Note: I love your nation. Like many of you, I was disappointed in the outcome of the elections. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been seeking the Lord for His heart, trying to listen to His spirit. This is what I feel to say…
BIG BUILDUP, BIG LETDOWN
The church in Canada prayed. They fasted. They mobilized. The election was to be a decisive turning point, a national shift toward righteousness, a rejection of antichrist agendas at the highest levels of the federal government. Sadly, it did not go the way anyone wanted or expected. God let us down, or so we think. How should we interpret these events? How can we have faith to press on? What are you pressing for? Let’s go back 2000 years and glimpse an even more devastating, confusing turn of events…
Nobody knew for sure when it would happen, but when the most astonishing event in human history—the birth of the Messiah, Jesus, having been prophesied and wildly anticipated for 4000 years—finally arrived, it came in the most underwhelming, disappointing manner. Sure, there was drama (angel choirs, etc), but the reality of that cold winter night was far more banal. Consider the divine promises, the enormous scope…Israel had been waiting so long, barely holding onto the simplest hope: “Our Deliverer is coming!” The Messiah was the man who would change Israel’s status as miserable, powerless vassal state to once again being the “Apple of God’s Eye.” In other words, the Messiah would restore the nation. His birth would signal the installation of God’s appointed ruler on earth. Everything would change, just you wait and see!
When the answer finally arrived, long overdue, it came not with shekinah fireworks, but a dull, grungy thud, hardly noticed by anyone: in an insignificant town, in a slave nation, born to an unwed mother who couldn’t even afford a decent hotel room, kept warm with decaying, mildewed straw, slobbered on by mangy oxen and sheep, witnessed only by uneducated hirelings: Jesus. All hail the king.
No one important was present. There was no public relations campaign, no fanfare, no royal pronouncement, no transfer of power. No victory. Not only was the existing religious establishment entirely excluded, but both Caesar and Herod still reigned. In spite of all expectations and divine promises (Isa.9:6-7, Luke 2:14), there was no ushering in of utopia or of peace. To make matters worse, within months, Joseph’s scandalized family was forced to flee for their lives, while all around, untold numbers of newborn babies were being slaughtered. All this for a son that wasn’t even his.
For crying out loud, WHAT IS GOING ON?
THE PAIN OF DISAPPOINTMENT
Friends, if we are to understand God, we must learn to think like God. These two thought systems are not of rough equivalence, as we assume. No, they are Africa and North America, separated by a vast Atlantic ocean. This continental gap between our thoughts and His thoughts triggers something very real and deep in the human soul: disappointment. Thus, if we are to see the bigger picture and not get discouraged, we must understand the disappointment of God Birthings.
The Incarnation of the Messiah in history forms a metaphorical template for us to understand His “birthing” into our lives in other ways, at other times. First, we must begin with the the humility of the Incarnation, which deeply disturbs our expectations. We are so much given to pride and self-seeking, the incarnation necessarily wounds us. How?
- God hides His glory. We constantly attempt to display ours.
- God doesn’t mind being on the outside, with outsiders. We prefer being on the inside, with insiders.
- God is willing to be overlooked. We cannot stand to go unnoticed, especially when deserving of praise.
- God made himself dependent on others to survive. We think true survival means we depend on no one.
- He began and ended his life with no reputation. We spend our lives seeking stature.
- He starts small, moves slow, & doesn’t quit when set back. We demand big, immediate results & give up quickly.
- We try so hard to win and end up losing. He starts off at a total loss, and ends up winning.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN CANADA?
God has started something, but we were hoping He would finish something. The Battle for Canada is a Spirit-led assignment—one of several, perhaps—whose mission is to see a lasting movement of true revival, reformation and unity sweep across Canada. The goal is both revival in the church and reformation in society. The goal is for “True North Strong and Free” to shake loose of her spiritual dullness, her apathy and her passivity, synonymous with moral and civil slavery, whether bound to the spirit of the age, to the encroachments and intimidations of an unjust government, or to the status quo of religiosity and unbelief.
Inevitably, the goal of national restoration means we must get ready for two things: 1) Miracles and 2) Disappointments! God is birthed on His terms, not ours. He fulfills His will in His way, His time, not our way, our time….nor the way we perceive His way and His time. Here’s the rub: Disappointment is not so much the difference between expectation and reality, but between our expectation & perception of reality. Consider Elisha in Dothan, or Naaman being informed that his leprosy could be cured by dipping the dirty Jordan seven times. Consider that Elijah was prophesied to come again, but Jesus had to connect the dots from John the Baptist to the spirit of Elijah, because the expectations of the people were too limited, too carnal, to understand what was really going on. Jesus Himself was not at all the Messiah the Jews expected.
