The plumbline

As the new year comes in, I’ve been thinking back to a word I posted at the end of 2006 – A storm is coming (read it here).

I thought this a good time to consider this word again. Make no mistake, I still see this storm, I see the clouds gathering and I think that perhaps now it is easier to see.

What then is the heart of the matter? My heart is that God’s people will wake up, raise their eyes from the trivial objects that hold their fancy, draw a deep breath, look up – and see. Not with the eyes of the world, but with the eyes of a God-inspired heart. What is first in the spiritual translates to the physical. You have been given eyes that can see into the spiritual, can see into the heart of things, therefore now use them.

Do not trust in princes, in the doctrines of men. The wisest is but a craven fool before our Lord God of hosts, of heaven. Only He can see beginning from end, only He holds the stars in His hand, searching and weighing all. Do you see the plumbline? All things are measured in His eyes, all have their foundation in Him. What is of Him never can be shaken, what is not cannot endure.

The plumbline will be held against all – and none can escape it. The eyes of the One that holds the world in His balance will pierce your heart, also. What therefore then can you offer Him? All that seems real will fade dim on that day. All money, homes, cars and possessions, all friends and family, all your good deeds, all positions and powers held, every aspect of your life will be held against that divine plumbline. Where, sinner, can you escape to then? There will be no hiding place, even though the mountain fall on you, you cannot hide.

All excuses, reasons and rationalisations will be seen for what they are, and the full account will be called to be paid. What then, when you realise the pauper that you are? When all secrets are stripped bare and the full motives of the heart revealed? What then, will you stand? It is a terrible thing to fall unredeemed and insensate into the hands of the living God.

We are called to stand, we have to stand firm in Christ, or we will not stand at all. The time is long past for sleeping and slumber. Know then our utter dependency on Christ – our utter and complete need for Him. Not just in part of our lives – but in the dark, buried parts, and paradoxically also in the parts where we feel strong.

Know that there will be events that will sweep the world, and hearts will melt like wax. Therefore the prayer of my heart is that we will be found on that day, ready in Him. In life or death, rich or poor, persecuted or at peace, that we will be found in Christ alone. For there, and only there, is to be found the place to stand.

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8 Responses to The plumbline

  1. Gene says:

    This resonates with my Hebrews and Amos readings just now. Dullness of hearing, lack of skill in the word of righteousness and the need to leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity in Hebrews 5 and 6; seeking the LORD, good, and not evil, that we may live in Amos 5. Lord, have mercy.

    Have a joyful New Year holding fast to the hope set before us.

  2. In Amos 7, the vision of the plubline is preceded by 1) the vision of a locust swarm that eats up all the crop (except for an already harvested share for the king) and 2) the vision of an all consuming fire that destroys everything (even the “great deep”). In both cases, Amos cries out to God for mercy, using the expression, “How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” God gives assurance that neither disaster will happen…

    Then, God shows the plumbline. Amos does not cry out. God says that “his sword” will come against the religious sites of the land, then against the rulers.

    As in other parts of the OT, God chooses not to wipe out everybody, but to leave room for a remnant to rebuild after the catastrophe. Intercession is important – as Gene says above, “Lord, have mercy” needs to be part of our prayer. Jill Woodliff at Lent & Beyond writes of our need to be smaller so that God can be greater. The answer to Amos’ plea is not that “Jacob” is actually big – it is that God is abundantly merciful and saves the faithful remnant.

    May we heed the warning of this “plumbline” post, and find our safety only in the Name that is extolled on the church calendar today – the Holy Name of Jesus.

  3. white rabbit says:

    Happy new Year Anglicanprayer. I am not familiar with Jill Woodliff so could you elaborate on what she means by us getting smaller so God can be greater. Isaiah 40:22 had God describing us as grasshoppers and i can’t imagine getting much smaller than that. Anyway, this grasshopper is off to work so that i don’t become one of Aesop’s grasshoppers – darn ants!

  4. white rabbit – Jill W. posts here, mostly:
    http://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/

    Her idea of “being small” is in the main about praying without any agenda other than God’s glory – to get ourselves out of the way as much as possible and intercede for the church and the world.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Peter says:

    And to you also Gene 🙂

    Anglican prayer – Lent and Beyond – yes, the mercy of God is boundless and limitless, much to our joy!

    Oh ,and hello whiterabbit – happy new year!

  6. timbob says:

    Good morning. It’s a familiar verse, however, Romans 14:10 has been on my heart a lot lately. Being mindful that everyone of us will give an account of ourselves before the Lord Jesus. This truth should cause us to be sober-minded and serious about the things of God instead of being consumed by the worlds side-shows.

    May we all be mindful of the times in which we live and look to Jesus who has promised to be with us; even unto the end of the world. This is a most needful post. Have a blessed day in Jesus.

    timbob

  7. faithwalk says:

    Peter, I have read this a couple pf times and wanted to comment thoughtfully but find myself having loitered away the morning and needing to leave soon. But the Lord gave me a brief picture and word for you…

    It is that which He gave to Peter, you are a rock upon which the Lord is building His church in a personal, local sense perhaps, to that of the community to which you’ve been called to establish.
    Whether it is Peacefield or in another place all together only the Lord knows for certain, but that is what I heard and saw. The Lord placing His hand on your shoulder and calling you Kepha, Cephas, Petros…

    I will write more later but in the meantime may you be blessed and filled with the joy and presence of the Lord Jesus!
    His love and grace to you,

    Susan

  8. Peter says:

    Thanks Susan – I’m going to need to mull over that a bit. Please do write more! And you were going to let me know about those dreams you’d begun to tell me about before I had to run?

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