There is one conversation that says God is about to judge America for all her sins. The other conversation focuses on God’s grace and unconditional love. The first conversation draws evidence from the Old Testament confirming God’s prerogative to wield His wrath. The other conversation draws from the New Covenant that says He would never do that today because of the cross. It’s as if these two cannot co-exist.
Regardless of the signs in September, the warships off the coast, fault-lines in California, and economic predictions, it’s not about what is going to happen as much as who we are becoming. The “what” and “when” is not nearly as important as the WHO and WHY. And it doesn’t have to do with the other guys’ sin!
Regardless of your theology or eschatology, there is one thing that is eternally true. GOD’S HEART NEVER CHANGES. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Though His methods may change, His heart and purposes haven’t. His love is unconditional – but so is His righteousness.
I believe a missing component to both of these conversations is the difference between God’s judgment, and God’s discipline. Most people see “judgment” as negative. We have embraced an attitude that God is punishing us for our past rather than bringing correction for our future. It is exactly because God loves us SO much and is so determined to see us fulfill our destiny, as individuals and as a nation, that He will do ANYTHING to bring us into alignment. We have forgotten the blessing of God’s discipline, which brings the needed course correction:
“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” (Job 5:17)
“And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.’” (Hebrews 12:5-6)
In BOTH covenants (OT and NT), God says He disciplines those He loves. He will do whatever it takes to see His purposes fulfilled through His sons and daughters – even calamity, if necessary.
In a previous blog, I shared of a recent vision I had within a dream where I saw a map of the entire world being hit by a wave of heaven’s glory and Fear of the Lord, starting from east to west. I was crying out for people to get ready for this glory that was coming. I believe it will be this kind of supernatural outpouring of God’s Presence that is going to help BRING CORRECTION to the earth. For those whose hearts are clean, God’s manifest Presence will be glorious. But, for those who are not ready, the Fear of the Lord will expose what has been hidden in the darkness and the consequences of unconfessed sin will manifest – spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Yet, it is through these “tribulations” that we will become who we were destined to be.
“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10-11)
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19-20)
Notice there is a HARVEST coming! It is not just a harvest of souls, but a harvest of RIGHTEOUSNESS; sons and daughters of the kingdom rising up in holiness and the fear of the Lord. We are exhorted to be earnest and repent! This is our assignment – to stand in the gap for our family, our community, and our nation. Get rid of unconfessed sin and any roadblock or hindrance to His holiness.
Let’s stop talking of God’s judgment and start receiving God’s discipline. We have a loving Father who is passionate about us and is determined to fulfill the dreams He has placed within us. This is not as much about our past as it is about our future. Let’s not get distracted by what’s happening around us and focus on what’s happening inside us. The earth is waiting for the mature sons and daughters of the kingdom to be revealed. Let’s embrace the journey and get ready for the coming harvest!