So this weekend when I was preaching about the second beast in Revelation 13, I talked about his work of deception. The first beast attacks through blunt force, the second through propaganda. The first one dominates through violence, the second one dominates through seduction. The first beast comes in through the front door, the second beast comes in through the back door. And with the emphasis in the text being so clearly on how he does exercises control through economics, that is, through the arena of buying and selling, I felt like I had clear directions that our body needed to resist through sacrificial giving. So that was the call I gave.
Whether that sounds televangelist-ish or not, it’s what I knew I was supposed to do. And wow, did God show up big through His people–our biggest offering in history on the weekend of the 4th, with no special project or purpose besides obedience to God’s voice. And here is what I wanted to tell you today–after Amanda and I gave our sacrificial gift, a number I also felt strongly impressed on… Somebody hacked our debit card info Sunday (the same day!) and ran up an eerily similar amount to our offering in less than 24 hours. Man, I LOVE THAT. Because we talked about how sacrificial giving sticks it to the beast, and I was happy to see the beast stirred up. So let me tell you now–you better believe we are rounding that new check up just for spite/good measure.
I know this might sound like a hybrid of campmeeting preaching and Jay-Z–because I think it actually is a hybrid of campmeeting preaching and Jay Z…but when you get hit by the enemy, you really do have to man up and hit back sometimes and not just say “ow.” Make a decision to get violent in kingdom terms (which kingdom violence is only against the forces of darkness, never people) and actively retaliate. I’m not kidding. That’s what I believe. You know, turn off the auto tune. Stop making melodies, make folk want to go out and commit felonies (etc., etc.) Spiritual attacks are real and spiritual warfare is real. Which is precisely why you get tougher and more bombastic, not just taking everything lying down.
When I was a kid we sang “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” My favorite verse was “if the devil doesn’t like it he can sit on a tack!” I still sing stuff like that in my car, it just usually has a bass line behind it now.