Have you ever felt like you were on a threshing floor? Maybe you feel that way now. Maybe you feel beaten, bruised, and
crushed. There is a scripture that says that a bruised reed God will not break, and yet you’ve been crying out, saying, “God! I
am about to break! Help me!” Well, friend, I have good news for you: if this is you, you are not alone.
I believe there are many on God’s threshing floor at the moment, and I hope the following word will bring some light,
encouragement, and strength to you to persevere. Jesus says, to him who overcomes, I will give… To receive all that God
has to offer, we must submit to the Lord and overcome the obstacles that lie before us. If we commit to do so, God will see to
it that the mountains are winnowed into dust before us, that the high places are made low, and the crooked paths made
straight. This applies not only to our circumstances, but to each of us individually in our walk with Him.
Recently, as I began my quiet time for the day, the Lord spoke three words to me: “The threshing floor.” And so my research
journey began. There are many scriptures about threshing. In the Old Testament, many times sacrifices were made on or
near a threshing floor; Ruth received a blessing on Boaz’s threshing floor; in the New Testament, Jesus speaks that He will
take His winnowing fork and separate out the chaff from the wheat.
Since we live in a modern age, with machines threshing, let us begin by reviewing the ancient ways of processing wheat to
make it usable. Wheat is from the grass family, and is comprised of a stalk, chaff (the scaly seed coverings), and the seeds,
or heads, of grain. Threshing, winnowing, and sifting are the methods used to separate out the nutritious, usable grain from
all of the unusable parts. If one of these steps are left out, or performed incorrectly, the grain will not be thoroughly cleansed
and purged, and therefore not ready for use.
First, the wheat must be harvested, and just at the right time. While water is vital for plant growth, once harvest time comes,
water is detrimental. If it has rained recently, and the wheat is gathered while nice and moist, it will rot, grow fungus, or be
infested by insects. Therefore, the wheat has to be totally dry – totally without water for a period of time – in order to be
harvested for use.
The harvesting instrument is the sickle. Using this, workers would cut off the stalks of wheat, and sometimes tie them into
bundles, or sheaves. Imagine, now, that you, as a Christian, are a stalk of wheat in the field. Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest,
and He’s come to harvest you. Let me say this again: Jesus is harvesting you, not the devil. This is an important point to
remember, because harvesting, while producing a usable end product, is a "violent" process.
Imagine that the soil represents the world and all of its values and trappings. As stalks of wheat, we have been watered by
the Word, swayed in the wind of the Holy Spirit, and grown upward toward the light of the Son. However, our roots are still in
the world, and we are attached to an unusable stalk and covered with scales. So the first step in our harvesting is separation
from the world – being quickly and sharply cut off from all of that which you have known.
After harvesting, the sheaves are transported to the threshing floor. A threshing floor was a flat area, usually of compacted
dirt, and about fifty feet in diameter. The sheaves were spread out over the floor and threshed, using a threshing sledge.
Imagine a large board, about 2 feet by 4 feet (the size of a large desktop, for example). Embedded in the full length and width
of the underside are rocks or some kind of sharp tooth-like spike. This sledge was hooked up behind an ox, and the ox
dragged it over the stalks of wheat. The purpose of this was to put pressure on the wheat stalks, and mechanically separate
the heads of grain from the stalk without damaging the grain itself.
Let’s image ourselves again as that stalk of wheat grass, ready for harvest. First of all, we are dry and dying of thirst. We have
had no water for days. As King David said, our tongues cleave to the roof of our mouths. In this condition, we are cut down,
thrown into a dusty cart, and transported someplace we could not see where we were going. Then, we’re thrown onto a hard
floor, and trampled on by a heavy ox with sharp hooves. As if that was not enough, we are scraped and ripped apart by sharp
stones, and the pressure from the weight makes it feel as if we are going to burst apart. Sound familiar yet?
At this point, the pile of wheat is a mixture of the heads of grain and crushed pieces of debris. The next step in the refining or
purification process is winnowing. This involves taking a device like a large pitchfork, and tossing this mixture up in the air.
The wheat, being heavier, will fall to the ground first, with the lighter chaff falling on top. Often, this is done at the end of the
day when the wind is a bit stronger, and the chaff will blow away as it is tossed in the air.
Although not as "violent" as the first two steps, winnowing is not without discomfort. Here we are, still dry, still parched, and
now we are tossed up in the air, only to fall and impact the ground at great speed. Ouch! It is so easy at this point to blame
the devil, or feel abandoned by God, or feel like you are being punished, but the truth is that the Lord of the Harvest is tossing
you up with a smile on His face as the wind of the Holy Spirit comes and blows away debris from your life.
Understanding this is important. We tend to resist the methods God uses, because we are like that wheat – we don’t
understand what is happening to us and why. To say the process hurts is an understatement. Because of this, we tend to
lump these experiences into the “bad” category, when really, they are “good”. Scripture says that Father God was pleased to
crush Jesus. Do we, then, think we are going to escape this, just because we are happy-clappy Christians, and now there is
grace? Jesus is coming back for a spotless bride, which means we have to have all of our debris separated out and
THE THRESHING FLOOR AS A PLACE OF JUDGMENT
We feel like the threshing floor is a place of judgment, where we are being judged for our sins. Unfortunately, many well-
meaning Christians have never really been through this process themselves. They have no point of reference, and so they
tend to point the finger at you as to why all these “bad” things have happened, and why you have been abandoned by God. In
other words, it has to be you, because it certainly is not God. It must therefore be something you are doing. Job’s friends
were great at this.
