Before the return of Jesus, the Bride of Christ on the earth will be mature, powerful and united. No doubt about it. The Father will beautify the Bride of Christ; we will reflect the realities of Heaven on earth. During the most intense time in human history, the Bride will shine. Right now, we’re taking the test before the Final Test to see how mature our love is.
As the return of Jesus gets closer the Bible describes a time of increasing hostility…increasing rage that is stirred by the one who rages (Rev.12.12, 17). On a large scale – nations – and on a small scale – personal relationships – Satan will stir division, discord, war and persecution. Hatred & rage is enormous and it’s everywhere. He releases his heart and many reflect it.
Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another…many will be offended
The ET will be a contentions and divisive time; we are living at the beginning of the beginning of this. What we are experiencing is a small measure of what is to come…it will intensify especially towards believers. This is a clear opportunity from the Lord to learn how to live in the age of satan’s rage.
This is a test of the quality of our love, joy, peace, gentleness…The Father is giving us a Mt.5.44f test…he’s showing us the quality of our love.
In families, cities, ethnic groups and betw nations there is this brewing rage/hatred. It’s directed at believers, but it also affects everything, everywhere.
The New Norm – Rage
We have seen an escalation of overt hostility and The way we talk to one another or about one another on the right or left; the way we engage in cultural issues and societal problems or differences. People launch into attacks with their little camp supporting and applauding them. It’s an us versus them mentality; if you aren’t for me then you're against me.
Our response to the racial tension and political turnoil has highlighted our spiritual maturity. Are we willing to listen…to really hear each other…when we respond is it coming from a place of love, grace, and humility or fear, pride and tradition.
2 Tim.3.1-5 describes today and pride, hostility & self-centeredness. NOtice how it describes the relational dynamics and there are many believers who are falling into this pattern; the hostility of the age isn’t just an unbeliever issue; it’s also being reflected by those claiming to be believers.
We think that we have the right, obligation and freedom to demean or destroy people and groups b/c they’re wrong, harmful or we think they’re of the devil.
As our anxiety levels grow over political, economic, racial and health issues, we make bad decisions or harsh statements or use exaggerated language against groups or individuals. We feel like we have to do or say something b/c we perceive we’re losing our nation, way of life, and that person/group needs to be set straight rather than being a voice of compassion and gentleness.
The Character of Jesus
How did Jesus describe his character? He did not claim to be “love” or “good” or “wise.” Jesus said in Matt.11
Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, b/c I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.”
He describes himself as humble and gentle. Humility is at the foundation of who Jesus is and what He blesses. If we’ll get into the yoke with Jesus, we will also be people of humility and gentleness…and the anxieties we feel about all the issues that stand before us will diminish.
Too many American Christians don’t like the call of the gentle Jesus.
The true Bride of Christ is demonstrating humility and gentleness in this hour. If you are filled with dread, fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, worry, negativity, sarcasm, overwhelmed and the like, you are not yoked to Jesus.
Coming under the yoke of Jesus and learning humility and gentleness is in stark contrast to how the world is responding to all the pressure it’s under now. Do you want to facilitate racial reconciliation…civility in our political process…hope through the health crisis…speak from a place of humility and gentleness.
Breaking my steer Silver with a donkey.
As the darkness of the world increases the light of God will shine upon the Bride of Christ and one of those contrasting points is how they each respond to the different crises’ hitting the earth… the church responds with gentleness and humility while the world responds with pride and harshness.
This is a pre-season game before it gets more intense…if you’re trying to wiggle out of this yoke by justifying your behavior then you’re failing the test.
The Church is to be the model of humility and gentleness right now
Meditate on James 3 & 4
James gives us the most practical teaching in the Bible on humility and gentleness. It starts in our families and marriages and we pass it down to our children; it extends into the marketplace and touches both our friends and enemies.
How we approach conflict and crisis is heard in the tone and amount of our speech.
James 3.2 – by controlling our tongue we are controlling our lives.
James 3.13, 17f, 4.1, 6-7, 10-12
We are a powerful witness to the world of what true greatness looks like. If there is anything inside of us that resist this word then it needs to be confessed and repented.
The political spirit wants to win rather than serve; the religious spirit wants to be right rather than love.
It’s the opposite of the spirit of Christ (humility and gentleness); we can express truth and God’s righteous standards w/o hostility and pride. We can say the hard things of Scripture from a spirit of generosity , honor and hope. God does not want us to dilute the truth, but he wants it flow from a place of humility and gentleness
Jesus is calling us to submit to His yoke…it begins with a bow, a surrender.
Mt.5.5 – Blessed are the humble for they will inherit the whole earth. Jesus is the humblest person who ever lived and he will rule this planet and those who humble of heart will rule with him.
Do you want to have influence in this hour? Live from a place of humility and gentleness.
Be like Daniel. He lived in a volatile hour of history. He was convictional in his beliefs, faithful to the Lord, influential with his position and humble & gentle in his disposition.