The hardest thing about being a Christian, in my experience, is being a Christian—that is, a physical being from a physical world trying to follow a spiritual God from a spiritual world. It’s a battle—a constant, unending battle between the will of the flesh and the will of the Spirit.
But I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. Anyone who’s ever accepted the calling of God and striven to do battle with spiritual enemies without and within knows that it isn’t easy. Paul knew it, too. If you’d like a quick reference, go check out every epistle he ever wrote. To the Galatians, he wrote, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another” (Galatians 5:17). To Timothy, he wrote, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15). To the Romans, he wrote, “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. … O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:21, 24).
Et cetera, et cetera.
On a physical level, on our own, it’s impossible to even begin to understand the things of God. “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). We need God’s Spirit working around us and then, eventually, within us before any of this starts making sense. Why? Because “the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10).
But even then, it’s not enough. Our carnal minds and human nature—the “old man,” as Paul terms it—refuses to lie down and die, even after baptism. It’s a fight. Day in and day out, it’s a struggle to yield to God’s way and resist our natural inclinations.
The seventh trumpet is going to change all of that.
It’ll happen “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet … and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:52-53). And not just “changed.” Not just “made different.” John writes, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).
Let that sink in for a minute.
We will see God as He is, because we shall be like Him.
At the seventh trumpet, we will be completely and fully born into the family of God, and we shall be like Him. God, “dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see” (1 Timothy 6:16). God, who sits upon a throne of sapphire with “the appearance of fire with brightness all around” (Ezekiel 1:27). God, whose eyes burn like fire and whose feet shine like brass and whose voice sounds with all the force of roaring waters, whose face shines like the sun in its strength (Revelation 1:14-16), that God is the God we will be made to be like.
Paul asked, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” and in his next breath answers his own question: “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).
At the seventh trumpet, the pulls of the flesh stop pulling. At the seventh trumpet, the old man is destroyed once and for all. At the seventh trumpet, the mind that is in Christ completely becomes the mind that is in us, and we will see God as He is.
As our Father. As our King. As our Redeemer and Creator. As El Shaddai, Almighty God, Lord of all—the One who took away the filthy rags of our own righteousness and clothed us in His mercy and forgiveness, who shaped us from the dust of the ground and then welcomed us into His eternal family.
In this life, we will never be completely free of the tug-of-war between flesh and spirit. As long as we’re flesh and blood, there’s no way around it—but today, the Feast of Trumpets, pictures the day when that internal war is finished—not because of our own might or our own strength, but because of God’s grace and God’s mercy.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore comfort one another with these words.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
A joyous Feast of Trumpets to you all.
Until next time,