God's Plumb Line
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
“ Then he showed me another vision. I saw the Lord standing beside a wall that had been built using a plumb line. He was using a plumb line to see if it was still straight. And the Lord said to me. “Amos, what do you see?” I answered, “A plumb line.” And the Lord replied, “I will test My people with this plumb line. I will no longer ignore all their sins.” Amos 7:7-9 (NLT)
Amos was given the task of pronouncing God’s judgment to the nation of Israel. God’s people had become complacent, self- sufficient, worshipped idols, oppressed the poor and had a false sense of security. They had an outward form of godliness but no real spiritual integrity, genuine repentance, and obedience toward God.
God gave Amos a series of visions to address Israel’s sin and warn them against their social and religious corruption. One of the visions was of a plumb line.
A plumb line is a device used to ensure the straightness of a wall. Symbolically God’s plumb line is used by God to test, judge, or measure our uprightness. God’s Word is the only standard for alignment, all else results in crookedness and like a leaning wall, will surely fall. This is why it is vitally important that we search our hearts in light of scripture to really determine how we are measuring up to God’s holy standard of living in His Word; His plumb line.
God spoke so clearly to my heart “plumb line” a few weeks ago. I was not familiar with a plumb line. I even naively asked my husband (who is a plumber) if the plumb line was related to plumbing. To my surprise, it doesn’t have a thing to do with it. Can you believe that?
I recall mention of a plumb line once and have skimmed over it in my Bible reading over the years but I’ve never known or have done a word study or even thought about it for that matter. So, I began to seek God and study to see what He was saying to me specifically, and then to those He would lead me to share.
I know that God has been dealing with me on some things that are out of alignment in my life. You know those issues that we may try to minimize to ‘little’ transgressions. We may even compare ourselves to others or convince ourselves that it’s only a "minor" sin but the real question we should be asking ourselves is, “How does it measure up to God’s standard of living in His Word?”
Jesus died for our sins but this does not excuse us from fully pursuing holy living, before a Holy God by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now I'll be the first to say that I’m extremely grateful for God’s grace and mercy. I’ve struggled a whole lot with receiving it. I lived in condemnation for a very long time and to be honest I still battle with it from time to time, so when God began to speak to my heart “plumb line” I knew that He was not playing. The pattern of sin that I would attempt to ignore, water down, ask for forgiveness for over and over again, God was not ignoring and it needed to be dealt with.
In this most critical hour, it is absolutely imperative that we take close heed to our hearts. We cannot shrink sin to accommodate our fleshly desires. Yes, Jesus died for our sins but this does not excuse us from pursuing holy living before a Holy God by the power of the Holy Spirit. The standard has not been lowered because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. God’s grace I believe actually lifts the standard because of Jesus we now have the Holy Spirit to help us live holy, in alignment with God’s Word. Not that we have already attained or have already become perfect, but we press! Not by might, nor by power, but by God’s Spirit. Like the Apostle Paul, we press on that we may lay hold of that for which was Jesus’ purpose when He first made us His own. (Philippians 3:12) God’s standards remain, they do not change and there is a serious urgency for alignment.
As we all know there has been a global shaking with pestilence, lawlessness, unrest among many other precarious things happening in this hour. I strongly believe that in this shaking that the idols in our lives are falling, sins are being exposed, the stubborn hindrances and walls that have been built up in our hearts over time are tumbling down. It is in this place that we are shifted/aligned to God’s standard in His Word, His plumb line. It is here that God is enthroned on humbled hearts and we all with unveiled faces as in a mirror are being transformed into the same image (Christ-likeness) from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
"The idols will fall in the shaking."
We must take close heed to our hearts and pay very careful attention to it, for blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. We must cry out like David in this hour, “Search me O God, and know my heart; try me and know my concerns, and see if there is any wicked way in me.” We must make our heart health a priority by carefully examining it in light of scripture so that it’s not clogged with bitterness, hate, jealousy, malice, unforgiveness, pride, self-righteousness, prejudices, unbelief, seeking praise, and vainglory.
The written Word is our standard and the Living Word, Jesus is our model for righteous living. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags. Only in Jesus, through Jesus, and by Jesus do we have any righteousness.
Does this mean we live every day taking count of every sin? Absolutely not. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Our sin debt has already been paid by the finished work of the cross. Instead, we abide in the Vine and live in awareness of the Sovereign Lord who wrecks our hearts with His uncontainable love, mercy, and grace and all we want to do is please Him. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
We love Him because He first loved us and His regenerating power helps us to live as He wants. His love is the greatest motivation for change. It’s not given in exchange for our effort, rather progressive Christ-likeness is a result of His great love for us. It’s because of His love for us that humbled and repentant hearts are cleansed.
God gives more grace to the humble, empowering us to align with His Word and His heart. His grace is sufficient and His power is perfected in our weaknesses helping us to live by every Word that comes from His mouth: His plumb line.
Many times it's the “little foxes” the little compromises, what we consider small areas of transgression that can gradually shift us out of alignment. We all sin and fall short of lining up with God’s Word and His glory but we must continually by faith appropriate and rely on the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work in our hearts.
Father, we thank You for Your Holy Word. Break our hearts for anything in our lives that are not in alignment with Your standard. We desire our lives to line up with Your Word but sometimes the good that we will to do we do not do, and the evil we will not to do, we do.
Forgive us, Lord. Wash our hearts and revive us so that we can be useful in Your hand, empowered by Your Holy Spirit as we make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace.
11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.
13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. - Psalms 19:11-14
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11