Jesus often used natural earthly principles to reveal heavenly kingdom truths. He was quite adroit at using simple concepts we all understand to unveil the profound mysteries of Heaven.
Similarly, It is my desire in this writing to use the historical struggles of the African American people in this country to reveal how to receive the promises of the Kingdom of Heaven, so please indulge me.
The following words are enshrined in the American Declaration Of Independence: “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Unfortunately, these words did not apply to the black citizens of this country and as a result, my natural ancestors were enslaved and brutalized in a repressive barbaric system.
Conversely, many of my spiritual brothers and sisters who operate in the same repressive system are enslaved and brutalized by satan and his minions. What is so amazingly remarkable about this scenario is the fact that we have been delivered from the authority of this system and translated into the Kingdom of Heaven, Colossians 1:13. Moreover, we are commanded by the King to come out of this system and be separate, 2 Corinthians 6:17.
The question them becomes, how can a people who are in bondage secure the rights of freedom that rightfully belong to them?
Before I address the spiritual aspect of this question, let me first deal with this question as it relates the history of blacks in America.
The Civil War was a seminal moment in the history of blacks in America. Ostensibly, it was fought over the issue of state’s rights, but the pink elephant in the room all along was slavery. More than 600,000 men paid the ultimate sacrifice, shedding their blood on both sides of the issue. By God’s grace, the blood of the union liberators, and the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, freed blacks from the hellish bondage of involuntary servitude.
From 1865 to 1877, the country went through a period of reconstruction, during which time, blacks tasted freedom for the first time. They were elected to political office and wielded political power. The words of the Declaration of Independence were within their grasp. It was a freedom, however, that was short lived.
The KKK, the armed wing of the Democratic Party and the powers that be, rose up during this time terrorizing and intimidating blacks to surrender the freedoms granted to them by emancipation, and once again blacks found themselves enslaved – relegated to roles of second class citizens. For the next several decades, they endured the shame and inhumanity of segregation and jim crow. Justice for blacks was nonexistent during this time. Churches were bombed, black men were lynched and emasculated. Those who were guilty of committing such heinous acts were almost always exonerated by all white juries.
In the midst of the inhumanity inflicted on them, there arose a sense within the black community that death and severe beatings would be preferable than living any longer in such degradation; hence, the civil rights movement was born.
in 1954, the Supreme Court ruled against segregation in the landmark decision Brown vs Board of Education. This was officially the beginning of the civil rights movement in this country. A year later, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. This act of defiance launched, in earnest, the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King had studied the tactics of Gandhi who brought down the British empire a few decades earlier by civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance.
Dr King and the millions of other blacks who followed him placed a demand on those lofty words of the Declaration of Independence and refused to live any longer as serfs. As a result of their courage, sacrifice, and determination, the promises of the founding documents of this country now extend black citizens of this country, too.
Frederick Douglass encapsulated their struggle when he uttered these powerful words in 1857: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others.”
Truer words have never been spoken than those spoken by Frederick Douglass in 1857. “Power concedes nothing without a demand…”
The promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness held within the grip of this worldly kingdom had to yield to the righteous demands of citizens who refused to be victimized or brutalized any longer. They employed civil disobedience and nonviolence to secure the freedom that rightfully belonged to them.
It would probably shock many of us to know just how many of God’s people are living in bondage to a certain degree. Many are sick, poverty stricken, and intimidated regularly by satanic powers. What is so sad about this reality is that Jesus bought and paid for our freedom with His precious blood. The price has been paid and yet, like blacks of my father’s generation in this country, many Christians are not enjoying the freedom that Jesus bought and paid for and wants us all to have.
How do we as citizens of the Kingdom of God place a demand on heaven to receive what is rightfully ours? I’m glad you asked. In the same way that blacks demanded their freedom but without nonviolence and disobedience.
The Violent Force of Faith
The answer is found in Matthew 11:12. Unlike Dr. King and Gandhi, disobedience and nonviolence is useless in God’s Kingdom. The exact opposite is true in the spiritual realm. Those who come hesitantly to God’s throne receive nothing. The VIOLENT in faith comes BOLDLY into the throne room, Hebrews 4:16. Those who are disobedient receive nothing, obviously, but the obedient are recipients of God’s blessings. Those who, (in a nonviolent manner), qualify their prayers with the qualifier “if it be thy will” receive nothing in most cases, but those who know the will of God will pray accordingly and receive from Heaven, 1 John 5:14. One must first know the will of God before praying, Ephesians 5:17. Faith begins where the will of God is known.
Jacob, when needing a blessing, did not hesitantly approach God using the weak and impotent, “If it be thy will, would you bless me?” type of prayer. Instead, he laid hold on God’s messenger/Heaven and refused to let go until his request was granted.
Yes, my brothers and sisters, a demand of VIOLENCE is required to secure the promises of the Kingdom of God. Obviously, Jesus is not talking about taking the Kingdom of God with Guns and natural warfare. That would be impossible. Rather, He is talking about the violence of faith and the obedience of sons who willfully submit to a loving heavenly father.
Consider Mark 2:3-12. A man with palsy was carried on a bed by his friends to the house where Jesus was teaching. When they could not get to Jesus because of the crowd, they tore up the roof and lowered the impotent man right before Jesus’ eyes. Wouldn’t you love to have friends like that? It requires the violence of faith to do that – a type of mentality that throws caution to the wind. These four men were driven by their love for their friend and by their knowledge that if they could get to Jesus they could receive. They were willing to pay any price. Jesus hasn’t changed, my friends, nor has the requirements to receive from heaven. The same reckless abandon that secured their blessing will secure yours.
