, sowing seeds, pruning vineyards, equal yoking, dealing with wheat and tears, ridding the chaff, and so on. There is a lot to be said about my wilderness college, as I call it. There are deeper revelations and understandings to be had of the scriptures found in putting your hands in the dirt and to the plow and actually doing what the biblical writers did, then to sit in a classroom and be told what they said.

Having said that one seemingly endless battle that we fought in our fields was a weed called Johnson grass. It’s a nasty annoying tear (weed grass) that shoots up fast and stands tall among your garden with saw like leaves that slice you open when you try to pull them and if you do succeed in uprooting it you usually pull up several good plants with it that had grown too close to it. 

After having fought with this issue for years, I asked my grandfather (who had farmed the same land decades earlier in a simpler time) how they dealt with Johnson grass in his day before tractors and herbicides were readily available here. Much to my surprise he said, “oh that’s easy. If a field got to the point of being so infested with weeds that it became fruitless, we would just turn the pigs loose in the field and let them utterly destroy it. They would devour everything. The pigs would dig up the ground and eat even the very roots leaving behind a barren sterilized field. We would then run the pigs out, put the barriers around the garden back up and start over weed free.” 

What genius and yet what sorrow in this lass ditch effort to save a field. Taking the protective wall down around a field and allowing the enemy to rush in and wreak havoc in-order to up root the weeds that are rendering the field fruitless and useless. Yet even in what might seem from the outside looking in like the farmer was giving up on the field by taking the wall down and turning it over to the pigs was actually an act of love for this field. He was not willing to leave it to the tears, he was not willing to give up on the garden. Even if he had to start over, it was better then just walking away from it because he loved it.

Believe it or not, God does the same thing to people, churches, and even nations. When seeds of rebellion, pride, error, or wickedness begin to outnumber and choke out the fruits of righteousness God removes the wall a protection and allows the enemy to rush in and over take it in hopes of rooting out rebellion through the humbling. 

“For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth–arbel in the day of battle:…” – Hosea‬ ‭10:12-14‬ ‭

We see this happening on a personal, congregational, and even a national scale in the story of the Israelites in the wilderness. Time and time again the weeds of sin through unbelief over took the people even though they had good leaders instructing them in truth so that in the end God removed His protection and allowed the enemy to clear the field as an entire generation (and congregation) fell in the wilderness. After which God started afresh with a new generation. Not willing to give up the field because He loved it, He did what He had to to clear the land and make it ready to be fruitful. 

God does not desire to take these harsh actions but never the less, sometimes He must, that the land (or territory) not be lost and become a wilderness. It is grieving to God’s heart to see the field trampled under foot for a season, yet because of His love for the field, He will do what He must to save it in the end and make it bare fruit again. It is surely better to avoid letting the weeds spring up, take root, and spread seed in the first place, nevertheless, when they do God will stop at no lengths to get them out. Even if He has to level the field to do it. He wants a fruitful vineyard and all that bare not good fruit or hender the fruitfulness of others He will cut down and cast out by whatever means nessisary that the whole field not be lost. So great is His love for His field and the potential of it’s fruitfulness.

“Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for (good) judgement, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” – Isaiah‬ ‭5:1-7‬ ‭

“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭5:1-8‬ ‭

Pride Brings a Fall but Humility Preserves Your Soul

“Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:” – Romans‬ ‭11:19-20‬ ‭

In this very important passage, Paul warned new believers of the dangers of pride, unbelief, and falling away from the faith. He explains to them that the Jews who refused to believe God, though they had been His chosen people, had in essence been broken off (or disinherited). Because all unbelief in what God is trying to tell you is based in pride, which is trusting more in yourself and your assumptions, (your understanding, what you’ve been taught, what you think to be right or true, and so on). It is so important never to assume anything with God, to even assume that you can assume is prideful. In all things seek God and be willing to be taught and led by Him.

“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭18:4‬ ‭

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Romans‬ ‭8:14‬ ‭

The passage then continues to emphasize the pride of believing that because one was disinherited and an other was grafted in, that the graft is somehow better or more secure then the original. Paul assures us that this is not the case. He urged the new believer to grasp onto humility in fear, stating that if the natural children were disinherited for not trusting Him, how much more would the adopted children be cast off if they so chose in pride to trust in their own leading and not seek to be led by His Spirit and voice? 

