This post has some personal aspects that I am learning right now. I believe what God has planned for His Church is quite marvellous, but how marvellous we may walk into, the price of entering is what is needing our attention. As the tares and the wheat grow together, the maturity of both will determine their separation and their destiny. For the tares it shall be fire, for the wheat shall be at the Table of the King.
We are at that season, a season when we will need to keep silence and pray and evaluate as Jesus did in the Garden. We see the culmination in Jesus, we see Him humanly become more and more troubled, more and more intense in His exchanges with His Disciples. They are about to pass their worst moments where everything they had hoped, everything they believed in, would be put seriously in jeopardy because Jesus would suffer what no man would and would go to where no man would go silent as a lamb to the slaughter.
As Jesus communes with His Father, He is inwardly in a turmoil, all His human tendencies would come to torment, as He would seek to avoid the Cross in His humanity, albeit He was determined to defer to the Will of the Father. In this deferral came an angel to strengthen Him. He knew that the cup that He would drink would have eternal implications. He knew that He would lose all to enter into more. They would make a Crown of Thorns for a shadow of the Crown of Glory. They would give Him a rod as a Sceptre, but the Father would give Him a rod of iron to crush His enemies. Once He submitted to the pain for gain, the wounds for worship, then God would open His Celestial Temple for all.
Jesus is a pattern for us to walk also. In this life there are levels of trials which correspond to the level God is taking us into. There is no doubt that in 2020 we are before the Father, visualising the cup of suffering and salvation before us. We are facing a cup of sickness, even death, divisions, hatred, many things we may experience negatively. We have to walk through these things. Behind these earth shattering experiences is supernatural life, limitless life.
I was studying 2 Timothy 3, the 19 characteristics of the people of the last days, the first characteristic Paul highlights is “lovers of self”. When you come to contrast this with the sufferings of Calvary and their personal application you realisation you are poles away. The progression from love of self is mammon, pursuit of comfort over virtue, pursuit of pleasure over God Himself. All these will burn in the Lake of Fire in the end.
The Church will be pressured in this day, as it is presented with the cup of suffering. James and John wanted to sit on Jesus’ left and right, yet had not thought about the preparation for them to sit in those places. It would take a baptism and a cup! We are baptized because we are immersed into the footsteps of Christ through this life. We will live in a certain contradiction similar to Paul where what flows out is miraculous power which comes out of extreme suffering. We may experience the betrayal of others, we may experience robbery in some dimensions. This Baptism immerses us in a Kingdom which has nothing to do with this world, and sets us up with a certainty of collision with its value system. This collision can mean exterior harm, whether it be ostracising, whether financial loss, whether pressure, whether hardship in our families. The Baptism into Jesus death, means we descend with Him so that we may Ascend also with Him.
When we talk of the cup, we swallow into us the pain that we share for Jesus’ sake. We try to be silent in the face of a barrage of false accusations. We feel the pain of closest and dearest who distance themselves to be the farthest and undearest, when isolation in our trust in Jesus’ justification is all we hold to. When we swallow that cup we know it shall turn into 7 special cups which pour out judgment in that day.(Revelation 16) How does it do that? It does that because we have deferred the judgment and vengeance to God the Father who has allotted a season for that to happen. Our temptation to do that cuts the effectiveness of that opportunity. Jesus was silent, as Heaven was silent when He ascended, but exclaimed with exultation the “Return of the King”. Tolkien in his Trilogy, the last film “The Return of the King” speaks of a broken line. Speaks of the shoot from the stump of Jesus, Isaiah 11:1. Speaks of a new age, of peace and joy.
It may seem right now saints are confused, leaders are broken, in every way, but visualise the pandemic, its confusing and imposing laws, as visualising the Cup in the Garden. Drink the cup and He will fill you as a king and priest. Our tendency is avoid, but as we embrace the Father’s will we shall know angelic help…to walk through and rise to new life. The old temples shall be shamed, the dead raised, the lightning strikes, the rain and the shed blood, calls out for end time judgment. When we rise as Jesus did, no limit will be presented, we shall speak from a new dimension, the Kingdom shall be seen. What is the price? It is everything, and as we do not withhold so the Father not withold any eternal thing from us.
Our road to the Throne is via the Cross, our road to Revelation is broken expectations, our road to understanding is preparation!!
A suffering Church is a glorious Church. In this time we must access that glory, giving no thought to the discomfort, giving no thought for the peace we could get immediately from discomfort. The cup refused is heaven refused, the cup avoided is the life devoid of destiny.
I believe that once we understand that 2020 is a watershed year, where we process our sufferings well to grace, our betrayals, to seeing God in them, we will go forward to the High Calling. The High Calling is not what we step up into but rather what we descend to.