Originally posted at American Revival Press
What if we speak with the tongue of men and angels but have not love? What if we have all the power from heaven that can move mountains, heal the sick and raise the dead but have not love? What if we have understanding of all manner of God’s creation and mysteries but do not love what God has created!? Isn’t this what Paul was teaching the Corinthians (not a building or a religion but a people, the Church throughout the city of Corinth)..?
Let’s not move on past this thought too quickly.
Perhaps this is the understanding of Matthew 7:21-23? Perhaps adding God’s love into the equation, this difficult to understand text comes to light? Because how could these people, these ministers of Messiah, do such powerful works and live by such faith and yet were “never” known by the Lord!? Messiah confessed to them, “I never knew you”! Ouch! “Lord let it not be us!”
Could it be that at times we are not living the gospel from our hearts!? Could it be that we are using the gospel with different intentions than what is pleasing to God!? The Bible even encourages us to “Judge ourselves” that “We need not be judged”. It’s hard to look at ourselves so honestly. It really is… Jesus never healed or performed a miracle with the intention to “show off” or “dominate” or “manipulate” a crowd. Let us consider this for a moment. Jesus was “moved with compassion” – could we say that compassion is a form of “love”? Jesus was moved with “love” for the people and healed them… The people moved His heart, He wept, He grieved and mourned with them and then healed them all! But He also laughed with them! He enjoyed them. He was very gentle and unassuming at times. He was (and is) perfect love. We too often forget that. Jesus loved first – and everything else came out of that love!
It's Biblical, we can do all these things, perform all these acts unto the Lord and yet miss the whole point… “Did you learn to love?” Come that day, it’s going to be revealed, did we surrender to His love or did we miss the whole point of the story!? Isn’t this what it is to be Christians???
The truth is, what just don’t have it in us. We really don’t. The ability, the power, the anointing to love… it just isn’t in us. We are simply too broken, too weak, incomplete. We need something from God to do this. We need Him! Remember Jesus saying, “My Cup Runneth Over”. What was He talking about? What was in His cup? Wrath and indignation for the nations? What overflowed from Messiah? Vengeance towards the evil-doers and recompense towards the enemies of God!? Do we believe He is seated on a throne of Condemnation and Destruction? God forbid. We who know Him, know He is seated on the throne of Mercy and Surrounded by Goodness: this is the Love of God. I fear we have too much of the story wrong because of hearts are too hard towards Him.
But how to give a man a new heart!?
One of my very best friends and a man who turned out to be a mentor, Lonny, in Seattle, would often say, “Don’t worry about the sufferings, that’s just God allowing your heart to be tenderized!” We want to be so strong as men, and we do need this strength, we will need it for the journey ahead because the enemy will do everything he can to steal and kill and destroy the kingdom of God in our lives but there is more… Or perhaps our picture of strength is off? God said, “In your weakness I am made strong…” “But what if a man doesn’t want to be good, Robert?” The Lord asked me that one day. “How can I force a man to be good? I give you all free-will.” It’s a difficult conversation. He has to allow free-will to play out – even within the Church – even with the power of His gospel and the anointing of His Holy Spirit. But if the Church doesn’t want to be loving and good, if the Church is content to be hard-hearted, dominating and stubborn – where is this light, the love of God to be found!? So the Lord has a remnant. Perhaps that is actually who I am writing to… Perhaps the few among the many are the only ones who are going to hear me… Perhaps that’s the way it has always been since the beginning?
So to the few, I write, “You have sorrowed for long enough. It’s time to dry your tears and put away your sackcloth and ashes. Turn your hearts from mourning and do not remember the former things, soon they will all be forgotten!”
“We do not come to the mountain of despair or defeat but we come to Zion! The Holy Mountain of the Most High God, where there is only His Glory and Victory! Strengthen the feeble knees and awaken those who slumber, beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears, He calls His army together, to Victory! We are marching to Zion and no force will stand against us.”
“Have you not yet heard? The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God, for the pulling down of strongholds and the casting down of everything high thing that might stand against us. Our God goes before us and His glory is our rear guard, His presence hedges us in like walls of fire! What foe can stand against our God or what plot can trap Him? He is God, before Him there is no other.” “There are the affairs of men and then there is the will of heaven. What is declared from His throne will not be broken, the word will not be broken and all scripture must be fulfilled. Our Father will perform it. We have but a light burden and an easy yoke. The battle is the Lord’s. But we like sheep have gone astray.” “He offers to us this wine. It’s New. It’s also His best! But some old-wineskins will not receive of Him and they will suffer loss. Oh God, that we would be New! You who make all things New! Father, give us this wine. But the congregation cries out, “The Old is Better”. But The Son of Glory says, “Drink the New Wine.” He saved the best for last (John 2).”
He turns our hearts from mourning into dancing and our weeping into rejoicing! Do not strive against your God. He wipes the tears from our eyes and collects them in a bottle. We have nothing left to sorrow after. The winter has past, the springtime has come – the fig tree has started to bud and the vines have come back to life! Drink New Wine. He returns us to the mountain of God.
But we do not go to the mountain of laws, with fire and quaking but to the mountain of grace there we are received. Now we are called Hephzibah and our land Beulah, for we shall be married to the Lord. The remnant will hear me. Turn your hearts away from striving and do not look upon the fear or doubt again. You are with your Father, the Father of Lights and Perfection. The covenant performing God.
Some of the virgins knew to stay awake. Some of the virgins were prepared for the journey which was ahead. Remain in His Spirit. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Wisdom has called out to the congregation but few will listen. It’s our hearts. They need to be broken. They have become too hard, there is no place for them to receive.
Prepare for yourself a dwelling place in me Lord. Prepare for yourself a heart to inhabit.
I give it to you, Father. It is yours.
Breath upon me that I might LIVE! Amen. Let Him receive all the glory.
All the glory belongs to the Lord. Amen.
Brothers and Sisters, the best ending to any story ever written is being performed before our eyes. We can trust in Him. Receive this wine. Receive His very best. Amen.
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