By James Wilson

(Author Note: I am indebted to Pastor Ken Wilde of Capitol Christian Fellowship, Meridian, Idaho, for gifting order to my intuition below.)

“And the people bowed and prayed…To the neon god they’d made…And the sign burst out its warning…With the words that it was forming…And the sign said the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls…And tenement halls…” The Simon and Garfunkel song spoke for a generation that raise up The Jesus People, America’s Third Great Awakening. That song is coming around again on the guitar. This time it speaks not of a generation, but of the Body of Christ. We had better get it right this time, for we have very little time left.

Our Lord and God has written a constitution for the world He made for our benefit and His glory; it is called the Bible. The first words out of Abba’s mouth – we might call it the preamble – are these, “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth…” In fewer than a dozen words He sets out where the world came from – His immutable intention – and who owns every inch of it from before time and forever – He does. If we then fast forward through Genesis 1 – and I hate to do that because this true story is so beautiful – we reach Gen 1:26-31, “Let us make humankind in our image…and let them have dominion over the fish…the birds…the cattle, and…all the wild animals. So God created humankind in His image…God blessed them and said to them…have dominion over…every living thing that moves upon the earth…” In this brief diagram of how the world came to be is contained as well what men and women are expected to do about it, as ambassadors of the Maker.

Viewed in such a literal way – as scripture should always be viewed before we go down the rabbit trail looking for symbols – it is inescapable that God’s plan is not primarily spiritual, much less religious, but eminently pragmatic. The creation account – like any constitution – is a blueprint describing a Kingdom and its government. All of us living a lifestyle of radical obedience and repentance are not only empowered and enabled, but required to live as ambassadors of the King. No one else is eligible… until and unless they enter into that lifestyle.

We of the Body of Christ – from teachers to prophets to washers of feet – are called to rule this world from the same thrones on which we will judge the Twelve Tribes. Matthew 4:17 – which records Jesus’ first public prophetic utterance – declares not that King Jesus has drawn near, but that the Kingdom is pursuing us. Failure to exercise the calling – when one is eligible – renders one ineligible. Such a one self-selects for King Jesus’ sad conclusion, “Go away from me; I never knew you.” There are consequences for disobeying the One to whom we have sworn fealty, just as there are for obedience.

There are also caveats. First and foremost is that we are called to rule as Jesus rules. He rules by influence rather than imprimatur. Nothing in scripture should be construed to advocate for some sort of theocracy with church leaders telling lesser mortals where to head in. The chief thorns in Jesus’ side were the religious leaders of His day – the theocrats of the Jewish theocracy that had been enslaving minds and hearts in Israel since the time – at least – of the Maccabees. The principal obstacles to the resurrection of Israel were and are the sect of the ultra-orthodox, spiritual descendants of the Pharisees of Jesus’ earthly day.

And the second is like unto it – we know them by their fruits. In American history alone it was the “black robed regiment” of clergy and lay leaders who stewarded the First Great Awakening of pre-revolutionary America and empowered the revolution itself. It was the churches swathed in the Second Great Awakening – and later the Third – who birthed and facilitated abolitionism, temperance, and all the reform movements of the 19 th and 20 th centuries – including the Civil Rights Movement, the Reagan Revolution, and the Grassroots Revolution in Education, the Arts, Politics, and the other four mountains in our own day. Each of these Awakenings was deeply embedded in the culture and politics of secular society, challenging the establishmentarian smugness of mainline churches and secular institutions who have lost their way, but not their ambition.

Finally, the leadership of today’s Awakening is not your grandparents’ leadership team – or style. Beginning with Sean Feucht, Jonathan Roumie, and Jonathan Cahn, they emerge as a worship leader, an actor, and a messianic rabbi. They are flanked by more traditional leaders who are sold out to God – not their professional credentials – such as Rob McCoy, Jack Hibbs, and Marty Yost. Never heard of them? You will; but whatever fame they gain will be because of their faithful obedience – not their press corps – and they understand that fame will last only as long as they pursue God Himself, even into Daniel’s fiery furnace. Their battle cry is not, “Look at me,” but “I follow Him.”

Make no mistake; the Body of Christ – as it is being reconstituted before our very eyes – is called not just to participate, but to lead this Awakening. Churches and leaders who declare themselves above the fray are simply in sin; Genesis 1 convicts them of defying God for openers, and their repeated trope that they are Bible believers who teach the whole Word of God reveals them as hypocrites. These lukewarm place holders will be left by the roadside. Yet those who get on board this move of God will have a place of honor in the greatest outpouring of grace and glory since that first Pentecost that fell on the land fifty days after the first Easter Sunday.

Our challenge is simple: Praise, serve and worship our God, or bow and pray to the neon god we’ve made.


By James Wilson

If we choose to get on board this move of God, if we decide for this Great Awakening and our place of leadership within it, how do we move forward in keeping with the caveats? Paul says it clearly in Ephesians 3:10-12. We are to lead through influence rather than through imprimatur, “so that through the Church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose that He has carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have access to God in boldness and confidence through faith in Him.”

Notice that Paul does not identify the Church – or anyone in it – with God’s wisdom. He simply declares it is through the lens of the Church we discover who God is and what He is about, and so gain opportunity to follow through on what He shows us corporately and individually. At no time dare we say, “I am a person of such faith that I can infallibly – or we can infallibly – know the will of God.” Yet Paul is finding another way to say, as Jeremiah said before him (Jer 29:12-14) and Luke spoke more or less contemporaneously (Luke 18:1-8) that when we seek God’s face we cannot ultimately fail to find Him.