Last night, we had an excellent time with the Backlund team and Bridgeway Church in Denver, CO. The conference Bridgeway is hosting is on Joy, and Steve and Wendy brought the truth again, giving radical tools for breaking off hopelessness and discouragement. Their teaching, and more importantly impartation of new mindsets, frees people to laugh and let go of lies about God, themselves and their situations.
During part of the ministry time at the end, I took the opportunity to explain my tears in worship – “The way this church does family is beautiful. It’s unique to almost any place I’ve seen. It’s a place where each individual is seen and appreciated, in the uniqueness of who they are and what their calling is, and I believe it’s a prophetic declaration over the city as well. Denver is a city where individuals are recognized, uniqueness is celebrated, and people are free to be fully themselves and be really powerful in that place.”
I continued on to recognize some individuals specifically, we prayed over our minds to empower them to think different, then our team moved into times of ministry over specific areas. It didn’t take long for everyone present to begin praying over each other, offering encouragement with the truest conviction, praying into one-anothers’ dreams, and releasing the hope that is in them to their brother and sister around them. Those are some of the best moments on the planet.
This morning, I woke up with this as my very first thought – “What you said about Denver, is it even POSSIBLE!?” Fortunately, the ‘you’ verbiage helped me understand this wasn’t my thought, and the doubt-filled, accusatory tone helped me understand it’s not Gods either. So, I asked Holy Spirit the same question before getting too upset about it, and I’m now thankful that the third party even asked; God quickly affirmed, “It is very possible! I’m that good.”
It’s very possible, Denver, that you are a city in which the strengths and qualities of individuals are seen and recognized. It’s very possible, Denver, that you have a special grace to make individuals feel known and recognized, also therefore loved and embraced.
Ideas of what this reality would look like in a city filled my head, and this seemingly off-the-cuff prophetic word suddenly became a fresh vision for a region.
If individuals are free to be individuals and free to be fully themselves, that means comparison is unheard of, competition is replaced with celebration, and diversity is embraced:
- Hate crimes don’t happen.
- Employers hire people for a position that fits them.
- Individuals believe they’re unique, special, assets in the position that they are in and they fully show up to it.
- Ex-cons get jobs, because gold is seen in them according to their potential, not their past.
- Teaching methods of public schools begin to fit kids’ learning styles.
- There are joy-filled grocery stores, because strangers have an inward appreciation for those around them.
- The Church sees the unsaved homeless man on the street as their lost arm and pulls him into the body as a vital member of their being, not as an act of charity.
- Newspaper reporters can’t help but share good news and have no interest in putting one side of the story above another.
- It means, even if living quarters in cities are still separated by race, different areas can celebrate the breakthroughs of the other as well as feel their pains and sitting down for a meal is not unheard of.
- It means Identity is known. And in that, there’s freedom to love the broader Community.
This isn’t an exhaustive list. And maybe even it’s seemingly lofty, but as Steve and Wendy say – “God’s not called us to be realistic, He’s called us to be supernatural.” and I don’t think I’ll get to heaven and be scolded for thinking God is too good.
How good ARE you, God!? How redeemed can our cities truly become?
My examples of what this looks like tends toward my interests, but what does your sphere of influence or place of work look like where competition is substituted with celebration and God-given identity is fully realized in unique individuals?