A TIME OF TEARING
On the basis of our need
and His transforming grace we shall
repair the ruined
rebuild the old ruins
raise up former desolations.
Those who mourn and be
torn by repentance in the rending of heart
who will qualify for Godís programme
of restoration. Repentance, the royal honour, a gift from the Prince of
Life is the key to usefulness. He comes near to the brokenhearted, who
know the tears that tear, and ultimately know the joy of inner harmony
they will experience
beauty for ashes;
oil of joy for mourning;
garment of praise for heaviness.
Itís the poor in spirit,
brokenhearted in emotions;
captive in will,
blind in mind;
bruised in body,
Study Isaiah 61:3,4 and Luke
When we go through a season
of tearing in our hearts, in our relationships, in geography or in our
work, God proposes change of behaviour, another step in sanctification.
inner peace comes to those
who accept the time to lose and the time of tearing. We build
the Kingdom of God only on the basis of personal repentance, that continues
as we grow in grace and knowledge or our Lord.
A time of tearing can be
related to three themes, in the Bible and our experience.
(A removal of the first things
in order to establish the second)
- Joel 2:13
- 1 Samuel 15:28
(c) new direction
- Hebrews 10:9
Even evil kings and queens
would rend their garments like Ahab and Athaliah. The difference
between Saul and David lay in their hearts. Through worship
and repentance David had intimate fellowship with God. Saul
himself sat on the throne (except for the first year when the fruits of
the Spirit were operating!). How many leaders today sit in
their positions without the anointing.
God is going to remove proud,
self-sufficient ministries who refuse the message of personal repentance.
He will tear away their little empires and kingdoms where they have super-imposed
their wills over the Lord.
Deep brokenheartedness brings
the presence of God in revivals. I knew Donald Macphail, who
as a teenager witnessed the Lewis awakening. The repentance
was so real, he told me, there was no need for deliverance ministry; the
demons had no ground to remain on lives when the precious blood of the
Lamb did the cleansing work. The RENT heart knows the RENT
veil into His presence, and the RENT heavens confirm the glory of God.
Deep brokenness characterized the young Josiah who rent his clothes at
the reading of the law of the Lord. He was changed inwardly
before his reforms outwardly changed many in Israel. Undoubtedly
he was aided by the prophecies of Jeremiah, that heart surgeon whose word
brought either rebellion or repentance.
Will we be honest in His
searching presence and allow the Lord to give us His hunger for His purpose?
God puts His servants on the shelf for a deeper repentance and heart dealings.
Matthew 21:44 declares a
vital principle of the dealings of God.
falls on this stone will be broken, but on whoever it falls, it will
grind him to powder.Ē
Repentance or judgement confronts
us all. Every one will either fall on the Lord Jesus, the precious
cornerstone (1 Peter 2:6), or know His crushing judgement.
Repentance means we will judge ourselves and be not judged.
If we fail to repent only a torn Kingdom awaits us - something of the activity
of the Lord is removed from us. For prophets, the dealing is
drastic. Remember the man of God in 1 Kings 13.
Implicit obedience was essential in the expedition and execution of the
divine will. Thinking again in the Josiah story, his grief
at the demands of the law, and Judahís utter failure to obey, brought the
repentance that averted the judgement to a later date.
The judgement on Saul (1
Samuel 15:26-28) and Solomon (1 Kings 11:12, 14:8) with the divided kingdom,
always follows the kingdom of flesh. How many believers today
have played the fool and have been taken up by our own pre-occupations?
Choosing eternal life and the foreverness of Godís ways means laying down
our lives or else self is still on the throne. Foolish virgins
have the New Testament Kingdom torn from them for failing to prepare for
the second coming of Christ. Ultimately, in Revelation hundreds
of millions come under the judgements of God (Revelation 6:8, 9:4-6, 16:2,
16:8-16). The popular idea that the New Testament God is mercy and the
Old Testament God is primarily judgement is blown away by 2 Peter 3, Jude,
and Revelation. No wonder certain theologians are attempting
to rid the Bible of these books.
Christians can be unbalanced.
Some are in sympathy with
the judgement of God and have no time for His mercy. Others
(and this is much more frequent), emphasize love and grace, and cannot
see judgement at work, because they feel all judgement of sin has been
accomplished at the Cross. This truth pertains to those who
have received the atonement, and been reconciled to God. Children
of wrath are under the law (1 Timothy 1:9-11) and prone to judgement.
