One of my favorite movies of all times stars Patrick Swayze the leader of a remnant of misfit teenagers who form the Wolverines in their defense of Mid Western rural America from the attack of Communism, in the classic RED DAWN. Though many died, including Patrick Swayze, it was this epic battle for the freedom of America. By the end, as with most movies, I’m balling my eyes out and daring anyone to invade America. Heroism such as David and his mighty men are often found in small groups of disciples who answer the call for their season.
It was early in the morning on Sunday June 3, 2018 that I heard this clear distinct word for Revive San Francisco. At the present time we had not visited San Francisco and had not been called to the pastorate. It’s always my desire to have a living word when I speak. Most of the time it is revelatory but this word was different; it was prophetic in nature. Through a series of fortunate events God was weaving our hearts with people we did not know and a city we had never considered living. Prophetically I see in pictures and numbers mostly. I began to see these series of numbers that led me to this encounter with Micah 2:12-13.
“I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob,
I will surely gather the remnant of Israel;
I will put them together like sheep of the fold,[fn]
Like a flock in the midst of their pasture;
They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.
13 The one who breaks open will come up before them;
They will break out,
Pass through the gate,
And go out by it;
Their king will pass before them,
With the LORD at their head.”
I knew this was a prophetic encounter that I would need to share as we visited San Francisco and Revive on June 10th. The word in verse 12 that I want to expound on today is the gathering of the remnant of what I want to title “The Call of the Remnant”. It is in this season that God is bringing together a group of elite disciples to carry on the heritage of Revive SF/Promised Land Fellowship. There have been two major moves of God in our church history and visits from wonderful men and women of God in the likes John Wimber, Cindy Jacobs and Bill Johnson.
The “remnant” is defined as a small remaining quantity or a surviving trace in the dictionary. Scripture likewise has treated the remnant as leftover food (Ruth), food at the Passover (Leviticus), and anointing oil (Leviticus). We see it in disasters and catastrophes such as with Noah in the Flood (Gen. 6), Lot with Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19). Elijah was sure he was the only one who had not bowed down idols but God assured him of the remnant of 7000 in 1 Kings 19. In Romans 9 we see this remnant of the Israelites that will be saved. This idea of the remnant is often looked at as “seconds” or “refugees”. Whether the remnant is from wars, disasters or divisions in the scripture, God always seems to gather a remnant. This prophetic word will not return void and carries the power to assemble these elite disciples.
Have you ever wondered why the disciples were willing to lay down everything for the call to follow Christ? There was something so powerful in the voice of Christ that when the call goes forth it is immediately followed by the response of obedience. This boggles my mind and creates this huge cataclysmic gap between this call and obedience. Reason cannot justify their willingness to leave both family, careers and cities by the mere “call” to “Follow ME”.
“And as He passed by he saw Levi, the son of Alpæus, sitting at the place of toll, and He saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed Him. (Mark 2.14)”
It is this call from Christ that we see Peter and James leave their fishing vessels. It is this call from Christ that Levi leaves his wealth and titles. There was something supernatural about the call that Jesus could make and the obedience that would follow. The same grace that brings salvation is the same grace that moves us into discipleship. Some men have enticing words, but to see Christ call with such response from mankind is void of reason. The process of weighing out your decisions and making choices that are rational are nonexistent. I’m a very logical person with a college education in the Sciences who has been well versed on decisions that require logic and testing the hypothesis. Don’t get me wrong, I worry about people who aimlessly wonder through life with no vision or thought, but something is different in this situation for all of us. It is this mystical call that can be neither calculated nor tested but requires obedience. We have been warned about blind obedience and it’s dangers. Something in His voice that resonates in my spirit causes me to abandon my previous life to follow him.
I remember when Jen and I were in college and had just gotten married. Through bitterness with the local church I had determined to not return. Jen was not raised in church and had no grid for the things of God. We would visit my Dads church of about 40 people in Webb, Alabama occasionally as we would visit home. I was a pro at the art of blocking the conviction of God. Jen on the other hand would leave with the conviction of the call to follow Christ every time. I would almost get frustrated and on more than one occasion would tell her I was not going to walk with God. God seems to have the card game in his favor and moves us to the place where we fold with the call. It was that call that would eventually rock our world. Not a call to just salvation but this call beyond reason that would cause us to lay down our lives for Him. It was so overwhelmingly easy after our initial response of obedience. Not only would we leave the “boats from where we were called” but we would burn the boats to never return. Many of you have experienced this call.
So I stand assured that we do not have to convince people to come. We do not have to reason over the past or the future. We must stand in obedience and proclaim the call that Christ has ordained. Return oh Remnant of Revive for God is calling. The very sound of His call is the same irresistible grace of salvation and the irresistible grace of discipleship. It’s like the old adage, “Which comes first the chicken or the egg?”. We could also ask, which comes first faith or obedience? I’m not sure, but my thoughts are that they are both married in this grace from heaven. To obey produces faith and faith produces obedience. It is with this call that goes beyond the call of salvation to elite discipleship. This season will bring many who are equipped beyond measure for the heroic adventure that awaits us. It will not be by reason that their choice is made but by the call of the one with an irresistible voice. Jesus is calling, “Come Follow Me”.