I, for one, choose the latter.
Help me, Lord, to put aside the old and embrace the new!
"California, Revolution, and the Angel of Innovation"
I believe this May, a revolution comes of full age for the state of California and it is going to affect everybody, everywhere. California is the world's catalytic leader for most everything, and has further more become the catalyst for culture itself. It is both an enigmatic and magnetic state that much of the nation has a simultaneous love/hate relationship with. There are unhinged, unbalanced policies, requirements and taxes that are "head scratchers" almost everywhere, yet it is the number one destination for dreamers from all over.
This dynamic allows it to have almost 1/8 of the total United States population (over 40 million) and to be an economic global powerhouse all on its own terms. Not only is it a Promised Land of sorts for dreamers here and from nations south of the border, but it is a top destination for millionaires from China, as well as other Asian nations. In actuality, there is a significant number of people from almost every nation on the planet. Whatever California's faults are, it is still the most welcoming state in the union (to some that IS its fault). California is wacky, wonderful, irritating, and exhilarating all at once.
California: God's View
"Many are trying to jumpstart old expressions of revival and holiness, but what I sense is coming is decidedly not that but something altogether new."
In 2012, while pastoring with my wife in Atlanta, Georgia, the Lord spoke to me about His heart for California, and out of that we moved to California, where we have been based for the last 5 years. What He spoke to me was this:
"California has been minimized and diminished. It has been prophesied into the sea. It has been railed against. My Holy Spirit broods over that state, and I am not done with California. It has been the head of society for over 100 years, and it will still continue to be that. The 7 mountains of California release realities that not only affect the whole nation, but they set a standard for the whole world. What starts in California goes global. I am now going to radically affect the 7 mountains of California and as a product of that the seven mountains of the world will be affected.
"I want you to move to California and I want you to speak and prophesy that everywhere. Cast down every prophetic word of judgment against California and encourage and walk beside those that are on those 7 mountains. The enemy wants the Church to abandon California and to prophesy her demise so that the mantles and anointings I intended for California would be distorted and counterfeited."
God then walked me through California's history of the last 100 plus years and the catalytic nature of everything that happens here on the 7 mountains. California is a Promised Land and it has in macro form a most uncanny resemblance to natural Israel. This, I am sure, is part of a mystery yet to be revealed. California's topography and agriculture also have an uncanny resemblance to Israel's. As a center of innovation and cutting-edge advances, it has again a matching dynamic with Israel.
Furthermore, California is a major destination for Jews—and the Los Angeles area alone has an estimated 1 million who call the city home. While California is famous for "Hollywood" and "Silicon Valley" (Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Ebay, Amazon, etc.), many of the key people in both of those industries are Jewish. They are also at the tops of the other 7 mountains of society as they live out their Abrahamic commission to prosper. (Photo via Pixabay)
Additionally, they are wired to know that their call is to do something that makes things better for the world. To our shame as the Church, while we have been doctrinally-inspired to tell the world things are worse and worse and are going to soon be cataclysmically so, these descendants of Abraham who mostly don't know Jesus, have been those primarily responsible for making things better for others through their inventions and innovations. They, while not yet reconciled to their Messiah, are doing more to be "salt and light" than those who should be passionately doing that.
We, the Church, have taken great advantage of the advanced tools of technology/social media that they have made available, yet we ourselves have been perhaps the least innovative people on the planet. Christians have typically been so heavenly/rapture-minded that we have been primarily absent from the tech/innovation advances. This is all going to change now.
The Angel of Innovation
As I was praying into an upcoming conference I will be speaking at in Los Angeles, I saw a great angel of innovation presiding over these meetings. This angel has been around, but is being released at another level, coinciding with the 70th birthday of Israel—which is in May.
There is once again interplay between happenings in Israel and California. The event is called SALT (May 3-5), and will be held at the famous Angelus Temple where Aimee Semple McPherson ministered for years. She was particularly known for her creativity and the innovative ways she thought and did everything. Most of her new ways of presenting the Gospel were met with boisterous criticism by the general church leaders of that day, but she became a household name that was greater than that of any Hollywood star of her day (reportedly greater than that of the President himself). She was a top draw, even for Hollywood elites, because of her creative and exciting presence and power-filled meetings that were unlike anything others had seen at church or ministry.
Aimee shocked the religious Christian world by boldly taking all aspects of the Gospel, including the healing power of God, into the mainstream world. She pioneered the usage of radio as a vehicle to reach the masses; she had the first mega church in America—and it was designed to reach the masses. She was the first to use the arts to share the Gospel, often using elaborate productions from the platform to do her preaching. While most of the Church was trying to practice "be ye separate from the world," Aimee was in touch with Jesus' words: "You are the salt of the earth."
