I am not what would be known as a “dispensationalist”. Among other things, one who believes in dispensational theology believes in what is known as the “pre-trib” rapture theory. Any who have heard me teach and preach know my stand on that viewpoint. There are many other ideas associated with the pre-trib rapture theory that I disagree with beyond what I feel is the most grievous error, that being the idea that saints will be removed from trouble before the worst of it comes to the earth. The main idea, that there are different “dispensations” or eras in which God deals with humans differently, is one that is filled with error. Most do not connect with the details of dispensationalism; they only know and cling to the popularized idea that has filled the church in the west.
Thus, the dispensational idea that this is the “Laodicean hour” of the church has much truth to it; the great irony is that the theory itself has greatly contributed to the present lukewarm condition of the church. There is, however, a deeper reality fueling the current “pop theology” or the embrace of preaching and teaching that “tickles the ears” and comforts the carnal mind. The greater problem facing the church is a severe lack of hunger and thirst for righteousness.
As an intercessor, I readily and easily connect to this passage in Matt. 5:6. As I have undertaken the journey of prayer over the years I have seen a dynamic thing happen within me that has given me hope. My desires have changed. The things I want and long for have changed. I feel within me the beginnings of a little flame that represent an ache within me to see the righteousness of God established in my life and in my city. It is a real and holy aggression that has seized my heart, a stirring deep within my inner man that has provoked me to press and cry out in the place of prayer. I spend my days praying Colossians 1:9-11 -
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy…”
This is my daily prayer. More than anything else, I want to be fully pleasing to the Lord. I want to know what is on His heart for me, for my life, and for my city - and walk in those things. I yearn for the establishment of the righteousness of God in my life. I long for the divine order of God, true justice, to be expressed through me, my family, and pervade my region.
My wife and I were driving the other day with the kids. We passed an old woman in the passenger seat of a car moving in the other direction. She was severely mentally handicapped. Right now across the nation, the advancements in pre-natal screening allow parents to know in advance whether or not they should keep kids with potential birth defects and mental retardation. Before I could finish the previous sentence, the arrow of God’s zeal over this issue struck my heart with great intensity. I wept for 30 minutes and have been stirred all day over this great and grave injustice. I said to my wife on that day, speaking of the old woman we passed, “imagine a time not far from now when Jesus is King over Jerusalem. You will never see that kind of infirmity again on the earth. She would be fully healed and free from the effects of the curse.”
I imagine an earth free of the injustice of sickness and infirmity under the leadership of Jesus and His glorious power to heal. Mankind, today, is imagining a world free of sickness and infirmity by aborting the weak and the broken. Beloved, this expression of darkness, this terrible injustice, this grave and murderous agreement with the spirit of death must be driven from the earth, never to return. That the righteousness of Jesus would be established in my city, that my children and their children would know a world without abortion and murder, is the great longing of my heart. I am stirred with an indescribable hunger to see the righteousness of Jesus, the light of His truth, and the plans of His heart fully established and expressed here.
As an intercessor, I will fight for this all the days of my life. In the place of prayer, I will go to war, together with my King, against the works of darkness and the expressions of wickedness that permeate the structures and cultures of my earthly home. I despise them. These mocking spirits, these wicked demons, these dark and insidious beings that long to be enthroned fully over my city - I will give them no rest in the place of prayer and worship, night and day, until the peoples of Kansas City, Missouri burst forth into singing, praising the name of my God. I will not rest until every knee bows and every tongue confesses Jesus as Lord in Kansas City. Oh! What a day that will be!
I stand on the promise. He who is already working in me to transform my desires - to love what He loves, and to hate what He hates, will be faithful to complete that work of righteousness in me. What I hunger and thirst for is changing. My appetites for the inferior delights, pleasures, and comforts of this world are diminishing rapidly. I yearn to become a true friend of the Living God. I long to hunger and thirst at a whole new level of desire for the deeper, higher, and greater things of His heart and kingdom. I long to experience a new depth of yearning for the understanding of His word and the knowledge of Him who loves me and prepares me for encounter with Him.
That hunger then transforms into an even greater thirst and ravenous desire for the transformation of my family, church, and city. I will not rest until I see the fullness of the promise He makes to me daily from the Beatitudes: that as I grow in my hunger and thirst for the things of another age, I WILL be filled.
I will not be truly satisfied in the deep places of my soul until I am filled with the fullness of God - all that I can have in this age and the age to come.
4 comments February 20th, 2007