Eighteen. That’s the number of school shootings that have occurred in the mere 53 days since the new year.
Twenty-three. That’s the number of people who have died – students & faculty – at the hands of this evil.
A week ago was Valentine’s Day. And what was meant to be a celebration of peoples’ love for each other, quickly turned into an all-out assault against the sons and daughters of this nation at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida.
My spirit grieves at the thought of those twenty families who have been forever marked by the loss of their loved ones this year alone. My spirit grieves at the terror and trauma everyone one of those children must now live with.
I do not say this to appeal for greater gun control laws, for to do so would be to ignore the heart of the issue. And those children and teachers who were murdered at the hands of this evil deserve better than that. Their deaths demand that we get to the root of the issue.
So with this, I do not appeal to the lawmakers. Rather, I desperately appeal to the global and local Church. Brothers and sisters, it’s time to wake up. The Church has slept for far too long. Too many believers have abandoned their posts as watchmen on the walls of intercession. Do you not see the darkness that saturates this nation? I think that, perhaps, the Church has become far to comfortable with darkness. Evil surrounds our steeples and we are numb to it. We choose, instead, to look toward the light and ignore the chaos around us. But the very light that we use as a distraction itself bids us to turn around and face the shadows of this world with valor and vigilance.
While the prayer meetings of our churches have become the least attended gatherings, school shootings and other tragedies continue to happen. Not only that, but they seem to accelerate at a terrifying pace. It seems a week cannot pass without news of tragedy. Murder, rape, assault, racism, prejudice, mental illness, and evil have become the national normal. And where are the intercessors? Where are the prayer warriors? Where are the children of God flinging themselves upon the altars, weeping for the souls that have been lost to this darkness? Have we lost our compassion? Have we lost hold of who we, as the Church, were designed to be?
How long will the watchmen abandon their posts? How long will the houses of prayer be empty of prayer warriors? How long will we remain selfish? How long will we distract ourselves with the American Dream? The American Church has become so saturated in the culture – a culture of selfishness, self-success, and self-prioritizing – that she has become useless, weak, and devoid of power in times of national crises.
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters. If there ever was a time to rise, it’s now. Darkness is sweeping across the nation. Are we satisfied to stand by and watch it happen?
As I think upon this tragedy and even now as I write this appeal, I feel Holy Spirit saying, “THIS MEANS WAR.” In the face of darkness, deception, and the all-out demonic assault that leaves not even our children untouched, we must firm our stance and cry back to the darkness that THIS MEANS WAR.
My spirit grieves because I look at the global Church and I struggle to find the Warriors; those who would rise and push back against the darkness.
Friends, we can no longer afford unfaithfulness! We can longer afford compromise! We can longer afford complacency! We can no longer afford distraction! These things we have allowed to creep into our local churches and it has literally cost countless lives and souls.
We must awaken to the reality that there is a war being waged in the supernatural and it is no longer being fought in secret places; the battlefield has now become our homes, our schools, our workplaces. The time grows more desperate.
I’ve spent my morning fighting tears as I read the stories of what happened yesterday, interceding for those affected. I am burdened for our nation, for the American Church, for Parkland and all the other communities that have suffered this year alone, and for the local churches who stand on the frontlines.
I am gripped by a vision of the Church – local and global – that is no longer satisfied with words, but feels compelled to act. It’s time for we as believers to stand and say, “Enough is enough!” We must abandon our distractions, our inner idols, our false priorities, our vices, our pet sins, and get serious about the cause of Christ! It’s time for the games to stop!
I see a Church that fights. I see prayer rooms filled to overflowing as people weep and travail between porch and altar over this nation. I see altars bursting at the seems. I see worshippers dancing upon the battlefield. I see voices singing out the name of Jesus as their battle cry. I see homes centered around the presence of Jesus night and day. I see people so wrapped up in Jesus that miracles, signs, and wonders follow them wherever they go.
Wake up, Church. The enemy has issued an all-out assault. But the Father has commissioned us for such a time as this. Let us rise as people of God, as supernaturally endowed warriors, in our homes, in our churches, and in our communities. Let us ascend to the walls of intercession and abandon our posts no longer. THIS MEANS WAR.