‘Everywhere I go, I’ve been praying for the people: ‘Lord, restore their wild heart. Restore what religion called rebellion, what culture labeled too radical, and what tamed them from being the undignified lovers they were called to be.’ Right now, I pray that over you too.’
Lately, I’ve felt something rising up in me. It’s a strong, powerful force; it’s an unfamiliar feeling. It’s something I’ve never felt before. It scares me, and it rocks the very core of my being…
A call to become a rebel.
Yes, it’s a funny little thing called rebellion.
What’s even funnier is that I know that I know that I know that this feeling is coming from Jesus, and Jesus alone. Even though Holy Spirit is leading me, these are uncharted waters and I feel way out of my depths.
Rebelliousness has a bad rap report. We have been taught that it’s wrong to stand up against authority figures. We’ve been conditioned to believe that we must obey, no matter what. We have been programmed like that since early childhood.
But you know what…? Jesus was a rebel, too.
By nature, I am not a rebellious person. I learned from an early age to respect and obey my authority. And that is exactly what I did; I never questioned my authority figures. I was always the first one to say, ‘Yes, I will do it.’ Authorities included my teachers, parents, spiritual leaders, anyone older than me. Yep, even the government. We know that they have their shortcomings. We are called to pray for our leaders, and that is what I’ve done. I am still praying for them…
Recently, I had a conversation with a dynamic 70-year-old woman. She hails from the Netherlands but moved to South Africa in her early twenties. She got born again and hasn’t left the country since. She’s been involved with a variety of denominational churches her whole life, which includes Baptist, NG Kerke, Roman Catholic, Vineyard, and Bethel Church in Redding, California.
She has been under different spiritual leaderships throughout her life, all from different denominations. Whenever she realized that the appointed leaders were not from God, she would pray, ‘Verander hom of verwyder hom.’ (Change him or remove him).
What a fresh and radical way to look at authority. Yes, they have been appointed by God, but God also has the power to remove them. We are instrumental when it comes to this. We are the key to this – we can ask God to appoint Godly leaders. When the righteous flourish, the city rejoices.
It’s up to us to claim authority and say, ‘Enough is enough.’
There’s something strange going on in the world these days. Have you, by any chance, noticed it yet? We have been forced into regular lock-downs, forced into constant isolations, forced to wear unhealthy masks, and now we are being forced to get vaccinated.
These implemented steps from the government are not, I repeat, not, from God. God gave us free will. Jesus died so that we could have a choice and, above all, free will. God will never force anything upon us.
Now our free choice and free will are being taken away from us.
And we are allowing it to happen.
We comply with these unlawful laws, we freely give up our freedom, we give the authorities the right to trample on our rights.
One such way is church gatherings – or any gatherings of any kind.
Spiritual leaders are allowing the government to tell them how to run their churches.
Don’t get me wrong.
Yes, I know there is a virus out there. Yes, I know people are dying from it every day.
But I can’t help but wonder:
What would Jesus have done?
Now is the time, more than ever, that we need to pray for each other. Now, more than ever, we need to lay hands on each other and hug one another. Now, more than ever, we need to come together and stand strong. There is strength in numbers. When we come together, there is a corporate anointing.
I can only imagine that if Jesus were walking on the earth now, he would’ve chuckled and said, ‘I only do what I see my Father in Heaven doing.’
And what did Jesus do?
When He walked on this earth, it was a time of intense strife and governmental corruption. But He didn’t focus on politics, He didn’t focus on the laws of the land. Instead, He focused on what He was called to do: to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick (and just look at how many people are sick lately!! Not just from the virus, but from fear and anxiety!!). We are to command fear, anxiety, and depression to leave. We are the ones that need to stand in the gap and say, ‘This is not acceptable.’
Instead, what are we doing? We are hiding in our homes, afraid of a thing called the corona. Afraid that the government will lock us up if we don’t comply with the ‘rules.’
Here’s something much more radical:
What if God is telling us to start gathering again? What if He’s telling us to pray for the sick – yes, even the ones with corona? What if He’s showing us where we need to lay our hands, to command fear and anxiety to leave in Jesus’ name? What if He’s guiding us where the needs are, and we are the very ones that are the embodiment of Christ Jesus?
My beautiful friend and a powerful woman of God, Yolanda, recently told me, ‘A prophet is a rebel, for he only listens to Holy Spirit.’
In other words: when we can hear the voice of the Lord, we have the opportunity to listen to Him. What God says has to trump over what everyone else is saying: the media, the doctors, the neighbors, our family, etc. And when we choose to listen to the Voice of Truth… now that makes us rebels in our own rights.
It’s time to switch off the noise of the world and listen to the One Voice that truly matters. To listen, and obey the one true God – now that might look like radical rebellion in the times we are living in.
(But we already know that everything in God’s Kingdom is upside down. So being a rebel shouldn’t bother us so much.)
My father was a pastor, and he was a rebel in his own kind. He wore edgy clothes, loved wacky shoes, and even grew his hair long at one stage. He was all for nonconformity. When people told him to do this, he went and did the opposite. He wasn’t a rebel in the kind that he had a negative attitude; he simply went his own way and chose to be led by the Spirit.
I know that I know that I know, if my father was alive today, he would’ve long ago decided to climb over the regulations implemented by the government. For we are not to be led by the spirit of fear, but by the Spirit of the Lord.
What leads your spirit these days? Is it fear? Anxiety? Hope? Joy? Peace?
