Holy Spiritual Violence

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mat 11:12)

John the Baptist life marked a significant change in the kingdom of God. Jesus explained that John’s lifestyle caused a profound transition to take place in the earth in his generation. This transition had to do with a new passionate way people would seek God and possess the Kingdom. John was radically different from the religious leaders of His day. He had a spiritual aggression – a disruptive spirituality – that shifted the entire spiritual climate of his day. His spiritual life was fierce and passionate - Jesus called it violent. John’s “spiritual violence” set an example of holy pursuit for every subsequent generation of believers to follow. Not physical violence or any work of the flesh, but an aggressive posture of spiritual intensity powered by a heart burning in passionate love for God. His was a spiritual life fully given to God in wild abandonment and faithful obedience. Oh to live like John the Baptist!

Fasting, prayer, humility, boldness, and passionate love were marks of John’s spirituality. Many people only think of John the Baptist as an austere prophet who proclaimed the judgments of the Lord. While he did proclaim judgment, he was also a man full of joy because he had deep revelation of Jesus as the bridegroom God (John 3:29). It was this revelation that fueled John’s spiritual violence. The love of God will always compel the human heart to a radical lifestyle of holy abandonment.

Recently as I was considering John’s example a deep longing to for this same kind of spiritual aggression welled up within me. My heart ached to live completely abandoned for Jesus. The vision of pressing into and possessing the kingdom with spiritual violence was touching me in a profound way. It brought me back to an ideal that I’ve tried to live by for a long time: I want all of Jesus that’s available to me in this life and nothing less.

This is spiritual violence.

Jesus called John a, “burning and shining lamp.” John was burning with holy love and shining in bright righteousness for all to see. I believe many of you desire to burn and shine in the same way as John. You want to live a life of holy spiritual violence, standing against the sway of the world and the complacency of the hour. You want to burn in wild love for Jesus. Just like John the Baptist, you long to be a “burning and shining lamp”. I want to tell you it’s entirely possible for you. If you pursue Him, He will meet you. He will fill you with His fire, and sustain you in holy passion for decades. It’s entirely possible, in the grace of God to live zealously surrendered to Him all the days of your life.

Will you ask Him today to make you a burning one like John the Baptist – to fill you with the very fire and passion that John burned with? God wants to mark your heart with spiritual violence. He wants to cause you to be a disruptive force to the religious complacency of the hour. I’m praying for you and for thousands more who, like John, will press into the kingdom with spiritual violence and receive all God has for them, ultimately shifting the spiritual climate of an entire generation. I believe God is releasing the grace of spiritual violence to many right now. I pray you receive it and begin to walk in it today.