By declaring we are the salt, Jesus commissioned us to live lives that are so filled with His love, power, and creative innovation that we literally preserve society, not allowing the world's culture to rot.
During the Great Depression, Aimee outdid the government in feeding the poor of Los Angeles, and she had a tremendous heart of justice with multiple ministries that facilitated that. Though she did not do things perfectly, in spirit she might have been 100 years ahead of most Christians. I believe Aimee had a 7 mountain reformation mentality and understanding along with a rare freedom from religion that allowed her to love unconditionally. The Holy Spirit was clearly with her, as she was also known for the miraculous being her every-day reality.
What she did from the stage of Angelus Temple is now going to go to the stages of the 7 mountains (media, economy, education, government, family, arts, religion) as this angel of innovation is going to be key in activating the salt within us that we were meant to be.
Salting the World with the New
"The enemy wants the Church to abandon California and to prophesy her demise so that the mantles and anointings I intended for California would be distorted and counterfeited."
Something is going to be released at this SALT conference that is going to unleash Christian innovation as never before. I believe it is out of honor to Aimee Semple McPherson that God is choosing her original staging area as a release point for something unprecedented. We are going to cease being the one-trick-pony—the over-reactive, expectant of judgment, fear mongers that we have tended to be. We are going to stop salting societal wounds and realize that salt is a healing, curing, and preserving element when it's used the way God intended, sourced in love.
Many are trying to jumpstart old expressions of revival and holiness, but what I sense is coming is decidedly not that but something altogether new. The young will probably have to showcase this next expression as we older ones are almost terminally inclined to seek yesterday's version of revival and holiness. Many are sensing the wave of the new coming in, but with it some are trying to reboot what was yesterday's expression of a move of God, based often on yesterday's assumptions of it being "the very last days."
Rather than belaboring that or further expounding upon that, let me just say a revolution is about to be unleashed and I believe it will start in California. It will be called many things, but ultimately it will be about the people of God shifting into innovation at every level.
Just as businesses become irrelevant if they don't innovate, so too will those who stick to the old script of how God moves and become irrelevant in societal reformation. He is calling us to showcase His Kingdom in the 9 to 5 world by evidencing that we actually have a living relationship with the Creator of the universe. He has solutions, upgrades, and new ways of doing things for everything. Mining can be done a new way. The homeless can be taken care of in a new way. School can be taught in a better way. Energy can be plentiful, free, and non- polluting. There ARE cures for AIDS, cancer, blindness, quadriplegics, Alzheimers and more.
The plight of inner cities can be solved. The penal system can actually be rehabilitated. Elections can happen transparently and fairly. Sex-trade and the pornography epidemic can be completely interrupted. Cars can be upgraded where accidents are rare. The FBI, the FDA, and the IRS can all be reformed and upgraded. Housing can be beautiful and affordable. Poverty can essentially be eliminated. Science can prove God is who He says He is. And so on and so on.
We have assumed that most of these above plights can only be fixed by traditional repentance and revival. However, what is lacking is the innovative solutions sourced in love from those who are called by His name to bring a better way that becomes the new standard bearer. Germs, for example, didn't cease being problems through more prayer, holiness, or revival. Someone discovering how germs thrive and how to kill them is what became the game-changer. (Photo via Pixabay)
Practical honesty is not currently increasing in society because more people are going to church or the like. Practical honesty is increasing because cameras and surveillance technology are bringing another level of undeniable accountability. Even pastors are having to resign now because electronic trails are confirming their misdeeds.
Yes, we also need church meetings done in innovative ways—but it is the Church in society (the Ekklesia) every day that needs to be the greatest evidence of us being the SALT. The baptism of fire that is present and upcoming on the Church is to burn up the religious boxes we have mainly camped in. We are going to learn that the things we love to sing about our God are the very expressions of Him He wants us to become in society. We sing song after song of how He radically, unconditionally loves us, forgives us, restores us, gives us another chance, is kind, is generous, is graceful, etc. None of our songs are about how pleased we are that He points out our sin or how He holds us accountable, yet somehow we think that is a valuable role for US as it relates to the world. Aren't you glad that is all going to change?!
California is now going to go into total overhaul-mode. Intruders, impostors, and ingrates are going to lose positions of power and influence, especially on the mountain of government, making opportunities for those with hearts to truly serve. California will cease being an orphan state, bereft of identity and ignorant of her assignment. Out of that will come unending ripples of grace and benevolence to the nations. Christians as well are going to cease operating as orphans, bereft of identity and ignorant of our assignment. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Johnny and Elizabeth
Johnny and Elizabeth
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