For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:17 NASB
It’s much easier to focus on the outskirts of my life than it is to clean house on the inside, but if I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ, God’s judgment begins with me. If I won’t let the Light shine on my life, then I won’t have a Light shining within me either.
The Light of Judgment Tests Me
I’ve struggled to come to the reality that a revelation of the Holy Spirit must be worked out and walked out in my life to have any spiritual authority. When the Light shines on a Scripture for me, just because I have a new understanding of something doesn’t mean that I now have authority there. Only when my Spirit-filled understanding dons a pair of galoshes and moves steadily through a driving rain does it become my reality.
So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.
1 Peter 1:7 AMP
I am only trusted by God to spiritually confront another person because I have myself been confronted AND received that confrontation as Truth from God Himself. Have I done it pretty? Not by a long shot. I’ve wrestled and run and lawyered up and even tried to bargain my way out of the Light. Does that matter in the end? Not too much. God waited for my choice to bow or not. My world turns on my decisions and on my subsequent obedience. If I was confronted with a word from God and rejected it, then I would have no authority to confront someone else. God’s judgment falls on me first.
Judgment and My Integrity
There are so many reasons for God to clean His household first, but one in particular I am seeing so clearly. Along with the spiritual authority that accompanies each victory of the Spirit in my life comes a working knowledge of the blessings and rewards that are the result of receiving the Light of God’s judgment. And there is no greater reward than the blooming, deepening relationship I have with Jesus Christ. No one in this world will ever convince me that there is anything hateful about the Light, especially when it shines in God’s judgment or chastening or wrath. I am a walking refutation of that accusation.
Because I KNOW, beyond any doubt at all, that Love and Love alone is the force behind Spirit-led confrontation, I am uncompromised and intact when I do confront. I may have days of fear and trembling and tears and prayer prior to confronting, but once I begin, Jesus is free to BE in me without interference. I am alive and in love and at peace because of the brightest, hottest kinds of Light—judgment, chastening, and wrath. So though I tremble, I am not conflicted about confrontation. It is LOVE, period.
The Heart of Judgment
Judgment begins with the household of God. In so many ways, this is the turnkey for discipleship, I think. We don’t get to choose how to follow God, we just choose whether we will. We can say, “Nope, that’s too much, I’m out,” but we don’t get to tell God to shine His Light on the ‘filthies’ and leave us alone. God parents His children, and we will not know the great Heart of our Father if we refuse His parenting of us.
And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked?
1 Peter 4:18 AMP