For the past few days I have been pondering and dwelling on a thing with the Lord. I find myself going back to this past Sunday when I was teaching the youth at our church. For months now, the Lord has been leading me to teach about the Harvest. I taught out of John 4 for a few months through the end of last year and into the new year; followed by teaching out of the end of Matthew 9:27-38 and on into Matthew 10.
I fully expected to teach from Matthew 10:7-8, “And as you go, preach this message: ‘Heaven’s Kingdom realm is accessible (at hand), close enough to touch.’ You must continually bring healing to lepers and to those who are sick, and make it your habit to break off the demonic presence from people, and raise the dead back to life. Freely you have received the power of the Kingdom, so freely release it to others.” However, He chose to lead it in a completely different direction and not even really talk about Matthew 10 in the way I thought. He led the conversation into teaching about martyrdom to youth under the age of fourteen.
While this isn’t your typical idea of what a Sunday morning teaching and discipleship for youth would look like; He planted seeds of holy pursuit, zealous passion, and awakened compassion. I shared the stories of modern-day martyrs, Jim Elliot, along with his four friends while attempting to reach the Huaorani tribe in Ecuador; and this past year, John Chau, who gave up his life to reach the highly isolated tribe on North Sentinel Island.
All-consuming love for Jesus and to bring Him the reward of His suffering has marked those who have given up everything, including their very lives, to go to the ends of the earth for love. God is awakening His compassion unto action in this generation. This very thing is what so moved Jesus’ heart for the lost in His day.
Matthew 9:35-38 (TPT)
“Jesus walked throughout the region with the joyful message of God’s Kingdom realm. He taught in their meeting houses, and wherever He went He demonstrated God’s power by healing every kind of disease and illness. When He saw the vast crowds of people, Jesus’ heart was deeply moved with compassion, because they seemed weary and helpless, like wandering sheep without a shepherd. He turned to His disciples and said, ‘THE HARVEST IS HUGE AND RIPE! But there are not enough harvesters to bring it all in. AS YOU GO, PLEAD with the Owner of the Harvest to THRUST out many more reapers to harvest His grain!'”
When Jesus saw the crowds of people, compassion overtook Him and He was gripped by it because when He looked upon them, He saw a lost, hurting, broken, abandoned, addicted, wandering, worn, helpless, harassed, distressed, shepherd-less, scattered people, condemned to an eternity of separation and torment in hell. The literal translation of their state is as if they had been flayed, skinned alive, and mangled. He saw their great need of a Deliverer and Savior.
I believe that perhaps He not only saw the crowds that were before Him, but also caught a glimpse or vision of the vast multitudes that would come who resembled the same state. Perhaps upon seeing this, He thought back on God’s desire to co-labor with His creation to carry out His will in the earth. For it is when seeing this reality that He turned to His disciples and presented the problem.
The harvest is huge and ripe, where are they who would partner with Me in gathering it in?
No sooner did He present the problem did He provide the solution. “As you go, plead with the Owner of the Harvest to thrust out many more reapers to harvest His grain!” He then commissioned His disciples to GO, and as they went, to PLEAD that He would THRUST out more laborers.
In other words, “I am sending (EKBALLO-ing) you to be the answer; and I command you to plead (BEG) Me to hurl (EKBALLO) forth more laborers into the Harvest as you go!”
This is His divine commissioning — He expects and commands us to go!
Upon this command we see going into Matthew 10, that He imparted to them authority and power to do as He had done. We are then brought back to Matthew 10:7-8 as stated above. The disciples had been marked by a zeal that had consumed them. When you have become so marked and consumed by this holy passion and fire, you become unstoppable; for the Unstoppable One dwells within you. This very thing is what led the apostles to say to the leaders in their day who told them to stop sharing about Jesus, “We cannot help but to speak what we have seen and known to be true!” (Acts 4:18-20)
Thinking on this, I asked Holy Spirit why He directed the teaching to martyrdom and what it means for the Body of Christ. He replied,
“I did it because it is time to level up! It is time to stop spoon-feeding this generation of believers with a comfortable gospel!
IT IS TIME TO GO ALL IN! YOU ARE EITHER ALL IN OR NOT IN AT ALL!
There is no age-requirement to My command and call! There is only one requirement: a simple person being simply obedient! If you train up a child in the way they should go, when they are older, they will not depart from it! This generation and the ones to come possess a passion and tenacity that I placed within them to scale the heights, undaunted, fearless, and unrelenting.
Are you willing to lay down your life for My Kingdom to be advanced and established in the earth? Are you willing to lay down your life for souls?Do not neglect to train and equip them in the FULL Gospel of Truth; for some of them will indeed lay down their very lives for My name’s sake and the sake of souls, some even at a young age. They MUST be properly trained and prepared. This can only be done by example. I prepared and equipped My disciples by setting the example. I laid down My very life for the sake of the world.
Indeed, some of you will. But do not continue until you count the cost. I have come to set you on fire that others will come and watch you burn. Like a wildfire, it will be caught and spread across boundary lines, state lines, water lines, and dividing lines. You must warn them to step up and step out; for I am coming! Sooner than they think! But not until every tribe, every tongue, and every nation has been given the opportunity to come to Me! This is only done through your obedience and the faithful obedience of My Bride.”
I dwelled deeply on this word last night and He reminded me of Acts 1:8, the last thing Jesus said to His apostles before He ascended into Heaven.
Acts 1:8 (TPT)
“But I promise you this—the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with POWER. And you will be My MESSENGERS (witnesses) to Jerusalem, throughout Judea, the distant provinces—even to the remotest places on earth!”
The word for “power” is “dunamis“, which is where we get the word, “dynamite“. The word for “messengers” or “witnesses” is “martus“, which is the word, “martyr“. It is as if He was saying, “Holy Spirit is coming and will baptize you and fill you with an explosive power that will catapult you to be martyrs for My Kingdom to the ends of the earth!”
I am reminded of the week after I returned from The Send. I had received such a fresh baptism of fire and a fresh commission to Go! Two days into the week, I overheard my three-year old son singing, “I will preach the Gospel, die and be forgotten, as long as You get the glory!” On another occasion I heard him singing, “I will love You with my ‘Yes’ and with my obedience, Jesus!”, and “It’s my joy to lose my life and find it in Jesus Christ.”
Azariah in tears, being overwhelmed by Holy Spirit in prayer.
I wept then as I do now; and not for the reason that many would think. I am filled with abounding joy and am proud of my son that even though he is young, his heart is stirring to yearn for Jesus and to go to any length to love Him and partner with Him in His grand plan of salvation and setting the earth on fire. That he desires to carry out his own destiny and purpose created for him from before the foundations of the earth were laid.
This is what we are to do. We are to first become martyrs. Then we are to raise up and train others to become martyrs. We are all called to be martyrs for Jesus. Some of us will laid down our very lives for this cause for He is worthy; however, all of us are called to be faithful witnesses to what we have seen and known to be true. Jesus is the One Who is Faithful and True.
The Spirit of Prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. When we testify, we prophesy!
My prayer is this:
God, awaken us all to Your call! Awaken us to our purpose in the earth: to proclaim, train, and send. Father, baptize us in a holy compassion for the lost that would so grip us as it did You; and that we would stop at nothing to go to the ends of the earth for love! May we lay down our very lives for the lost to know You. Come what may, we will go with You! Here we are God! Send us! The wisdom of God is foolish in the eyes of the world; but still we go with You! May we partner with You and be fire starters that set nations ablaze for Your glory; and may we train up martyrs for Your Kingdom! May we never relent in this great ascent!
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh