Five Things God is “Up to” in the Lives of Biblical Christians
“There are no political solutions for spiritual problems.” I have been using that expression for years now. Never, in our nation’s history, has it been more true or more on display. It would appear there are more millions who support an anti-Christian, anti-biblical agenda than those who oppose it, which is in itself a sad testimony to the state of our “one nation under gods.”
That may be perceived as political commentary, but I assure you it is a spiritual one. Those who read the Bible know honesty and integrity are high among Judeo-Christian values as they are in most other world religions. You need only look back to Germany, less than one hundred years ago, to see what results when dishonest, even demonic, people infiltrated the church and governments. (Read 1 John for his incredibly strong words on antichrists in the church of his day. I did a five-week series on his epistle and strongly suggest you watch those videos or listen to the podcasts.)
I am convinced—otherwise I would not write this— that the Holy Spirit is on a mission to use this demonically inspired chaos to stir up and call to arms (spiritual weapons) those who are real born-again Christians, part of the corporate body of Christ. No doubt the virus has taken a toll on many churches in terms of ability to meet and worship, financial repercussions, and overall spiritual health of some churches. Many questions surface in times like these even among Christians who believe in the sovereignty of God. One such question is:
“What in the World is God Doing?
Following are two of the five clear areas in which the Holy Spirit is working on and for Christians. The first three are painful but necessary as you will see if you have not previously experienced them. The last two are great encouragements to us—reasons that ours is an eternal hope.
Pruning. The Last Supper meal is over. Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet as a sign of how we are to love and serve one another. This would be the last time they would be together alone. So He taught them much during these hours. Two discourses on the Holy Spirit bookend chapter 15 from which we read His powerful words on pruning.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. “You are already clean (pruned) because of the word which I have spoken to you. “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.” John 15: 1-6
- If we are truly born-again in Christ, we have been grafted into Him (the Vine).
- God our Father is the Vinedresser Who works thru the Holy Spirit to produce His desired fruit. (See Galatians 5: 22-23)
- A branch cannot produce fruit unless it is healthily affixed to the vine. Neither do we.
- Apart from Jesus, we you can do NOTHING. Works of the flesh are futile and have no eternally sustainable value.
- Scary verse 6. Ought to scare the Hell out of you.
Purging. “You must purge the evil from you.” (See Deuteronomy 13: 5)
God said this to Moses more than a dozen times in the Books of Law. I was amazed to find the number of times that phrase or one like it appears throughout the Bible in various translations—more than twenty. In nearly every context, it means the same thing:
God hates evil.
He hates what it does to His people—everything from idolatry to adultery. Evil has great power in and over our world today—including our nation. Evil distracts our minds from what we should be focusing on. Evil discourages, even depresses, even the strongest believers at some point. Evil destroys some people completely.
Jesus took it (and its source, Satan) very seriously. He taught us to do the same. He warned us of the coming destruction of evil and all who chose it over Him. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, taught the same message.
“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly (purge) clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3: 10-12
Jesus cleared (purged) the temple twice. The second time was on Palm Sunday as He entered the temple for the last time before He was crucified
“And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”” Matthew 21: 12-13
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6: 19
The Holy Spirit coupled these verses today to remind us that Jesus cleared the temple of God from evil and things considered unclean or outside the purpose of what God intended. The Apostle Paul reminded us that our bodies are considered by God as His property and temples of a sort to be holy and used for His purposes not ours.
Answering these questions will help you understand if you are allowing the Holy Spirit to purge your temple?
- Is our temple (mind and body) used to glorify God, self, or man?
- Is it a house of prayer (time spent with God) of a “den of thieves” (stealing His time and money) ?
- Is it so contaminated with the things of this world, our “branches” are shriveling—being starved of the essential food from the Vine (Jesus)?
For Christ’s sake,