Another case in point is the Syrophoenician woman whose daughter was possessed with a devil, Matthew 15:21-28. Her first request was to Jesus Himself, but He ignored her. He answered her “not a word.” That response alone would have knocked the wind out of the sails of most christians today. “It must not be God’s will” they would have reasoned. This lady, however, was made of a different mettle. She seems weak and helpless but she was actually violent in her approach to Jesus. She shifted her focus from Jesus to His disciples. She was relentless in her pursuit of heaven’s blessing. She “dogged” the disciples to such an extent that they asked Jesus to relieve them of her incessant pleas by sending her away. She then came again to Jesus and worshipped Him beseeching His mercy. Jesus then utters what should have been the coup de gras. “It is not meet to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.” She was ignored by Jesus, ostracized by His disciples and after worshipping Jesus, she was still rejected by Him.
In spite of all the aforementioned setbacks, the violent faith she possessed refused to ease the demand she had placed on heaven. Only faith could have responded with the finale statement the woman made after Jesus called her a dog. “Truth Lord,” she said, ” yet the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” This response was so amazing that Jesus replied, “O WOMAN! GREAT IS THY FAITH!”
What can we glean from this encounter? Once a righteous demand has been made on heaven’s resources. Under no circumstances relax or ease the demand until the request is in your hands.
Another pertinent example is the importune friend in Luke 11:5-8. More than any other bible narrative, this story is the epitome of violent faith and determination.
What is importunity? Outside of the bible, I have never heard this word. The Greek word is “Anaideia” It means Shameless Impudence. It wasn’t his friendship with this man that got him the bread, it was his importunity, his persistence, his shameful impudence. If you add all of this up, you come up with violent kind of faith. So, keep on asking; keep on knocking; keep on seeking, and you shall receive. Luke 11:9 literally means to keep on asking, seeking and knocking.
There are times when relationship alone is not be enough to secure heaven’s blessings. Shameless, persistent faith, however, can do what relationship alone can not.
In 2010, I began to experience dizziness to such an extent that many times when I would be standing or praying and the room would begin to spin. It became so alarming and disconcerting that I decided to go to the doctor (I am not opposed to doctors). I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and placed on medication. For several years, I took the meds but the symptoms persisted even with the medication. I remember being at work one day and dizziness came over me so badly that I thought I would have to leave work but fortunately, it subsided after a while.
During a time of prayer in February of 2016, I decided to make a demand on heaven for what I knew belonged to me – healing. “Healing is the children’s bread.” On my knees, in my prayer closet, I received my healing. Immediately, I was challenged with the thought of whether or not to continue taking the pills. I decided that God is sovereign and that a pill does not determine whether or not I live or die. Hebrews 2:14,15 came to my mind. Fear of death has always been a part of life’s equation that equalled bondage for God’s people. Fear of dying will keep you on the pill, the needle, or the treatment. Any kind of fear or anxiety about dying will throttle the kind of faith that is needed to seize heaven’s promises. So, I decided that I would rather die than be in bondage to satan.
I would like to point out that African-Americans, from a natural perspective, in order to be free had to have the same mentality. They would rather die or face severe beatings rather than live any longer under the brutal conditions they were forced to live under.
After not taking the pills, that night, I thought I was going to have a stroke. Alarming symptoms came upon me. I had to hold onto the walls to walk to the bathroom. I was so dizzy, I thought I would fall. The side of my body felt as if it would go completely numb. Satan would tell me that I was going to die if I didn’t get back on the medication. The death card, however, could no longer be played against me. I would rather die, than be in bondage. I held on to the promises and kept firm my demand on heaven for what was rightfully mine, Matthew 8:17. This battle went on for a few months, but gradually, through my persistence, and God’s grace and faithfulness, the symptoms melted away. Praise God! No more dizzy spells! I am free from high blood pressure! It has been over a year now.
In summary, disobedience and nonviolence worked for Gandhi and for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in this worldly kingdom. These men, however, would have been disappointed in God’s kingdom.
Those who receive from heaven are those who are willing to offer to heaven violent faith coupled with obedience to God’s Word. As I have already said, nonviolence and disobedience will not work in the Kingdom of God, but the same willingness to die and lay everything on the line – life and treasure is a commodity that will worked naturally for African-Americans and will work spiritually for God’s people.
Such was the case with the woman who had the issue of blood, Mark 5:25-34. It was against the law for a woman who had an issue of blood to touch a rabbi. Under normal circumstances she would have been stoned. She knew that and yet, she in essence laid her life on line to be healed, and her righteous demand being a daughter of Abraham brought heaven’s blessings to her.
There has to come a point in your life where death is a better option than living a life of degradation, slavery, and humiliation. I cannot go out like that brothers and sisters, and neither can you!
I would like to pray a prayer for you. You may be in bondage to some degree or another. Heaven has your freedom. It is yours for the taking. I will add my faith to yours and violently we will seize the blessings that Jesus bought and paid for with His blood. Pray this prayer with me and receive.
Father I thank you that you have given me all things that pertain to life and godliness. Freedom belongs to me! Healing belongs to me! I now reach out to heaven in the name of Jesus and I receive and accept what you have freely given me. Sickness! Be gone! Bondage! Jesus has set me free! From this moment, I am free and I curse any spirit that would try to convince me otherwise. Thank you Jesus for your grace and for the working of the Holy Spirit in my life. Amen.