I mentioned in a previous post, an appeal I made to God because I needed encouragement.
He directed me to the story of Gideon in Judges 6 by asking me, “What was Gideon doing when the angel of the Lord came to him?”
Frankly I did not recall. I looked it up.
Judges 6:11 (KJV)
“And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.”
Gideon was trying to hide the harvested wheat from the Midianites. Threshing it in the wine press is another point.
I realized my encouragement and calling was to guard the harvested wheat by hiding it from the enemies of our souls. If you have asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior, you have become the wheat. Gideon knew the wheat could still be captured by the enemy. Jesus knows the same thing and declares how they will be captured.
“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 “But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13 (NASB)
Our defense is in maintaining the enduring love Christ has sown into our hearts and watered by His Word of instruction and encouragement. He has shown us the Way. Will we walk in it?
There is no doubt as things unfold we will feel as though we are being threshed like wheat, tossed into the air of circumstances. It is so, that the chaff of our lives can be blown away, so that that which can be shaken from our hearts will be. It is so the goodness of our selves will remain; that which He has made possible, that which He is the author of, that which is Him as it has become firmly us.
The winepress speaks to where our ability to hide from all the attacks of the enemy originates. The Garden of Gethsemane was the winepress for Jesus. Everything about His existence as the Son of Man that could be shaken, was blown away in His words to Father God.
”O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39 (KJV)
Our spirit man and our soul is what must be protected. Our flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God. Submitting to God’s will is our defense and our hiding place. Jesus showed us the Way to His protection. Yes, His Way will shake us as we discipline ourselves to walk as He walked. As He points to it, we must let the wind of the Holy Spirit blow the chaff away. If we do not let go of those things, we will be blown away with the chaff. The chaff will act like a sail, carrying us off to the fire.
Our being shaken will also shake others!
As we exhibit the disciplines of the Lord others will see that it is possible for them to also. This will be us leading others into a righteousness (see Daniel 12) that many of us as simple believers have not achieved and yet are called to achieve. Following Him and everything that means, is what is required of us.
Recently the Lord has instructed me to get under my Tallit (Prayer shawl) first thing in the morning, read scripture and pray for a minimum of 15 minutes each. No phones no distractions. I ask Him where He would like me to read?
Today it was Zephaniah, a book I seldom read.
“ Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame,
2 Before the decree takes effect— The day passes like the chaff— Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you.
3 Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’S anger.” Zephaniah 2:1-3 (NASB)
Before you say to yourself “That’s Old Testament,” let me ask you this, “Have you seen this happen yet or is it yet to happen?
“Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the LORD’S wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.” Zephaniah 1:18 (NASB)
Wait a minute Michael, you said we might be hidden?” Yes, He did say that, after.
“Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’S anger.
Zephaniah 2:3 (NASB)
The ordinances in our day are the Ways of the Lord. The righteousness we recognize is that which He taught us to walk in. Humbling ourselves is a prerequisite if we ever expect to walk in it, to be threshed ( or thrashed) if necessary and to become hidden from our enemy in the winepress of God’s love for us.
In the guardianship of Christ,
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