I wrote awhile ago about a vision the Lord gave me of the world. It has expanded and now I get how. Word study ahead!
It’s been some time since I penned the vision He gave me. I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, to write the intricacies of it and to try and incorporate it into my life. In the year and a half since He has also given me three additions to it, and I want to share two of them today, because in the midst of writing a post recently the weight of them hit me full-on.
To give a brief synopsis in case you’ve not time to go read that rather lengthy post, the vision centers wholly around a large, impossibly large, white mansion inside of which resides not only the Risen Christ, but the Father and the heavenly host. There is a rather dense view of the world outside this house, but for today we toil in its walls for sake of not keeping you locked in reading for hours. In those walls I initially saw three rooms: the foyer, gleaming and spotless, where Jesus greeted and held my child self, a large stairwell leading to where I do not know but presumed the living quarters of His children, and a large living room where humans and angels sing an eternal hymn of Love to Jesus who sits in the center of the room.
There is a glory in those voices I hear to this day in worship; if you know me you know I raise my hands high in worship, and this is why: I am stretching as hard as I can to come closer to that room to hear those voices. The beauty is as unspeakable as the pain of discord that comes of the voices missing, the voices of the lost outside. It is that pain I’ll write about today.
Rock out with your flock out
The first addition came in the midst of worship at church during the song So Will I and I was as confused by it as I was fascinated. The vision was quick at first, a flash of forgotten memory, and I didn’t immediately catch it as a vision. You might have read about it on Facebook if we’re friends there, but forgive the duplication please.
It comes as I am hugging Jesus in the foyer and I notice that to my left, near the base of the stairwell, there is a broad hallway I didn’t see at first. Instead of going to the living room to worship at the feet of the beloved Logos I walk toward this hall and see the first room, if it can be constrained to such a description. Out of this room radiates a thrum of energy that makes my heart ache, so curious to understand I go inside. Immediately I am wrapped in the thunder of applause and a cacophany of music — modern worship music. I realize I am hearing the same song in the vision that I hear in my ears, but amplified to a degree that its harmony radiates inside your bones. The room is enormous, a rock concert stadium holding more people than I’ve ever seen — thousands and tens of thousands are there, human and angel alike.
The thrum outside, the energy that pulled me in, is the emphatic worship of these souls, the dancing and singing and raising of hands, and it confused me. Jesus sits in a room just outside this concert on a seat you can surround, a room where the symphony of heaven plays for His glory, so why would all these people be here? The worship is amazing, the emotions evoked with every strum of the electric guitar and the excitement from every drum beat are palpable and overwhelming. But why would such powerful worship go on in a room other than where Our King sits with us? For that I need to take you through the second addition to the vision.
Standing in the blaring concert of praise I notice yet another room off the hallway. I realize I am both in the hallway and in the concert, and I’m not sure I can express to you how odd that colocated feeling was; it was much the same feeling I had staring out the window, but that’s another discussion. In this second room I feel excitement. It speaks my language: in it there are vast whiteboards and a great many tables and groups surrounding those tables. This is a planning room, and these are teams of angels and humans working. I manage these kinds of teams every day; I know how this room works.
As I advance in I see presenters and scribes, drawings and post-its. I can scarce tell you how comforting and familiar this room is. Where the worship of Jesus strikes me quiet and overwhelmed by Love, and where the concert finds me in awe but awkward (I have neither musical inclination nor the comfort to dance), this room draws out my core and I feel a comfort, an ease, that I’ve rarely felt in this life. Across every table, on every whiteboard, and on the shirts and hats of many I see a label, a logo, that I’m still trying to draw but I can name for you: Mission: Zero. The actual logo uses the number 0, and every time I try to focus on it I see only a feeling (if that makes sense), an understanding of what it is without the knowledge of it. I think that means I need an interpreter for it, an artist to render it.
