Welcome to the Threshing Floor

King David was known for being a great warrior and God had given him victory over all his enemies.  Here’s the thing:  because of all those victories, he started to become too confident, a little too full of himself and starting to forget who helped him with all those victories.  He began to put more faith in his armies than in the God of his armies.  So, the Lord became angry once again and David’s mind was turned so that he took a census of all the fighting men.  Of course, when he had done so, David realized he had sinned and wanted to repent.  He knew there would be punishment, and after giving David a few choices to pick from, God brought a plague. When the death angel had his hand stretched out to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord stopped him.  At that point the angel was at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.  David went to Araunah and asked to buy the threshing floor.  Araunah, being the willing servant, offered to give it to David for free.  David would not accept that.  He wanted to build an altar to God there being that is where God had stopped the angel.  However, he wasn’t going offer a sacrifice on an altar that didn’t cost him anything.  If he was going to give a gift to God, he knew it would have to cost him something.  David paid 600 shekels for the site and built the altar on the Araunah’s threshing floor on Mount Moriah.

This very site is the place were David’s son Solomon would build the temple.

This is the place where Abraham was tested by God, where he offered up his only son Isaac as a sacrifice.

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, would become the ultimate sacrifice for mankind’s sins very near this same spot.

Threshing floor: (1)a specially flattened outdoor surface circular or paved (2) inside a building made of stone or wood where a farmer would thresh grain harvest and winnow it.   It is wear the grain is separated from the chaff (corn husks, trash, or fodder).

Sometimes God must bring us to the threshing floor to separate the dead things that are weighing us down. Sometimes those things that don’t conform to His purpose for us, have to be pressed out. Sometimes He brings us there as discipline in response to our actions.  Believe it or not, discipline is done out of love and can be an act of grace itself.

How can that be?  Grace is supposed to feel good.

Well…

Grace doesn’t always look gracious.

You must pay the price for the grace God has given you. An invoice is going to come.  Grace brings you to the threshing floor.

You might ask, how can you have grace and trouble?  Everything costs.  While you may elevate, other things around you will go down.

Sometimes it feels like all hell is breaking loose.  How can this be favor?  How can this be grace?  Like I said all that hell you are going through can be the result of God removing things from your life that no longer serve a purpose, or He is trying to change you and has prodded you, but you didn’t listen to His voice. There must be a pressing, a shaking, re-shaping.

It’s time to pay up.  Put up or shut up.  It’s affliction time, it’s struggle time, it’s endurance time.

After being anointed, lifted, and exalted…. Now when you look around the dead and dying are everywhere.

Anybody can go through life when the grace is being poured out on you, but when it looks like you are going from blessed to cursed, who will still stand?  If it comes too easy, does it mean anything?  How can you offer God something that cost you nothing?  If Jesus couldn’t get through this life without suffering, what makes you exempt? God is touched by our feelings and by our infirmities. How can you offer something you can’t feel?  Or have no attachment to?  It’s easy to be generous with another people’s money. It’s easy to be generous when you are not losing anything, when you don’t have to give up anything.  Jesus had to give up His life to pay for our salvation.  He has asked to die to ourselves and become living sacrifices.

Sometimes we have to sacrifice our comfort. Sometimes we have to come off of the mountain and travel through the valley. After we have been pressed and purified, we become stronger so that we can withstand bigger obstacles. The pressing is for a purpose.

God can’t give us everything on credit (grace), we must pay a price (suffering, tribulation).  Your experience is too important to be missed.  There are certain things you can only learn about God through suffering on the threshing floor.

Your experience with God may not be like mine.  Don’t judge your walk with God by comparing with someone else’s. You can’t get what I got just by running up to me and me touching you. Just like I couldn’t get what someone else has gotten from God just by being there either. It costs more than that.  You have no idea what I have paid, what I have had to give up, or what I have had to lay down before God. You have to cry longer than that.  You have to suffer longer than that.

You have to cry with me.

You have to suffer with me.

You have to curl up in the corner and die with me.

You have to throw up your hands and be frustrated with me.

You have to feel like you can’t take another day with me.

After you have suffered awhile….

I didn’t become a wife because I got a ring.  I got the last name in an instant, but I will spend decades earning it, crawling through it, paying full price.  Respect is never given, it must be earned.

I didn’t become who I am at my job just because I got hired.  I got a title, but I had to show and prove that I was worth more, that I needed to be promoted.  I had to suffer through years (10) with no raise, no promotion, no outward recognition until it all came flooding to me over the last two years. I had to earn it.

Men and women don’t become fathers and mothers just because a child is given to them. Yes, the child is in their care; but they have to suffer through the growing pains, the tantrums, the successes and failures, the late nights and early mornings.  They have to have show themselves approved to be fathers and mothers.

Whatever it is that you are wanting God to do for you, you are going to have to do some work to get it.  There is going to be an opportunity cost. You may have to suffer for it, you may have to go through a pressing process. It isn’t the thing that you want that will change you, but the journey it takes to get there. Welcome to the threshing floor.

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