By Kathi Pelton
Often the Lord will speak to me through short “one liners” that just echo through my spirit until my soul stops to listen closer and press in for more. I’ve had a few of these “one liners” doing just that since the quarantine began.
They are short sentences such as these:
• I am extracting the precious from the worthless.
• I am separating the wheat from the chaff.
• I am shutting you in so that I can break you out.
• The distractions have been too loud for my people to hear me knocking on the doors of their hearts.
• Rend your hearts, not your garments.
There are more but these particular words have been blowing around in my mind like a constant gentle breeze that invites me to breathe them in until they revive me once again.
The restless hearts that demand constant activity (even the good activities) often cause us to live like a young couple with toddlers to care for. We go from morning to night working hard for something right and something good (raising children) but never take the time to stop and rediscover the intimacy and love that caused us to stand before God together to say, “I do.”
No one faults young parents for the non-stop activity that comes with the privilege of raising children. And yet, if they don’t make time to stop, get away and rekindle intimacy and love with one another then in the end they will harm the very ones that they set out to form into beautiful people (their offspring). The love between “dad and mom” are the foundation of that family. Without intimate connection bitterness, judgements and divisions seep in.
We do the same thing with God. We say “I do” and give our yes to Him out of the deep love that saved our lives and captured our hearts. Then we begin to build His house (Kingdom) together, raise up children in His family, go and make new children, teach those children, etc. But somewhere along the way the Bride has forgotten that the foundation of the Church is love. Her “yes” and “I do” was formed in the grip of first love. We must return to that foundation.
“For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son…”
In 2020 we are embarking on the greatest harvest of souls that has ever been seen. When Billy Graham passed away the mantel that he carried to harvest souls by the masses in stadium settings was passed to the Church. Now, this year there are more stadium events planned then ever before. And in the midst of the busiest planning season ever— everything goes silent and is in a forced STOP. Covid-19 steps in and become a vehicle to restore our crown (corona).
Yes— the enemy has his hand in this because he fears this harvest of souls more than any other thing. But, God is in this too! A couple months ago I was taken into a vision where I saw a baby named “Harvest” placed in a bassinet but then I was taken up higher to see that this bassinet was actually a oval stadium. The massive size of this baby filled the stadium. There was more to the vision regarding identity and healing for this baby but I knew that this “harvest baby” was going to be placed in the stadiums.
The leaders and people of God were planning but not ready! The foundation of family (intimacy and love between the father and mother) had been talked about more than ever but not acted upon; first love was replaced with non-stop activity, the purifying our hearts and hands had not happened and allowing Him to extract the precious from the worthless (the wheat from the chaff) needed to take place before being entrusted with this baby. We were preparing the bassinet to receive the harvest more than our hearts to receive the fruitfulness! Both are needed but only one is truly essential! Our hearts!
The phrase, “Rend your hearts, not your garments.” means this: In the Old Testament days, when the Israelites sinned, to show how sorry they were, they would cut up their clothes (rend means to tear) to show God how sorry they were for their actions. The scripture in Joel 2:13 that says,
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
What this verse is really saying is that they should cut sin from their hearts instead of cutting their garment in ritual ways that men can see. Go, lock yourself in with God and rend your hearts before Him.
In the church today we have all the right words but have lost the “gift of repentance .” Too often we use words (through teaching, prophesying and worship lyrics) to “rend our garments” yet it is the rending of our hearts that God is after. There is too much hidden sin; places that the worthless is defiling the precious and the chaff is covering the wheat. As Joel 2:13 says,
“…for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
In His compassionate grace and out of the abundance of His love He desires to remove the things within our hearts that separate us from Him. As we rend our hearts He will relent in sending calamity! He will respond to the repentance and halt calamity. He has loved us enough to stop us from allowing our gifts to be like garments that cover our sin. He loves us too much to see us riddled (pierced) with guilt. The church has been running hard to avoid that which lurks beneath the surface and must stop and ask for our hearts to be purified. HE LOVES US TOO MUCH TO LEAVE US HOW WE ARE!
We could not bring the “worthless” to the stadiums because it would not only have harmed the baby but ruined the foundation needed for revival. The stadiums merely represent the place that a mass harvest will take place. But our hearts must be made ready first. We must “repent for the Kingdom of God is near.”
If you’re still reading this (many will have stopped at the first mention of repentance) then remember, “repentance is not a bad word!” It is freedom! It is life! It is restoration and it is the breakthrough that we have prayed for and longed for.
Repentance is a gift; therefore we must ask for it. We don’t even know how to repent on our own; we need His Spirit to do this work within our hearts. We know how to feel guilty or feel regret but the true “Godly sorrow that leads us to change (repentance)” has been lost in all the busyness and activity. Words have replaced action and events have replace the secret place.
So now, in the gracious, compassionate and abounding love of God (who longs to relent from bringing calamity!); we have been stopped! A forced pause has come to allow us to ask Him to rend our hearts and extract the precious from the worthless, the wheat from the chaff as we find ourselves upon this threshing floor in time.
“Holy Spirit, here we are. We need the gift of repentance. True repentance that rends our hearts to cut away sin; to remove the worthless. Spirit of God, extract the precious from the worthless in our lives and remove the chaff as we lay before you on this threshing floor of quarantine. Discipline us because you love us and make us ready in the day of your visitation. Thank you for this forced pause (this Selah). Restore to us the joy of our salvation and renew a right spirit in us. As you stand at the door of our hearts and knock— we stop to let you come in. Come and dine with us and feed us the spiritual food that we need.”
Do not waste this time. Go before Him in humility and pray. Pray for yourself, for your family and for the nations. Now is the time!
Ministries and churches need your help at this crucial time. As travel has halted and gatherings have ceased to happen, this results in finances decreasing (yet the bills do not). If this ministry has been a blessing to you, please consider sowing a seed of help in this time of need and isolation. To give go to: https://www.inscribeministries.com/
Thank you for standing with us as we stand with you!