“For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” – Romans‬ ‭11:21-22‬ ‭

This is one of the most sobering passages in the scriptures. One that we should remind ourselves of daily, knowing that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that God is no respecter of persons. We are all special to God, but not one is more special to God then the other. He demands trust, respect, reverence, submission, attention, and humility, which are the attributes of faith. Those that refuse are cut off, yes even from among those counted as His own. While those who submit are grafted in, even from the lowliest and least. Let this be a warning that none are above God’s judgment, and that no pride will go unpunished, not even the pride of believing that you are too good or too special to be cast off when God did it to the very apple of His eye, His own people who ceased to trust in His voice and followed that of other men and their own flesh.

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:27‬ ‭

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” – Philippians‬ ‭2:12‬ ‭

“Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” – Proverbs‬ ‭16:5-6‬ ‭

“The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” – Proverbs‬ ‭16:17-20‬ ‭

What’s Hindering Your Destiny? 

 “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.” – Jonah‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭

What a simple and profound truth. When you listen to the vane lies your soul (emotions) are speaking to you of how you deserve to complain, murmur, hate, disobey God, cling to pride, hold offense, or whatever your particular case at a particular time may be, you forsake your own mercy. By choosing to focus on, listen to, and be led by your emotions (soul/flesh) that is so easily influenced by the devil and your own pride, you are choosing not to listen to and be led by the Spirit of God. When you choose to listen to the soul (emotions), which are always self centered around what you think, what you want, and what you feel, it is causing you to stand in opposition to what God wants, what God feels, and what God knows to be the best for all involved. This serves only to prevent the goodness of God’s plan from manifesting in our lives and His mercies from doing their perfect work both in us and through us as we allow the lies of our vain emotions to keep us in a place of torment, pride, rebellion, or unforgiveness. 

This was the place that Jonah was in. This was his “belly of the fish”. I think that most all of us have spent some time in the belly of that fish. You see, Jonah ran from his call to bring a message of salvation to the Ninevites because he didn’t like them. Jonah had logical reasons not to like them, they were a vile, filthy, violent, selfish, and all out wicked people. Therefor, Jonah had no heart for the Ninevites and when God told him to go minister to them, he ran in the other direction. He listened to his flesh, his emotions, his soul which spoke to him only of bitterness, brokenness, wickedness, hurt, and fear. It justified how right he thought he was by telling him how wrong he knew they were. Yet God, through the Spirit was speaking to him of forgiveness, hope, redemption, healing, and love, but Jonah chose to listen to the soul instead of the Spirit and it caused him to reject the very mercy of the deliverance that God was ready and waiting to give him and the Ninevites alike. He was stubbornly choosing to sit in the torment of his own pride and bitterness that was holding him back from all that God had for him. 

The more Jonah listened to his emotion the worse things got for him because your emotions (being so easily influenced by the enemy) will always take you in a direction that is opposite of the word, will, and wisdom of God. However, God knows best what is best and running from the wisdom of God toward the logic of your emotions will always separate you from the presence of God which is always a dark and tormenting place to be. So things just got worse and worse for him. He went through storms, he got cast out of his boat, he was swallowed by a fish, he was drug to the depths of the sea, he wallowed in darkness, distress, and emotional torment until he realized the thing he missed the most was the Lord, the presence of the Lord. The moment he let his soul (self/flesh/ego/emotions) die and he put his heart, thoughts, and trust back in the Lord, His will, His words, His wisdom, and His love, immediately he was delivered from all his torment and finally he could feel God’s presence, hear His voice, rest in His peace, and see the light of day again. The soul (influenced by Satan) will always tend towards fear and self preservation, but the Spirit (influenced by God) will always tend towards love and the salvation and preservation of others. Choose today to crucify the flesh, and follow the Spirit into the destiny the God has for you.

