A couple of van loads full of enthusiastic energetic young people charged through the rain swept highway towards a night of fun and sport. This is the kingdom of God. That young and old would have fun, build community, see Gods power and laugh a lot. A night of freedom, a night of healing, a night of pizza. A night to remember for the rest of their lives.
Disaster strikes, two vehicles break down, for no discernible reason. In the dark, in the rain, with no phone reception. The kingdom of this world seeks to steal, kill and destroy. How else does a perfectly lovely night get ruined the best? Well, first steal. Steal the night from some. Set them up to be disappointed, to compare their disappointments to other peoples enjoyment. Slip that tiny bit of second guessing into the minds of leaders…. Why didn’t we check the battery, why didn’t we check the engine before we left, why didn’t we pray hard or think harder. Why Why Why?
Steal the vision. The vision is Jesus, the vision is freedom, the vision is celebration. When frustration crops up, and its good friend stress joins in, its easy to lose the sense of festival, of celebration, we easily become imprisoned by clouded anger, or self-hate, or judgement on others. When we lose our vision, we can’t see. We can’t go forward, we are forced to sit.
The enemy loves to steal and kill communication between the soldiers of the living God. So in the midst of stress where one needs wise counsel, why not destroy mobile phone reception? Or make five people communicate different things to each other? When we can’t get wise counsel, we can easily play the hero and make great decisions, or play the hero and get ourselves killed, OR I usually second guess myself AND THEN get myself killed.
So in the midst of this incredible invasion of the kingdom of this world by our Lords people, to bring life to the lifeless, joy to the sad, healing to the broken, revolution to the oppressed – we find ourselves in a battle for not only our lives, but theirs as well.
If one goes into a battle like this naively, or arrogantly or without weapons, we find ourselves absolutely destroyed. Discouraged. Dismayed for the next battle as well. BUT, and there is a huge but to this story.
As children of the king. As soldiers of the lord of hosts. As faith filled giants that move mountains with our very breath…. we were prepared. That morning a bunch of us had prayed, we had felt to back this war with prayer and celebration. We had gotten strategy, weapons, supplies. And with these supplies we had filled our comrades back packs with sustenance. We had sharpened swords, open doors, open lips and put words of praise on our tongues. We were prepared to take the battle to the enemy and raid his kingdom and take back the night. We sang ‘and the gates of hell won’t stand against us’ we banged the drum of warfare and danced into the night.
So when cars broke down, when tiredness descended, when sitting on couch trying to pray got boring- we were ready. We were ready for it. and the kingdom descended. From the first reports back from the battled field we saw healings, we saw victories, we saw tricks landed and relationships strengthened. And like most battles the shock waves resound days, if not weeks after. A people liberated can sometimes wish for their chains again. The good news of victory can be silenced or amplified. And so we continue on into the year praying and battling further for the lives of the redeemed, the soldiers of the coast line.
We want more. We want more. We want more.