The nature of God’s Law presumes more than a covenant, but a covenant community.
Right away we are up against a problem: For Americans in particular, it is exceedingly difficult to find human fellowship in the heart-led way. We have countless millions of cerebral and emotional believers around us, but most of us are very fortunate to find a single fellow believer in our geographic vicinity who grasps the heart-led way. The churches where we should be welcomed are only interested in tearing this away from us. I’m not the only heart-led follower of Christ who was pushed out the door.
God will change that; He will awaken others, but it will take awhile. A critical element in this coming time of tribulation is to shatter the smug self-assurance of those convinced they have it all figured out. That includes a large measure of church-going folks. They don’t see this coming; they are thoroughly unprepared to recognize how God is working. This is no time for resentment at how they have made us feel unwelcome. They will be scattered like lost sheep and we cannot help usher in a new age of heart-led awareness unless we stand ready to welcome everyone, even those who haven’t been nice to us.
So we have a burden to establish a better system, a community of faith that accounts for the coming turmoil. We need to sharpen our discernment through Biblical Law and ensure none of this difficulty catches us off guard. It starts with a firm reliance on what the Word teaches us about human nature in the context of Creation alive with God’s moral character. We may not have much of a human community now, but if we don’t prepare our lives for it in advance, we will be scrambling with the same level of confusion as those we seek to welcome. The path leads through community with the rest of Creation, the non-human part.
Learn how to keep an eye on what actually matters. The turmoil we already see is just the beginning of sorrows. Our Creator expects us to learn how to take it in stride. That requires a thorough frame of reference based on Biblical Law. It requires that we are already on the ground doing what His truth teaches us, consistent with the nature of reality. The coming storms of tribulation are just a part of that reality. Our testimony will present a banner of safety and security, a lifestyle of shalom that people can’t ignore.
Our Lord currently has precious few people to spread His heart-led truth. Following Jesus means that we are all shepherds in one way or another, never mind what the flock looks like. Some of you will become elders and pastors, and some of you will need to recognize when those called leaders show up, driven by the storm. That kind of discernment is built into the heart-led way. It’s a solid expectation that the natural biblical feudalism will take over when we give the Spirit room to work. Prepare the ground of your life for that kind of growth to sprout and take root. Even if everything in your context seems to militate against that, recognize that the resistance to feudalism is a lie and keep acting as if Biblical Law is very real and authoritative. The conflicts will eventually shift into your favor.
There will be a time of struggle initially. Even desperate refugees will come dragging their bad habits with them. As much as possible, you should prepare yourself to do things the right way, and be able to talk about it. All this blather here at Kiln of the Soul is aimed at providing at least a sample of how to talk about these things. If you know God can bring floundering souls to your anchorage of faith, you should know He’s going to tell you how to make it work. Don’t be hidebound, of course, but have a clear image of what He requires of you, and a strong idea of where you have to draw the boundaries. Don’t panic if a few folks start to gather around you only to have their old follies hijack things. Draw those boundaries in plain sight and don’t support things that belong to the old dead system that failed them once already. Don’t be shocked if it seems you are getting kicked out again; make your position clear from the beginning.
But by all means, if you are going to teach it, you need to live it. That means however much community you have now, whether as part of a family household or simply as an individual with a circle of friends, you are walking in the gentle truth of Biblical Law. You cannot drag someone into this beyond the natural moral dominion you have over them. And we’ve already explored dealing with authority that drags you into a lie; learn to discern your authority to act in every context — your heart knows. There is a very great power in simply keeping that internal communion with Creation whether folks around you sense it or not. Ensure that communion is working before you look for ways to express that joy in how you act.
If you build a strong communion in your heart with Creation first, it naturally follows that creatures will be drawn to you. Sooner or later, that means human creatures, as well