October 12, 2006
I tend to have dull spiritual senses when it comes to interpreting the world around me, how every leaf and animal and earthly thing is connecting to something spiritual. The natural and the spiritual are not disconnected, but our vision of them is. Among other tribes, the Celts, the Native Americans and the pre-Greek Hebrews were famously observant of their world as daily interactions with the supernatural. They understood earthly symbols as being on a direct continuum with higher things. There was no Greek division between the higher regions of symbols and their material counterparts. And eventually humankind is going to reclaim that Celtic experience, a full restoration of the world of the symbolic.
In the meantime, there are some events which are so charged with symbolism they are hard to ignore. For example, the whale that floated into the Thames of London last year, was a massive symbol for London. But I don’t go into that here. Yesterday the star pitcher of the New York Yankees crashed his plane into a Manhattan building. Pictures of two high-rise buildings, one on fire, are circulating around the news, eerily bringing back the unforgettable symbols of 9/11. While this is genuinely a horrific event, affecting a family and friends, and God grieves the smallest life, there is also simultaneously a symbol and a message that we shouldn’t miss. Even in deaths, God uses many things to warn, instruct, encourage and speak of greater promises…
The word that I am getting from this is not only for New York but the nation. The times of man’s leadership from his own efforts are coming to an end. Cory Lidle was the star pitcher of the most famous baseball team in America. The pitcher has arguably the most influence over a game. He supervises the whole field, makes important calls without the rest of the team, and must know the style of each player that comes up to bat, so that he can throw the right pitches. He represents the best strengths in leadership.
It’s important to note that Lidle’s son is 6, which is the number of man, the day on which man was created. Even among the best of America’s stars, all of our hopes and dreams politically and spiritually (no matter what side of the political fence we are on), leadership has fathered and brought forth only the best in human ideas. And as great as that can be in our own minds, this time is coming to its end.
In fact, the apex of human leadership no longer knows how to drive the plane. I am not speaking here of our current government, but all those who aspire to leadership in this time, both in government and the church. It’s also significant that America is going into a major election period in which many are raising their banners for or against the war, and it will surely be an influential election. But God himself is saying, man’s best intentions, the time of man’s leadership, is ending.
And America is about to enter a new stage where she begins to rely on the wisdom of the Creator. The number 7 is not only the number of rest, but it also of completion and oneness with God.
Lidle circled the Statue of Liberty before crashing into the building in Manhattan. This too is symbolic for America. Those who are still hopeful for the War in Iraq know that deep down inside what America really wants is liberty for nations, even if she screwed up how to do it, and even though her motivations have been challenged and judged and falsely interpreted. However, even as we have used liberty as our banner for the nations, but we have worshiped freedom itself without worshiping the Creator of Freedom. We are entering a time when America will more than ever not be thanked for the abundance of resources she pours out on the world, and she needs to be changed internally in order to live our her destiny as freedom-bringer without defending herself.
I say changed internally, because this plane crash was an internal one, coming from internal leadership, rather than an external one as 9/11 was. This crash is prophetic of America’s own divisions and false strivings driving her own plane into her own buildings. Beginning with the New Orleans disaster, God has been emphasizing to America that it is time to treat her internal wounds or she will be crippled by the fact that her arms are so constantly extended out into the world.
God does not judge America as the world judges her. He loves her and treats her as a precious diamond. She is so young, but he loves to get up in the morning and hear all the silly ways she thinks up to thank him. In the American church, he loves all the fresh worship and vision and our constant joy and youthful freedom. He loves this! But she needs a season of wisdom.
New York is going to be a beacon of spiritual change. There is some fat hope for New York, which is under a seasonal leadership shift, but God is going to establish spiritual and political leaders who are tuned into His thoughts and ways.
New York, and America, has repeatedly forgotten the message of 9/11, and he does not want her to forget. But he also wants her to remember without moving forward in fear. The “pride of New York” is about to change, and its pride will be in new “stars”. What is attempting to change New York or use New York as its platform will be shifted as God is no longer going to let human plans and thoughts be the vision of New York City, but his vision–to let her be a beacon once again of light and hope to the world.
The building didn’t fall
The building didn’t crumble as it did during 9/11. God is not judging America as the world judges her, and he is not destroying her institutions, and he is going to build a new leadership that does not crush the old leadership. This is a word for the government too! God is not going to crush the current government and establish a new one. The leadership to come will have different emphases but they will be ones who are tuned into the internal state of America and who will build on previous foundations rather than tear them down. We must hear this word, as the elections and all the accusations begin to swirl in our news. (Hear this too, England!)
God is saying, do not listen to the voice of the accuser. There has been a demonic unleashing of the spirit of accusation in world governments in the last two months. The “accuser of the brethren” as mentioned in scripture stakes its authority on the crushing of all other authorities. It has nothing but judgment in its mouth, and actually hates all human authority because it hates mankind. So even those who win by the power of the accuser will eventually be humiliated by its self-hatred, and I pray for all leaders that they are spared from humiliation. It is a shameful state of politics and seems to be boiling now more than ever that leaders must use their platforms to bash their opponents. And it is also a sign what happens when human leadership reaches its apex: even the best of our ideas necessarily get desperate because we are no longer able to do things in our own strength! In fact this is now the primary way that leaders build their platforms–as an “I’m not this, I’m not that!” In the midst of this swirl, only God knows the hearts of men, and He will take note of those who withhold their tongues. They will not be obvious but the men and women who resist accusing their opposition in every political party will be honored by the Lord.
God first is going to change our nation, and we must be prepared for this. He knows the plans he has for her, not to harm her but to prosper her, and she is no longer able to drive her nation with even her best. This is good news! It is time we listen to him, to what he is saying for our government. What we have in mind may be very different than what he has in mind–so we should not be led by even our brightest stars or our brightest ideas. We should not be led by reaction, or by our human judgments of the current leaders. All of our political philosophies and social reforms and best ideas are really good but not always God’s. Let God shake us and surprise us–let Him lead! Let it blow our minds and be hopeful!