And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. –Mark 6:5 ESV
Several weeks ago following the Jewish (Biblical) New Year we began to see some changes at VCC Church in Laguna Niguel, California. Almost immediately healings began to increase exponentially with 32 coming during our services the first weekend following the new year. The words that clearly came to me when I tried to discern what this might mean for the future were these:
Paradigm shift and Time to leave Nazareth.
What I believe that it means is that it is now a new ball game for our church and I believe it could also be for every church in America that the Lord has been preparing for revival.
The enemy intends to marginalize the American church, and contain it within four walls while bringing actual cultural condemnation upon it but God means for us to become the light shining in the darkness with a contrast that can no longer be ignored or denied.
The American church has lingered in Nazareth far too long and we have become satisfied with decreasing expectations and have even marveled at a few healings in our midst. We have become comfortable with the picture of Jesus reading and teaching the scriptures in the Synagogue and have accepted that as a major vision for the ministry of the church. Even the few wonderful healings we have had are considered exceptions and we call them ‘supernatural’ when they are supposed to be a natural part of our DNA. But Jesus did so much more on the road and in the marketplaces on the way to Jerusalem- major healings, miracles, and the raising of the dead- all life changing events for those involved and demonstrations of the reality of the Kingdom.
Meanwhile there is an unprecedented world-wide harvest going on all around the 3rd world with millions coming to Christ with miracles and signs following. Tragically most American Christians are not even aware of the major breakthrough of the kingdom in far away places while America and the West are increasingly becoming secular in the dominant culture and world view and rejecting the very Biblical foundations on which this nation and civilization were built.
It is time to leave Nazareth and head toward our destiny in the New Jerusalem with the Kingdom breaking out in our midst all along the way. What this means is that the old preconceptions about the church and what is possible are about to change. It can no longer be contained within the four walls of the church but the Lord is calling on us to take it to the streets, neighborhoods and marketplaces.
It isn’t going to be about few gifted leaders that people come from afar to see but like Jesus sending out the 70 (or 72):
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. –Luke 10:2-3 ESV
It will not be about professional ministers except God has raised up pastors all around America with a vision for preparing his people- regular Christians to be involved in the coming revival and as they participate their testimonies will be just like those 70 (or 72) that Jesus sent out:
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” –Luke 10:17 ESV
Put it to the test and see if it is not a brand new ball game where you are. Just start praying for the sick around you and see what happens. Pray for the guy that doesn’t have a job and see if he doesn’t finally get the position of his dreams. It is a new day on the road to New Jerusalem. Not everyone will come but those who do will be blessed and they will receive a new vision for the American church and Kingdom ministry.