Many years ago, I had a transformational encounter with Jesus. One of the analogies I made at the time was that I felt as though I had gone from the black and white beginning scenes of The Wizard of Oz to the full vibrant technicolor the film shifts into once Dorothy lands in Oz.
No, I didn’t land in Oz. But my spirit WAS awakened to the reality of a whole new realm in the Kingdom of God. I didn’t even know what I was missing until the world was suddenly “colored” in a new and brilliant way. I felt like every single sunset was a personal love letter to me, and every glimpse of previously unseen (or unnoticed) beauty spoke of His extravagant goodness.
That was a long, long time ago. There are times the freshness, depth of emotion, and gratitude I felt back then seems a million miles away, but He remains so very close. His impact on my heart and life was—and is—more real than anything I’ve ever known. Feelings come and go, but His work in my heart endures. As many of us can testify, a true encounter with Jesus changes everything … forever. There is absolutely nothing that compares.
But what if God is about to do corporately what He has already done for so many of us personally?
That is one of those statements that sounds really good in my spirit, but I don’t have any external context for what it might look like—even though I’ve been thinking along similar lines for a very long time. In fact, it was the gist of the book I wrote nearly a decade ago (The Key to His Heart). It was about the process (maybe journey is a better word?) of first becoming one with Jesus individually, so that, finally, we will become one corporately. That WE will be one, is the cry of Jesus’ own heart (see John 17). I felt such a deep ache for what I attempted to convey in the last section of the book—a coming corporate unity the likes of which we cannot begin to comprehend. That section of the book was by far the most meaningful to me, but it seemed to be the most misunderstood and not-so-meaningful to others!
At least it seemed that way at the time. Yet lately I have been sensing a stirring of that same desire for a much deeper corporate reality—layered with new bits of revelation from additional years of walking with Him—but this time I don’t feel quite so alone in my longing.
Many are in agreement that God is up to something far bigger than our finite minds can imagine. Many are feeling an undefined, but profound and real, ache for so much more than we have currently apprehended. While I’m very leery of anyone (especially in this season) who thinks they have God’s plans all figured out, I do feel like He is leaving lots of hints if we press in and listen. On a recent morning when I asked Him for one of those hints, I heard Him say clearly:
I’m adding color to the landscape.
No other context or explanation, but immediately I thought of my personal Wizard of Oz experience. Then I had another thought: what if this time it isn’t just MY experience, what if it is OUR experience? What if the Church IS going through a shift so profound, that we literally go from black and white to vibrant technicolor? What if the colors of His glory are about to spread across the earth in ways beyond our wildest imagination? (That was actually a picture I saw several days earlier—that day I specifically asked Him what He wanted to show me, and I saw a yellow/gold color spreading from the Mt. of Olives in Israel across the globe.)
Once again, do I know what any of this will actually look like? That’s pretty much an unequivocal, no. I’ve been posing a lot of questions lately because I have a lot more questions than answers. But I’m okay with that. My trust is in the One who IS the Answer. He is the Truth. He is the Life. He is still the only Way …
And I have a sneaking suspicion we are in for a beautiful explosion of color.