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the stories I read in school. True stories of missionaries who went to foreign countries to bring the Gospel to the unsaved people. They were ready to die for their cause, and some of them even ended up as martyrs. As a child, I thought these stories were gruesome and unnecessary. Why not just lie in the moment, lie low and pretend you’re submitting to the laws of the land…?
But now that I’ve been reading up on those stories again, it’s starting to make sense. I’m looking at the world around me, and those stories are even more relevant today. These are stories of courage, perseverance, passion, and a willingness to carry through with the Great Plan against all odds. These missionaries were rebels in their own right, fighting against injustice and intolerance. Most of the countries they went to, had taken away people’s freedom and rights of religion. Doesn’t it sound exactly like what’s happening these days…?
‘These missionaries knew that the cost… could take away everything they held dear on this earth. Parents, loved ones, children, safety, and health. While they found peace and security in God, they knew that there would be little comfort out in the wild Amazon jungle, traveling by crowded train in India, or preaching the gospel in a rural village in Burma.
Still, these pioneer missionaries endured through their trials and sufferings because of their love for God and their desire for Him to be known among the nations. They willingly gave their lives to Christ and dedicated all their days to living for Him. If need be, they were willing to die for Him. Their lives are seeds that went into the ground, multiplying and bearing much fruit. Their commitment to loving Him above all else encourages us to do the same and to follow in their footsteps.
Someone went before us and followed God’s call on their lives to prepare a way into the hardest and darkest places on earth through prayer and obedience to the Holy Spirit. They were just ordinary humans serving an extraordinary God. But because they were the first willing people to go, God has used their stories of faithful dedication to be a legacy in inspiring others to go and continue pioneering the land and make disciples.
A simple definition of a pioneer missionary is:
‘They boldly went where no Christian had gone before.’
It’s time for us to take up the baton and carry the flame even further. It’s time to start a wildfire that will engulf South Africa, and eventually the whole wide world.
There’s a global, forever-lasting revival coming. But I’m going to let you in on a secret:
God didn’t desire to do it on His own; He wants you to do it with Him.
Lana Vawser posted something on her Instagram that encouraged me greatly: ‘I (God) am raising up a people in these days. A people forged and formed in the depths of the fire with me. They are rising up as warriors like never before with renewed authority. A deeper awakening is upon them. The power of My Word and the commission is upon their lives. These are my burning ones.’
G.K. Chesterton once said, ‘Jesus promised his disciples three things: they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.’
As much as I would love nothing more than to live on a ranch with horses, tucked far away from the tribulations of this world and the voices of fear it amplifies, we cannot ignore what is happening.
We are in the midst of a war.
But the good news is: we are winning.
The definition of a rebel – for me – is being a pioneer. We are breaking the wind, going where no one has gone before, and we are showing others the way.
In honor of my father, who loved reading up on the Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic meanings for certain words in the Bible, here’s one that will boggle your mind:
In Biblical Hebrew, the word for pioneer is חָלוּץ (chalats). This word means one equipped for war. In Modern Hebrew, the word means pioneer, the one who goes first in a great venture. The root of this word also means strength and vigor.
For some reason, I love John the Baptist. Yes, he had a terrible end, but we forget that all Jesus’ disciples had a terrible end as well.
There’s a verse that I truly love – ‘From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of God suffers violence, and the violent takes it by force.’ (Matthew 11:12)
John the Baptist was a pioneer, and he prepared the way for Jesus to come. So can we as rebels of Jesus make the way for others? We can choose not to be moved by this world. We are the sons and daughters of the living King, and we are crowned with royalty and authority. We are the ones claiming the world for Jesus, but we need to take it by force.
‘Jesus is the Ultimate Pioneer who made a way for us. He is to be our perfect example of what it means to be the first to go so that others may enter into the joyful abundance of God’s presence.
With Jesus as our leading example, we have the opportunity to go where no man has ever gone before to bring the gospel to people who have never before heard the name of Jesus in their own language.’
It is in our DNA to advance, make progress, break wind. We are the forerunners, the leaders, the builders, the starters. We are the rebels, the burning ones, the ones spreading the fire of love and revival.
Here are a couple of quotes by Nate Johnston that really fires me up and fans the rebel flame inside of me:
The Lion of Judah is breathing upon what has been dormant.
Welcome to giant-killing season.
This is your season that you will leave the sidelines and join the frontlines.
This is who we are – made in God’s image, bearing His heart, and marked with the fire of heaven. We are the wild lovers of God.
I made this specific design for a reason:
We are the young and old. Women and men. Black and white.
The pioneers. The radicals. The burning ones.
Instead of raising our fists in the air, we raise our hands in worship.
We fly in formation and break through the wind for others to follow.
We are the ones who will break open heaven into this world.
We are on the cusp of a new dawn, a new age, a great spiritual awakening.
We are the rebels with a cause. A cause called Jesus.
Let’s stand up, rise up, with the red dawn in our midst.
It is our time. We were born for such a time as this. We are winning this war.
If you haven’t seen The Chosen series yet, I encourage you to watch it. You can watch it online for free here. At the end of season 1, there’s a great song that gets played. It’s called Trouble by Matthew S. Nelson & Dan Haseltine.
The second song is called Don’t Tread On Me by We The Kingdom.
Pastor At Boshoff from CRC recently stood up to the government restricting church gatherings. Here is a part of what he shared:
Hayley Braun recently spoke about The Great Awakening – a powerful description of how we as Jesus’ Bride are to stand up in this time of turmoil.