43,200 rapes. Murdered mother and unborn child. Toddler’s body washed ashore.
I try to write my new book which is oddly on the topic of supernatural rest. But while I attempt to type out these life changing revelations from God, my mind swirls with these recent news stories. A sex trafficked victim who estimates she was raped more than 43,000 times. A pregnant woman shot in the head by a home invader, who later died as did her unborn baby. A drowned toddler who joins the countless other bodies washed ashore in Europe as they fled from their country.
I sit in the silence and look outside my window. It’s sheer beauty. Right here in front of me. Warm. Safe. Peaceful. But it’s not beautiful everywhere. Not warm, safe or peaceful.
What’s to be done?
I cry out to the Lord the only thing I know to say. “I care, Lord. I care. In the name of Jesus, I care about these people and other heart-breaking stories.”
And to be candid, there is more to the mental swirl. The “red cup” coffee fiasco. Various celebrity plastic surgeries and adulteries. The nauseous amount of Santa Clauses crowding my Thanksgiving shopping.
Again, I cry out to the Lord. “I don’t care. I don’t care. In the name of Jesus, I don’t care about this insipid world.”
What’s to be done Lord? The days we live in are rife with evil and stupidity and counterfeits. So how do we maintain Heaven’s heart in the here and now?
The worship song playing in the background releases a holy answer.
I take my dignity and break it at your feet.
I have come to receive all your glory.
I take my dignity and break it at your feet.
I have come to receive all you have for me.
How do we break out of our lesser selves? How do we radically shift our focus off of the very things that choke out life?
The Bible has already cautioned us. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:15-16
Every evil we see today begins here. Lust and pride. Harsh I know, but true.
So what are our options? Give in. Run away. Or, bring heaven here.
You already know the Give In people. Every day we see Christians reduce God to a Sunday sitcom. No power, no passion. No real threat or alarm to the enemy. No real help in today’s troubles.
The Run Away Christians are terrified little rabbits who don’t want to get slimed by the world so they hide in little boxes of holy denial and wait to get “taken out of here.”
But the Heaven Here Christians…what does that look like? How do we bring Heaven to the little part of the world we live in? Trafficking, refugees, crime. Those are global stories. So how do we make global impact with our little lives? I believe it’s through powerful prayer.
My friend Laura said it perfectly at lunch yesterday. “Most people don’t know how to pray. They recite a laundry list but there’s no expectation of Heaven to be released.”
I don’t know about you. But my prayer life is being overhauled. I know about intimacy. I know about declaring God’s goodness in the middle of brokenness. So I am going after a prayer life that lines up with God’s heart. People always blame God for the world’s problems. But He already released the three elements needed for change.
Jesus, the Holy Spirit and us.
Prayer is a divine weapon that carries the resurrection power of Jesus combined with the brooding presence of the Holy Spirit to lead and intercede with us to change outcomes. Prayer is when we get in that intimate place with God and starting agreeing with Him. We start seeing what He sees. We start believing like He believes. Heaven is released on earth when we pray like Jesus instructed. Father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
There is no trafficking in heaven. No murder in heaven. No drowned refugees in heaven. So let it be on earth, in the name of Jesus, as it is in heaven.
Does this stretch you like it does me? Even as I write this, I remember the worst hurricane ever was headed toward South America. We were right in the middle of The Launching. Many of us prayed fervently for God to move. By morning it was reduced from a category 5 to a category 2. Sound crazy? “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.” James 5:17
Why believe in less? Step up to the spiritual plate. Don’t get sidetracked by the stupid. Pray in power and faith. After all, the prayers of the righteous person avails much.
15-17 Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods.
Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father.
Practically everything that goes on in the world—
wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself,
wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father.
It just isolates you from him.
The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—
but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.
1 John 2 Message