“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.
The days between the preaching of John the Baptist and the explosive, widespread excitement of the Messiah breaking forth in the land with signs and wonders, was a rare sliver of time. Old religious paradigms and boxes were being shattered. The masses fled the centuries of a staid and stifling religion in desperate pursuit of direct spiritual encounter. First, up to three-quarters of a million people, according to Josephus, ran to hear and experience the desert preacher John. Then, in a sudden breakout, the great crowds flocked to hear Jesus and see the miracles he was performing. Jesus’ fame spread throughout the whole land. That wonderful season of time was infused with a powerful spiritual attitude which Jesus called “violence”. This was not a violence of weapons and anger. No! This was a violence of spirit that had seized the masses. Daily life was suspended and hearts were upended. It was like the whole world forsook all to press into Jesus. The Messiah was passing by, and their day may have been the only day.
As I gaze over the spiritual landscape of America, while not ignoring the horrible agony that millions are living in, I am gripped with hopeful amazement. I see a new breed of leaders articulating with dynamic energy new ideas, a unity of love, and an indomitable faith that the kingdom is at hand. I believe the grandfather clock of historic time kicked in, at least in some measure, at The Send. Stunningly, The Send sent a message, and evangelists are all aflame with it. I see widespread expectancy of a new Jesus Movement. In 2020 I see potentially 8-10 stadiums being prepared now for massive breakouts of evangelism and sending in America, let alone the stadium visions of Europe and South America. I believe this stadium surge is a harbinger of a mass jailbreak out of old systems and structures into a new day of freedom, love, and Holy Spirit power. What has gotten into these men and women? Risking everything – their own finances, their futures, their reputations – to go for stadiums. It’s a spirit of holy violence. Even the Jesus Fast that you are on now is preparing the way for the 2020 vision. There is coming a Super Bowl for the church!
Jesus after his fast came out in the power of the Spirit. After this fast, if you are hearing the voice of God, don’t stay in the bleachers. Seize your divine moment. Buy your field of dreams. The new breed has heard the voice, “If you build it, He will come. If you build it, they will come.” Whether it’s a stadium or a studio, a prison or a political post, a business or a book, don’t let fear be the disconnect between the dream and the destiny. The Great God is in the risk. Seize your divine moment. Your fast has fueled your future.
Father we pray for this generation – make it the greatest generation. Today, cause men and women to lay hold of dynamic kingdom impact with a spirit of holy violence. Raise up preachers with a fiery tongue that will challenge the universities of Babylon’s pagan professors. Raise up men and women of faith who will dare to believe that God will put them in the highest places of influence in the land to reshape its culture with God-brilliance and integrity. Pour out a great baptism of love and sonship that can alone produce true societal reform as in the Book of Acts where “they held all their possessions in common and there was not a needy one among them” Acts 4:32-35. Let the kingdom advance violently, with violent love. Create new tracks for new movements through new voices, who have paid the price and risked it all to be the hinge of history, determining the future of America and the nations of the earth. Amen.
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