The truth is that there is some truth in what they are saying. The truth is, it is you, but the other truth is, it is God, because He
loves you and because He is separating out the tares out of your life for His glory. However, we know that satan will use
those closest to us as a weapon against us. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, draping his lies in a blanket of religion. When
you go through this process, you are already hurt, confused, and feeling alone and rejected by all – including God – and the
forces of darkness just feed on that to intensify the attack.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Everything you have known is called into question. Every belief, every scripture,
every promise of God comes under scrutiny. It is in this crucible, this pressure-cooker, that your faith in a loving God, a God
that will not and has not abandoned you, is tested for its sincerity and truthfulness. This is the fork in the road; this is the
place where you will either turn back, because it is too hard, or you will press on in the face of every adversity, and cooperate
with and allow God to finish the good work He began in you.
It is interesting to note that the name for the Roman threshing sledge is tribulum (Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia).
Sounds very close to the word tribulation, doesn’t it? When we go through trying times, inward thoughts, motivations, and
attitudes are pulled and pushed out of us that we didn’t even know were there. It’s like a grape: it looks good from the
outside, but the truth is in the crushing and what comes out. Jesus said that He is treading out the winepress. We somehow
look past the fact that we are the grapes He is treading.
You don’t realize how many tares you have until you are on that threshing floor. Once on the floor, you are in a process you
cannot stop, and that you have no control over. You are utterly helpless, as first you are trodden on, and then run over, and
finally thrown up in the air to fall to the ground. Within this, we must also hold on to the fact that the threshing floor is a place of
blessing. Once that kernel is liberated to fly into the air, it can fly with much rejoicing, because it is free from any constraints or
hindrances, and it is almost ready to be used in a most exquisite way.
To complete the process, the grain must be sifted, or sieved. First the grain is threshed and crushed, which removes some
debris. Then it is winnowed and thrown up in air, where some is blown away. But then in lies in a pile on the ground, where
bits and pieces of debris are stuck and clinging to it, and this must be removed. Because the grain has fallen into the dirt,
when it is scooped up, there even may be little rocks hidden within the grains.
In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, behold, satan has desired you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed
for you, that your faith fail not. And when you are converted, strengthen your brothers” (MKJV). The word for sift here is
“siniazo”, from “sinion”, meaning “a sieve; to sift; to shake in a sieve; fig. by inward agitation to try one’s faith to the verge of
overthrow.” Sound familiar?
Notice here that Jesus says that satan wants to sift Peter. Why? Because he wants Peter to fail. He wants Peter to succumb
to his flesh, he wants Peter to become discouraged, and he wants Peter to give up and walk away. And he wants the same
thing for Jesus. Remember, it is Peter, a person very close to Jesus, who at His greatest hour of need, denies knowing Him
and refuses to help in any way for fear of his own life. If you were Jesus, would this encourage you or discourage you? Let
me tell you, friends. This is part of the sifting process. God allows these tribulations to come into our lives now, because the
tribulation that is coming to this world is even greater. If we do not discover and know our God now, we will not be able to
Jesus knows this. God allows the enemy to come in and to shake us up, so that the shaking will shake away the last of the
impurities that are clinging to us. He allows it so that we can be perfected in Him, made useful and ready for the Master. And
so Jesus prays for Peter, that his faith would not fail. You know, when you get to this point, you’ve already been through so
much. You are bruised, battered, and broken: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Jesus knows that, and just as He
prayed for Peter, He is praying for me and you today, that our faith will not fail.
Many people in the world today are crying out for revival. They are not happy with the state of affairs in our government or our
nation. The question is: are you willing to do something about it? Are you willing to be part of the solution instead of part of
the problem? Are you willing to come out, be separate, and touch not the unclean thing, as the Lord has commanded us in 2
Many things God does are a type and shadow of what is to come. For example, Moses was a type and shadow of Jesus. In
Matthew 13:38-39, Jesus speaks of the end of the ages, and of the angels coming to harvest and separate out the tares from
the wheat. Most Christians look at this from the global perspective, and cry out for God to come and rain judgment on all the
evil in the world.
1 Peter 4:17 says that judgment begins in the house of the Lord first. You can only be separated as a Christian, as the sheep
from the goats, within a nation if you are separated internally within yourself first. God is serious about thoroughly and perfectly
purging His threshing floor, because He needs qualified workers to go out into the fields and assist Him with the Harvest.
Jesus told Peter that after the sifting, and as a result after he converted – after he turned about and came back to the way to go
– to go and strengthen his brethren. It was only by going through the process himself that he would have the insight and
ability to do this.
THE THRESHING FLOOR AS A PLACE OF BLESSING AND NEW BEGINNING
God gives us a promise in Joel 2:23-27: “Be glad then, sons of Zion, and rejoice in Jehovah your God. For He has given you
the former rain according to righteousness, and He will cause the rain to come down for you, the former rain and the latter rain
in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil” (MKJV).
The threshing floor is where the good is separated out from the bad; the usable from the unusable. It is a place of blowing
and shaking away all that is not of Him. If the floors of our lives are not thoroughly purged first, it can spoil the new thing. The
threshing floor is also a place of blessing, of increase, and He does not want any of this to go to waste.
So if you find yourself on God’s threshing floor, being tossed about and shaken violently, like a ship in a storm totally out of
control, be encouraged by the fact that God is the Lord of the Harvest. He has not abandoned you, or rejected you, or is angry
with you. He loves you, and He wants you as a qualified worker in His field – one that has been purged and purified by His
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