So the goal is restoration, but what is the path? For Canada, it just got bumpier than we hoped. Like everyone, I prayed for a more immediate sense of victory. What do we do next? What does Canada expect in this hour?
A better question would be: what does struggle and perseverance look like? We need to know, because there are promises waiting on the other side! “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Heb. 10:36).
Another good question: How long does it take to win a war? Longer than you think. We must train, we must graduate in skill, from faith to faith, and glory to glory. “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?” (Jer. 12:5)
The Canadian people have a reputation for equanimity, charity and deference. These are beautiful qualities, except when they produce a lukewarm spirit. Sometimes, spiritual violence is required. Sometimes, unbalance is necessary. Sometimes, God wants us to seek the far margins, not the easy middle.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed…and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten…To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne” (Rev. 3:15-21)
Do you know why obstacles exist? Because 1) the world is fallen, 2) the Enemy is real…and 3) most importantly, because God is leveraging all of history toward His ultimate goal: producing overcomers fit to rule and reign with Him for all eternity. Obviously, individual people are invited to this commission, but seven times in Revelation 2-3, it is the ekklesia of cities (and by inference, regions and nations) to whom He extends this invitation: “To Him who overcomes…”
In short, that means city-wide, region-wide, and nation-wide, the ekklesia is meant to overcome, which necessarily means you have to come over some things—some hard things! Get over them…and one of the hardest to get over is disappointment. When you get knocked down, you get back up. The church of Canada must arise from the false comforts of Laodicea’s lifestyle, trapped in (and satisfied with) forms of godliness that ultimately deny our great need of God and the reality of His power in our lives (2 Tim. 3:5). Sometimes we want answers so that we can simply be done. God is proving our hearts in this hour. What do we really want? Will the electoral loss provoke despair, or a deeper resolve. Frustrated faith, or hearts famished for God’s manifested power? Did we want to win an election, or shift a nation? In hindsight, an electoral victory might have been satisfying, but also wildly short-sighted, aborting the full expression of what God is doing in your great land.
Canada needs a move of God. The question is, does the Canadian church want one enough to overcome her indifference and petty divisions…even the disappointment of the elections? I mean, come on, God! Hurry up and just give us victory already! No, my friends. When God throws a curve ball, it’s not so we will strike out, it is so that we will keep swinging. God has a bigger destiny for Canada than the elections. He is playing the long game, and He will have a nation of overcomers. Canada’s full prophetic purpose exceeds your present capacity—this is how you must reframe and discern the times. In response, God is graciously “maxing out” your muscle strength so you can break into new dimensions and achieve mass momentum. Otherwise, how will your sons and daughters bring healing to the nations, if they remain weak and anemic, nursing on milk, never eating meat? Never killing lions, much less giants.
Friends, the world needs Canada to overcome in this hour. God has supplied a critical opportunity to do just that through these disappointing elections. Did you feel the elections were the point? We all did. Maybe it was, but now it’s not. Now, God is asking something bigger, harder, and with more lasting fruitfulness. Will you engage Him with faith for that larger victory?
God is kind. He beckons you to more.
THE GOAL OF HISTORY: OVERCOMERS
There is a sturdy, weathered place of faith for the son of God, proven in trial and anguish, where our capacity for disappointment is exceeded by our love of God’s mysterious ways. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Rom. 11:33).
God’s promises never fail, but their full glory may not be recognizable at first. The church has labored through generations, “solving” the problem of disappointment simply by lowering our expectations. No! We must believe that the Messiah will come, is always coming, and that every time He comes it is a miracle. Post-election, we continue to pray, ask and believe for more God-birthings, not less! More transformation, more engagement with the culture, more passion for Jesus, more confidence in His call on your great nation. Yet for all this, we need patience, endurance, and humility all the more. Nothing about the birth of Jesus seemed to live up to its promise, yet in every way, time has magnified the power and glory that must have first seemed like a mistake. A failure.
So it is: Canada, arise! The Spirit of God has not ended, He has just begun to work in your nation. Lift your head! Believe His goodness. Press in. The glory of God is rising upon you. What will you do?