Recently I again had a huge seeing about God’s judgment. You know, it’s so totally different than I’ve ever perceived. I was in the camp with most of the world, that judgment was more akin to hatred and rage than love and jealousy. You remember I wrote about the Judgment of God a few weeks ago. Well, I’m not going to rehash that same topic, but I am going to open up my personal experience with God’s smiting hand.
Martha reminded me the other day that the intent of judgment is always salvation. I want to discuss how personal judgment can equate situational salvation. Ah, isn’t that wonderful? God’s not licking His divine chops to just give the wretched their due. If that was the case, then why would His Word say, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” Although judgment is real and actual, it’s not without a deeply passionate Heart.
So to show this played out, I want to give you a story from my personal life. Years ago, I was going through a very, very tough time. I was in great despair and grief over my personal condition. I just couldn’t get out of my funk. And in a particular dark time, through tears, I said to someone that I hated my life! It was a rage-filled admission. After this purging, I left and pressed on as if everything was the same—it was not.
Within two weeks of speaking those words, I had a health crisis so extreme that I about lost my mind. My body went numb. I couldn’t feel my legs or left arm or left side. I couldn’t even feel myself using the restroom. All I could do was sit in a scalding tub of water, which somehow feigned to my senses some normality. Many fears coursed through my brain. “Did I have a stroke?” or “Do I have a neurological disorder?” I was at a complete loss.
Well, this whole thing hit while I was traveling with Martha, who was speaking at a conference in California. And she could never get worried or concerned. I was freaking out, but she was not concerned. Sounds crazy I know, but it was God. If she were anything but calm, I would’ve been to the nearest hospital begging for an MRI.
God was on it, in it and so He was the answer. I looked to Him and then I could see His attitude about my proclamation. I’m His child, and in our relationship, He wanted to adjust my thinking. My statement of hating my life was brought into perspective when I no longer could feel my body. And between He and I, I knew this was His chastisement. Judgment against my heart attitude, but it was for my saving.
Now back to my statement, how does personal judgment equate situational salvation? Well, in God’s judgment was His love. As I listened to Him, I heard what I was to do. I was to restrict my diet to something rather extreme—a forced fast, so to speak. As I went on this fast, so did the body of Christ that walks with me. It was outstanding. And from that obedience, my body became right, as well as assisting in the health of several others. This chastisement became a supply—a salvation! We all became healthier and more conscious of the need.
I’ve seen this over and over where God’s judgment leads to salvation, though it doesn’t always turn out as we would like. I’ve seen some struck with cancer, and though they weren’t healed of the disease, they entered into the joy of salvation through the process and went home to be with the Lord. God’s economy is just different from mine. He’s my Shepherd and He is able to crook me into the right stance with circumstance and situation. He cares enough to orchestrate a demonstrative situation that puts everything in perspective.
As I walk with Him, I see Him moving all around His children. The most precious examples I’ve witnessed of judgment leading to salvation must remain private. They’re all so deeply personal and uniquely intimate. Each and every one exalts His Lordship and sovereignty, as well as His Father’s heart toward His children.
As one very familiar with His firm, Fathering hand of chastisement and judgment, I want to say, it has been the most securing force of His love. It’s been years since I experienced that numb episode. And it was years until most of my feeling returned. It isn’t like I just ate a salad and poof! it was over. It was years of discipline reeling those words back into my mouth.
And though it started out in stark fear, I ended more aware of His amazing love. God Himself took my heart in hand and molded it to see Him more clearly. Though I can still have a bad day, I know His eye is on me to bring forth the Life of His Son.
So now, I don’t hate my life…
Come, my children, listen to me;
and I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies!
Psalm 34:11-13 NIV