“Before I formed you in the belly,
I knew you."
#eshetchayil #ishchayil #chayil #kingdomorientation #kingdomidentity
Trained from my earliest youth to always look for God’s Purpose, even in the midst of chaos and calamity, I earnestly sought the Lord for a different perspective during this quarantine-shutin! While I do not believe in anyway that God is the source of the Covid 19 or cause of the pandemic, I believe that He is a God who turns what the enemy means for evil into good. I know that He is a God who can bring something beautiful out of something awful and horrific. This writing is in no way aimed at diminishing the devastating impacts associated with this virus. We ourselves continue to personally grieve the severe suffering and loss of so many people we know and love, under the worst circumstances. This traumatic pandemic has led to historic unemployment numbers, bankruptcy and more. When the entire world was basically stopped in its tracks, a great global shut-in was in effect. I couldn’t help but lean in to God, through my pain, in an effort to answer these reverberating questions: “Lord, where are You in this?" "What are You after?” With all conveniences and distractions removed, I could see an emphasis on faith and family. I came to view this quarantine, among other things, as a time of true REPENTANCE and REALIGNMENT which would usher in a REVIVAL, one like we had never seen in the history of the church. Like many others, one scripture I’ve marinated in during this global shut-in has been 2 Chronicles 7:14, which emphasizes the 3 Rs stated above, the last of which is a result of God’s great power!
Further, I believed the repentance that God was after was one beyond the surface shortcomings that we commonly confess. No, this was something different, worthy of the removal of everything that society thought it couldn’t live without, restaurants, libraries, movie theaters, shopping malls, and even church buildings. This was a repentance from a much deeper level of confession, where the words were too difficult to utter. This repentance would result in transformation, a complete change of heart, attitude, intentions, perspectives and even trajectory. Having spent time in the presence of the Lord, we would emerge from this quarantine brand new! If so, this would be the beauty in such an ugly experience.
Then came May 25, 2020. As I watched the dreadful video of the senseless murder of George Floyd, a murder which took place in broad daylight, right before the eyes of several witnesses, and later the world, I wept. In fact I wept for days, as I thought of other recent acts of injustice and killings. It could have easily been any one of our three African American young adult sons. These actions begged the question, "What kind of nation would allow this?" It is a nation in desperate need of TRUE repentance!
What we witnessed in that video was not an isolated event, but rather the exposing of the systemic devaluing of the lives of African Americans, pervasive racism, and the intensified hatred for people of color. The cover had been completely ripped off! It was exposed and we saw it, clearly! Witnessing that murder caused many to “see” for the first time, what has been the reality of so many for so long.
One renown white preacher/teacher quickly posted a prayer of repentance for “hatred, bigotry, violence and the shedding of innocent blood,” saying repeatedly, “Forgive us, for we have sinned!” I have fellowshipped with diverse ministries all of my life, but I had NEVER heard this before! When I read his prayer of repentance I wept even more. I thought to myself, THAT’S IT! This is TRUE repentance, where the thought is not on the many things one has done well or right. Its the repentance that requires the removing of the mask to reveal and confess the long-standing, generational, institutionalized evils, in this case, oppressive structured racism, that has existed for 100s of years. How fitting it would be for this level of repentance to begin in the Body of Christ, the Church!
May this spirit of TRUE repentance flow throughout the Church, our nation, and the world! May we collectively prophesy to the breath, the breath of freedom, commanding it to breathe into these dry bones, so that they may live! May the rushing wind of Pentecost blow over our nation, so that we may breathe! Father may Your righteous justice prevail and Your powerful presence heal our land! Finally Lord, I ask that You bless all of those frontline heroes, who daily risk their lives for the well-being of others. In the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray! Amen!
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 NLT
canceler of darkness