“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” – Jonah‬ ‭2:7-10‬ ‭

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:24-25‬ ‭

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” – Romans‬ ‭8:13-15‬ ‭

A Fall Cometh

“The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.” – Obadiah‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭

We’ve all heard the saying that pride comes before a fall. Well, truer words are seldom spoken according to scripture for pride has never run so ramped and a fall never more eminent then now. Though it be hidden to the proud, it is made evident to the humble, for the Lord is the strength of the righteous and they are never taken in a fault because their trust is in the Lord who sees all, knows all, and cannot fail. Herein is the arrogance of the prideful to think that they could ever have an advantage over God or His people. Anything they may perceive as ground gained is merely God allowing them to be led by their own pride into position for the checkmate.  

“The steps of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down. For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare.” – Job‬ ‭18:7-8‬ ‭

Jesus told us repeatedly that the humble will be exalted by God Himself but the prideful will He resist and cast down. It may not happen right away leaving room for repentance but rest assured that without it, no matter how many people you cause to come into agreement with your pride, judgment and a fall will surely come, for no pride in will go unpunished.

“Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” – Proverbs‬ ‭16:5‬ ‭

All pride is rooted in standing against God. God’s will, God’s plan, God’s wisdom, God’s authority, or God’s people. For this the anger of God is stirred against a person, people, or nation and all manner of trial rises up against them as God turns them over to the chastisement of the enemy. Yet even this is a mercy that they might be humbled and saved. 

“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭

However the intently prideful that will not be humbled, repent, and turned from their wicked ways will be turned over to the master they chose to serve and separated from the one they choose to stand against for all eternity. So that, in the end, will they be humbled in hell. Therefor are all men humbled, either in this life by choice or in the next by force. For EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. There are no exceptions. Humble yourself now and stand boldly before the thrown of God on the day of judgment, or stand boldly now and be humbled before the thrown of God on the day of judgment. The choice is yours, the choice has always been yours. From the two trees in the garden of Eden in Genesis to the antichrist or Messiah of Revelations, there has always been a choice and the choice has always been yours to make. Humble yourself and make the right one.

“Therefore as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them. This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts. The Lord will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.” – Zephaniah‬ ‭2:9-11‬

“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” – Romans‬ ‭14:11-12‬

“Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.” – Isaiah‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭

Avoiding The Last Day’s Soul Snare

“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭4:7-9‬ ‭

Peter could honestly say that the end was near in his day, so how much nearer are we in ours? With this in mind, we should be ever vigilant, preparing our hearts and waiting with anticipation for the coming of our Lord. 

In this text we are given instructions which reveal the Devil’s main tactics for preventing us from being ready to meet the Lord at His return. First it says to “be sober“, this means to be focused, attentive, not influenced by any substance, spirit, intoxication, entertainment, or distraction that might cause you to not notice the signs of the times around you or walk in the righteousness required to be counted among the faithful at His glorious coming.

Next it warns us to show charity, or selfless love, toward others in every situation. Even as Christ did, so must the believer who functions as His body in His stead until His return. Upon which we will have to give an account for every idle word spoken while claiming to carry His Holy Name as our own. Note that the passage doesn’t only say to have charity (or love), but to have “fervent” charity. That is to say, a selfless love that goes the extra mile. A love that does not only react but initiates, reaches, changes, and illuminates the darkest of situations and hearts. An uncommon, unconventional kind of love. This kind of love is what sets Jesus apart from every other false deity that came before Him and it is thusly what sets the true Christian apart from every other hypocrite and false religion around them. Wether a person exhibits this love as a fruit of being led of Jesus’s Spirit within them, or not, will be the deciding factor in who is welcomed into glory or cast into damnation on that faithful day. So again be vigilant.

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:20-21‬ ‭

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;… For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans (sinners) do the same?” – Matthew‬ ‭5:43-44, 46‬ ‭

As the time of Christ return gets closer, the days get darker, and the hearts and minds of men grow colder and more wicket, this will be the stumbling block laid before most that will cause many to miss heaven. The more the devil stirs up the wicked to come against the righteous, the more tempted they will become to return the hatred, but they can’t! For the word of God is clear that unless you forgive and love others, He will not forgive you. It doesn’t matter how much the devil tells you they deserve to be hated. Remember that God deserved to hate us but He chose to suffer for us instead, and suffer by our very hand. All the while praying for us, for God to forgive us. Let that same mind be in us if we truly have the mind of Christ and are led by His Spirit. 

