by Dawn King
I don’t know about you, but life feels really really different now. I’m still working full-time, but I’m getting to sleep in more. I’m cutting out about an hour’s worth of drive time and prep time out of my days (let’s be real, I’m not doing my make-up or fixing my hair for my Zoom meetings.) You’re probably in the same boat, or probably have even more time added to your day. So, what are we doing with all this extra time?
I know it may feel awkward, and annoying, and down-right overwhelming to try and fill hours with anything other than Netflix and big cat stories, but the truth is, we need to and I’m going to show you why.
God is doing a reset in His Body. We’ve seen it coming for some time. I don’t think any of us thought it would hit quite like this. It’s always so interesting to see how God uses world events to usher in change and bring about new seasons.
We are being reminded. Reminded of what it means to be human, of how fragile our bodies are, of how needy we are of a Savior and King. We are being reminded that we are part of something that is global. As we’ve all been quarantined to our houses the idea of “church” has shifted from the buildings we all used to go to and has become something tangible in our homes (or something we’ve dropped altogether, there’s not really room for an in-between here).
The point is–it’s on YOU now. You can’t just attend and pretend. You can’t serve and perform for your spot in the Kingdom (not that you really ever could, ya know). The truth is, we are staring ourselves in the face, some of us for the first time in a long time. No more distractions (come on, seriously, get off Netflix). No more excuses (“I’m just too busy” or “I can’t find the time”). No more passing the buck and placing blame–we have to face our current reality and choose to join God in this.
It’s bigger than you–but it requires you.
And that’s just it — WE are His Body. There’s this odd cooperation thing that goes on when God wants to do something. He has to work through us, these weak wayward sheep who are so easily distracted and ripped apart by wolves. We are, in fact, the only real limit that God has. He can do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, but He chooses to work through His kids. Often, we filter Him to say what feels comfortable and we misrepresent Him by editing things out of Scripture that are “too hard” or “too awkward.” We stifle the Spirit and we cover Him up with business and entertainment. We wonder why the “greater things” aren’t happening, and the truth is, it’s us. We get in the way.
The entire world has slowed down, and we should really pay attention to what God is doing now. Don’t just flip through channels and choose to sleep more. It’s on us to usher in what God is doing. It’s on us to be obedient.
Hit your knees.
Open your Bible.
Open your mouth.
Be vulnerable with community.
Challenge others when they sin.
Encourage others when they are weak.
Stop caring so much about yourself, and start caring more about the bigger picture.
Usually it seems like God works really individually, but right now it feels as though we are all collectively being squeezed. What is coming out isn’t meant to condemn us, it’s meant to change us. In the squeezing some of us are realizing we are lazy, or we are addicted, or we are serving idols, we are indulgent, glutenous, selfish, judgmental, codependent, fearful. We are being slowed down enough to see. This is unsettling, but this is crucial. You can’t change something you can’t see.
Stop being distracted and look. See the truth of where you’re at and trust that God knows how to change you. Then let Him do it. Cooperate.
Isaiah 41:14-16 (NIV) says,
“Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
“See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,
new and sharp, with many teeth,
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
and reduce the hills to chaff.
You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,
and a gale will blow them away.
But you will rejoice in the Lord
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
God is collectively making us into His threshing sledge. If you don’t know what one is, a threshing sledge is, “A rectangular wooden plank designed with many teeth to separate grain from chaff.” It’s a tool, crafted and shaped with a purpose. It was once a tree, but it was cut down, trimmed into shape, carved into the proper form, then used for the purpose of separating.
God’s on a mission, and He needs His threshing sledge. Let’s agree with Him and trust God to change us into this tool, and collectively be something God uses to reshape this world and fulfill His purpose. This requires our cooperation, our laying down of sin and idols, our obedience, and our stepping in to new rhythms and new ways of living like never before.
Behold. He is doing a new thing. Let’s get ready.