I approach the nearest table, the nearest team and I hear them talking about their target audience, their resource bandwidth, their feedback loops. There is real work going on here, and without forcing you to hear about my daily grind suffice it to say that this was a product development discussion. Many of these people are still carrying the “glitter” of the concert, the look of a psyched-up people ready to put that energy to use. At this table they are focused around a song, about the feelings and thoughts evoked by it. I realize that they are planning a set list for some event, an event to go down outside to bring in some of the lost, a very specific group: lovers of electronic music.
This room is devoted to the harvest, to planning the gathering of the missing voices. I was granted answer to one question: what is Mission: Zero? The reply stunningly simple: to deprive hell of souls.
In John chapter 14 verses 1 and 2 Jesus makes a statement:
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions;”
The word “believe” is, of course, an offshoot of pistis: pisteuete and it is a subjunctive verb, which means it is about wishing something to happen. So the word isn’t “believe”, but “want to be convinced”. That changes it, huh? Well verse two is going to radically change.
See, the word rendered “house” here is the feminine noun οἰκία, oikia, and it does not mean house. The word for house is the masculine noun οἶκος, oikos. If the house is masculine what feminine word do we need for the same thing? Well, the masculine word is about the structure, the house itself. The feminine word is about what makes it up, what makes it alive: the family. But not the people, rather the family unit, the structure. If oikos is the house then oikia is the home. Our Father’s home is His Kingdom, the body of Christ added to the angels and the heavenly host. Every inhabitant of that impossibly large white house in my vision.
The word rendered “mansions” here is μονή, mone, and they are places where you meno, where you wait. But as I explained in that post it is a specific kind of waiting: the kind where you are standing your ground for battle. Where 1 Corinthians uses hypomenei to indicate this kind of waiting in a milder form, the word Jesus used is full-force. If you are a hunter then mone are duck blinds or deer stands. If you are a soldier these are your posts or your bunkers. These aren’t mansions for opulence and relaxation, these are places to do something.
So what was Jesus saying here? The traditional interpretation is the He is telling the disciples that they should trust Him because He is making a place for them in Heaven. The thing I realized while writing, that I mentioned above, is that this is hogwash. Or at least partially hogwash. This wasn’t Brother Jesus talking about some comfy afterlife; this was King Jesus explaining the architecture of the Kingdom. Why would the Kingdom of God need many places to await battle? Because we have spiritual battles to fight. But why the focus on “many”?
It’s because every one of us is needed. Every one of us has a place. What does this have to do with my vision? In verse 2 of John 14 Jesus goes on to say He goes to prepare a place for us. Can you catch that? That concert, that planning room… Those were not always there. They were constructed by the Logos: made because people change, and as they do the Kingdom changes and grows. This was Our King telling us that there is not one standard, one procedure, one mode of service, but that the make-up of the Kingdom is living, breathing, adaptive, and inclusive.
He is not just telling the disciples they have a home with God, but a purpose in His family.
You be you
He is saying it to us, too. He is telling us to stop trying to emulate someone else, stop trying to cover up who you are to be what someone else told you to be. Stop denying yourself, decrying yourself as evil or useless. Stop thinking your skills have no Kingdom use. In Our Father’s Kingdom there are many, many battle stations, and before you think there isn’t one that fits your individual style, rest assured the Logos already built a new one for you. Your warfare won’t look like mine, your skills and your glories will be as different as the skills and glories of people in the Bible. God doesn’t simply tolerate your uniqueness, He created it and customized His very behavior to it. He is your Father and mine, and He raises us differently. Reject the voice of homogenization and limitation. Embrace the call of the Spirit to be who you are meant to be. It doesn’t matter what I think about your battle post or you think about mine. What matters is that we are all dedicated to our posts and fulfilling our roles in the Kingdom.
As we enter 2018 I challenge you: do not ask who you want to be or how you want to change; instead, ask yourself who you are and why. Ask what your role in the Kingdom is and let the Spirit lead you to the battle station only you can hold, the waiting only you can handle, the fight only you can win. Together we can not only populate heaven, but depopulate hell. Instead of just keeping on the path trying to arrive safely at death we can choose to chase the lion and beat that serpent’s head with all the combined force of the might of God. Who’s with me?