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” – Philippians‬ ‭2:5-9‬ ‭

Let’s face it, if anyone had a right to hold a grudge it was Jesus, but He didn’t. He did exactly what God said to do, because God said to do it, because He was humble, and because He loved God. God has commanded us to forgive and hold no grudge, therefor if we choose to hate or begrudge anyone for any reason because we think we deserve to, then we are acting in both pride and rebellion against the will of the Father. So choose today to forgive, pray for, and bless the seemingly least deserving, that you may be found in right standing with God as we await His inevitable ever-nearing return. I plead with you dear brother or sister, the time is indeed very short, therefore be ever cautious not to be blinded by hate, deceived by sin, and caught unaware in this the final hour.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:21‬ ‭

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” – Matthew‬ ‭5:10-13‬

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” – Matthew‬ ‭25:31-46‬ ‭

The Humbling That’s Coming

American-Flag-Storm-Dark-900God is love, but true love is just. True love does not favor, it is no respecter of persons, it is fair and righteous. True love corrects that which is wrong and protects that which belongs to it. God fights for your soul because He loves it. He corrects your prideful flesh because it is the enemy of your soul. All the desires of it therefor are meant to destroy you, therefor whatever means are necessary to destroy it and humble you in this life that you might be saved from the judgment of the next is a worthy effort, however unpleasant.

“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” – Ezekiel‬ ‭18:23‬ ‭

God does not enjoy wrath. As many of us have heard our own parents say when correcting us, “this hurts me more then it hurts you”. So does judgment grieve the heart of God. Nevertheless, it would be better to spank a child that keeps running towards a busy highway until he be humbled into obeying your words not to, then to allow him to continue to his own sure demise. In the same manner does God have to resort to wrath when the prideful refuse to heed His warning and not only continue running full force to their demise, but also take others with them.

In this we see many times that God has had to bring harsh judgments upon a nation and a people. So desiring is He to save their eternal soul from the judgment of eternal torment and destruction that He allows a temporary judgment to befall their flesh.

You see, you are in a war. At the end you will be given over to the one you served in this war. Whether that be to God for eternal reward and glory, or the devil for eternal damnation and torture, for you have chosen your side. Though God does not enjoy doing so, sometimes His greatest mercy is to give you a taste of that war in this life that you might truly see the character of those that lead it.

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” – Romans‬ ‭6:16‬ ‭

War is an ugly thing and the forces that provoked that war are the same forces that provoke your soul to sin unto damnation as a weapon of warfare against your creator and Father who loves you. Yes God enacts wrath, but it is not who He is, it is only what He does. Not because He wants to, but because He has to. So when we force His hand and wrath comes, we can be assured that it hurts Him more then it hurts us, for He loves us more then we love Him. This is why, through it all, His hand is stretched out still. If you will but humble yourself and take it.

“Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the Lord of hosts. Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still. For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” – Isaiah‬ ‭9:11-21‬ ‭

 

Lay Low, God Moves On Behalf Of The Humble 

“Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” – Zephaniah‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭

Those that are laid low will always be lifted up by the mighty hand of God, while the prideful will be cut down. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, yet the humble will always have God’s good favor working on their behalf. Therefore, when a humbling need come, (to a home, a family, a church, a situation, or a nation) lay low and seek the Lord. He will hide you in the lowliest of places and once His work of cutting down the obstructions of the prideful is done, He will raise you up and place you in a position that has been cleared and made ready to do an uncorrupted work.

Don’t rush out or you will be cut down with the wicked. Lay low and seek the Lord, for He has assured us that the meek will inherit the Earth, but the prideful will be resisted by He Himself. Let the Lord defend you. Trust in His goodness and justice. Believe in His unfailing love. Humble yourself under His mighty hand and see the salvation of the Lord. Be still and know that He is God and He is good, even in judgment. 

“Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” – Zephaniah‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