There is a faint rumbling in the air, as you walk up the the long road. You’ve been walking a long while now…feet aching, thirsty, a bit disgruntled, but despite the many offerings to sit and rest a while, or turn back, you have willed yourself forward, step by step. A small, yet powerful voice, has beckoned you forward, “Persevere, my child.” Many promises have been your hope and source of strength. Having died to yourself, living in a scandalously selfless life, among a culture of self-focused individuals. You have stood out among the rest.
A breeze picks up and with it, the applause of what sounds like thousands, resonates in your ears…
You must be nearing your destination…
Having stood out among your peers, the world has constantly looked at you with hungry eyes. This is to say that there has always been constant attention paid to the things you’ve said, written, and done; measuring up the faith spoken and shared, with the actual life lived. Along the path, you’ve fallen. Tripped up in the weeds and pricked by the thorny-roses of lust, greed, pride, and anger, you have indeed bled.
Many are walking the opposite direction, bumping into you with disgust, informing you that you’re heading the wrong way. “You should have made a right turn onto Career Avenue,” a stranger chides. Another insists, “why didn’t you take the relationship detour back in high-school city?” questioning your innocence in the not-so-naive world surrounding.
Despite all their tenacity, insistence, and beckoning with alternative options, the still small, yet powerful voice resumes its’ plea, “Persevere, my child.” Comforted by its’ strength, you continue against all odds, toward the direction of the voice; your north-star.
-Is that thunder?- you wonder, as powerful waves of voices, perhaps cheers, become increasingly clear.
The scars from the pasts’ falls, thorns, and painful relationships are evident on your body. Perspiration drips from your hair, as you’ve been walking a long time now. However, there will be no stopping. A new wave of strength is sent through you, as if some magnificent force, other than yourself, is giving you the needed energy to continue and then the voice says, “I am with you.” With confidence, you begin to run. You can see it. The Coliseum.
The Coliseum is massive; an architectural masterpiece, with no artistic element overlooked. High arches, sturdy columns, and rising up high into the clouds; one can see why it would be named ‘The Kingdom’. This is no ordinary football stadium, or Gladiator arena. No teams will be playing here today. In fact, the entire gathering; multitudes of every race, color, ethnicity, and language is here to be with and praise one name. Whether in their homelands, He has been referred to as “Jesus”, “Messiah”, “Yeshua”, “Prince of Peace”, “King of Kings”, or any other variation of a name so powerful that when asked by Moses to state who He was, He could say, “I Am. I Am.” Quite simply, He is. God.
You’ve broken the threshold of the world and are now sprinting, full-speed ahead. Every burden, hindrance, and defect that has ever held you back, or led to heart-broken tears is suddenly washed clean, as everyone sprints toward the coliseum in brilliant white.
It’s deafening. The noise you had heard many years back down the road, carried in on a drift of wind by the spirit, perhaps in a worship-service, has now culminated into the ultimate worship experience. The multitudes have gathered to sing, dance, praise, fellowship, and rejoice the One whom laid down His Son’s life for them, that they may experience this life. The fullness of life in the Spirit, with Christ. Never have you been more overwhelmed by unspeakable joy, nor redeemed from every troublesome distraction than you are now in this very moment.
O the magnificence of His presence! How mysterious the brilliance of His creation! Every heavy conversation, troubling addiction, uncomfortable situation, now worth it, as you look around and see the people who reached out to you at one point when you were heading the wrong direction on the road, or had stopped too long for “a break”. They greet you with smiles, rejoicing in the fruit of their obedience. “Praise God,” you all agree, embracing, as the praise continues. Another brother and another sister run up to you and embrace you, thanking you for having gripped their hearts in the wake of their darkest hour, willing to climb down into the pit of their sin, and using the Spirit’s strength to break them free. “By His strength, we’ve risen from the grave!” Oh yes…the sweetness of victory in the name of Savior, Jesus.
“The Coliseum” is simply my futile attempt to capture the beauty of what is to come in a few mere words. Regardless the actual setting, or sequence of events, that is to come, according to His promises and laid out plans in Scripture, one thing is certain: It will be beautiful, magnificent, and praiseworthy. It will all have been worth it!
A recurring theme within my heart and the products of it, is the concept of awakening. Consider this an extension of that. The call being to STAY AWAKE. “Persevere, my child,” as the wait and endurance necessary is worth it. Have you counted the costs? Oh yes, that is very necessary and to some, the costs appear to be too much. However, I pray that hearts and eyes would be opened that such lies are not the case at all.
With Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (the good-news of the Gospel), you and I have essentially been handed the keys to freedom from the shackles to sin, fear, and a plethora of other fallen-world antics. Shall we remain chained? Or shall we emerge from the grave, having died to ourselves and being brought back to the fullness of life through the grace and strength of the LORD? It’s your call, friends…But the voice is calling, “Persevere, my child….come to me.”
“O the weariness of a heavy soul. For what purpose has one attempted to lay hold the burdens of the world solely? Lay it all at His feet. Rise up, O God. Scoop up Your peoples in the palm of Your hand and remind the world that we are Yours. Let us revel in Your presence! Let us bring down the coliseums with the thunderous, deafening, praise that is lifted up from redeemed children.”
Brothers and sisters in Christ, There is little room for timidity. A broken world cries out for its’ Redeemer and you KNOW HIM! With deep love, humility, and discernment, share His name boldly. Live freely from fear, brethren, and continue taking steps down the road, towards ‘the coliseum’ of His promises!