There are two passages of Scripture I came through in my reading this week that describe what I am “seeing” in prayer during this time in our culture and the American Church.
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matt. 3:12)
What in the world is a winnowing fork?
After grain has been threshed, it is winnowed with the winnowing-fork, with the remainder of the chaff removed with the winnowing shovel. This activity did not take place at city gates but on threshing floors out in open countryside. Here, however, winnowing is a metaphor for judgment (since winnowing separated the good from the bad), and judgment did take place in the gate areas. (IVP Bible Background Commentary on the Old Testament)
My gospel reading currently is through John and today’s reading was John 9. It is the story of the man born blind. This is a passage designed to mess up everyone’s theology (and it still does). Someone with a physical ailment was put in a category of “sin.” Someone had sinned because there was a physical ailment. The problem here was the man was born blind… so, how could this man have sinned? Did his parents sin? We work to find our solutions for every problem. I love this chapter for messing with my own preset theology, quite honestly.
But John 9 is also a metaphor. Who is really blind?
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” (John 9:39)
These two passages strike at my heart in prayer. There is a “winnowing” process going on in the American Church. There is a separation process going on as those who though they could “see” are exposed as “blind.”
We are still flailing around because we still think we “see.” It is long past time to wake up. We are lost in our own self-righteousness and thirst for power. We are lost in our own comfort and don’t see the power of the Kingdom.
It is long past time to wake up.