Even believers will reap corruption what they sow to the flesh.
Today Europe is the strategic
center for Godís judgement in two ways:
With anti-semitism on the rise
in Europe we can see how God is preparing the ground for Armageddon, the
ultimate judgement of goat nations. The new Iranian president,
aware of the supernatural help in September 2005 in a speech to the UN
- is a worrying sign of the times. Just like Hitler was aided
by supernatural evil powers, world dictators in the next two decades will
be more of a problem than the secular Saddam Hussain.
(a) EU is
driven by the glorification of manís desire.
of Europe will intensify because politicians
will do and say things
out of fear of Islam.
A massive geopolitical tearing
draws near in the climax of the ages.
Luke 19:27 declares
those enemies of mine here, who did not want Me to reign over them,
and slay them before Me.Ē
The wicked, lazy servant of
Europe with its institutions has become Godís principal target for judgement.
Where Jesus cannot bring His Lordship, the word of God will bring the discriminatory
judgement of death - first a spiritual death, then the physical.
The pain of tearing can be
very real in those transition stages of life.......unemployment through
recession or unjust dismissal, divorce or being a victim of fraud or violence.
The God of purpose has the right to tear way from our lives any hindrance.
The three pretty bubbles of
fame, fortune and fun must go POP! POP! POP! God will take
away the first in order to establish the second says Hebrews 10:9.
Godís seconds are better than His firsts - the only potter where this is
true. Tearing in pursuit of the next stage of Godís will can
be painful and devastating, but new connections will be formed, and a time
of sewing begin.
ambition for status.
* fortune or love
* love of position.
* narrowness in doctrinal
correctness to a particular grouping.
* a wrong relationship.
* exclusive reliance
on frontal lobe thinking.
* tender family ties
that oppose the call of God.
In Acts 21 we read of a deep
emotional tearing. Paulís future was charged with uncertainty,
he was in the grip of a dilemma. The apostle knew by the imposition
of the Spirit he was not returning to Jerusalem on furlough (Acts 20:22-25).
He was coming to his worst crisis, inescapably. At Tyre (Acts
21:4) the human element was uppermost in the disciples and the prophecy
was deeply influenced by that. Finally Agabus came, sent by
the Spirit, confirming Jerusalem was the destination.
For Paul, like Jesus, Jerusalem
equals Calvary. Things can be in the background recess of the
memory and the Holy Spirit through a holy prophet, bring the recall so
we donít just sit on a revelation. Agabus was vital and necessary
to bring a holy reminder, because
DELAYED OBEDIENCE =
However, in Acts 21:12, the
people tried to stop Paul even though the prophet had confirmed an earlier
witness in Paulís spirit. The tie of human sympathy can be
the strongest in preventing the will of God. Paulís reply in
verse 13 mentions the tearing:
you doing weeping and breaking my heart?Ē
The criterion for the
will of God is the Cross. The God idea of the new direction
will be contested often by the nearest and dearest.
Will we allow God to tear?
Will we be strong enough
to resist human pressure and go forward even if it means the breaking of
The secret of Paulís strength
was that he had already lost his life to the demands of the Cross and would
take up the daily cross to follow His Master. The Lordís body
was revaged, torn, smitten by God, pierced by nails and spear.
He also died of a broken heart, suspended in mortal anguish physically
and emotionally, utterly abandoned, naked, stripped of all clothes, like
a meek and silent lamb! The time of tearing had troubled His
soul, tormenting mind and terrifying heart. Whatever loss we
go through as His servants the grace of Calvary will heal, and make all
Tearing is the precursor
of triumph and resurrection when God sovereignly brings such a season.
In the midst of being torn, Jesus gave a new direction to John and Mary,
those remarkable stalwarts of the Cross. John would know a
brotherís care for Mary and Mary would flow in maternal fidelity for John.
In the precious moments of being torn away from the familiar we must never
allow bitterness, but worship ouir God, who works all things together for
good. Even the exile Jeremiah prophesied was for Israelís good.
On the Cross, Jesus Christ
poor in spirit,
captive in will,
blinded in eyesight,
bruised in body
in order that we may
know unsearchable riches, healing and wholeness of heart, liberty of action,
seeing in the spirit and healed in our bodies.
Hallelujah for His tearing
and our redemption!
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