“His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire,” Matthew 3:12.
When Christians consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 3:12, we naturally assume that we are the wheat and “someone else” represents the chaff.
Yet when He speaks these words He’s not only speaking of separating the believer from the non-believer. He’s speaking of separating us from the dead weight of our flesh.
As this revelation came home to my heart I felt vulnerable. It’s easy for me to focus on the areas of my life where the LORD has brought me much closer to perfection. Yet when it comes to the “chaff” which remains I want to pretend it is not there. I want to put it off to be “threshed” later. But the LORD says unto me (and unto you), “Let Me do the work in you now.”
When Jesus says that He will clear his threshing floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire, He is not just saying, “OK, you believers, feel good because you’re wheat!” or “Woe, to those who do not place their faith in Me because you will be burned with unquenchable fire!” He is saying, “The chaff gets mixed in with the wheat and I will sort it out.”
Not only will He separate the wheat from the chaff, He is the only one capable of doing so. If there were clear lines between that which is worthy of preservation versus that which needs to be destroyed anyone could distinguish between the two.
Yet as painful as it is for me to write this and as painful as it may be for you to read it, we have become too presumptive. Some of what we see as wheat is in fact chaff that needs to be burned up.
Only He has the winnowing fork to clear the threshing floor. As the one who gathers and has all rights to the harvest it is up to HIM to distinguish between the two. The wheat does not choose to have chaff but it is natural that it will exist.
The wheat cannot separate itself from that chaff. It must rely on the one who brings it to the threshing floor. Only when the wheat is free from the chaff can it be used according to the purpose for which it is intended.
The wheat of your spirit and your chaff of your flesh have been brought to the threshing floor. Are you ready for the LORD JESUS to separate the two?
“LORD, I submit unto Your will. I know that there is pain in the process, but I choose to forsake that which is comfortable to embrace that which is beneficial.
I know that while I may see the chaff in my life that only You can separate me from it. So I surrender all that I am before You.
I choose to trust You. Have Your way in me. I pray this in the name of Jesus. AMEN.”
~ Mitch Salmon