The chaos that erupted on a United Airlines flight yesterday should never have happened.
I was in the vicinity of two unfortunate United Airline situations over the past week.
First, I was on my way to preach at the Strike The Match Conference in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada last Thursday. My flight from Chicago to Toronto was delayed most probably due to a fake bomb threat on a Toronto to Chicago flight earlier in the day.
Second, I was at O’Hare International Airport again, this time on my way back from the conference yesterday (which, by the way, was an electric and supernatural explosion of Holy Spirit power!) —the same day passenger David Dao was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight.
The police never should have been called. David never should have been dragged off the airplane. He never should have been bloodied or knocked unconscious. This never should have become a trending story on social media.
David Dao should have obeyed the directive to walk off the plane.
I have to admit, I am disturbed at the number of Christians who are knee-jerk reacting against United Airlines and in favor of the unruly passenger. While the police may have possibly employed regrettable actions, the airline was acting within their rights, just as they do many times a day in similar situations. Submission to authority is an elementary level truth for Believers. David Dao, and every one of the nearly one billion air travelers in the United States agree to very clear, non-negotiable terms when they buy their ticket. The Contract of Carriage allows airlines to remove and rebook passengers.
Complaining, refusing to comply and rejecting the directives of our authorities is ungodly behavior. Period. David may or may not be a Believer, but Christians, you should know better.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world… (Phil 2:14-15)
And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp. (Num 11:11)
MY UNITED AIRLINES EXPERIENCE YESTERDAY
Everybody who travels by air is well aware of the fact that there is a chance you won't make it on time. My trip to Canada and back was negatively impacted both directions. I was exhausted in both instances and easily could have been grumpy and unreasonable with the decision makers who were putting stress on my journey.
Two flights were delayed on the way to Canada and air traffic control issues forced the cancelation of my flight from Chicago to home last night. I missed my daughter's birthday because of it. Plus, the airline only paid half of my hotel. I'm out at least $160 for hotel, food, toiletries, etc. Guess what? That's life folks! I wasn't pounding my fist on the United Airlines customer service counter (after waiting in line for an hour) demanding better treatment. I didn't strong-arm them into finding my luggage, that was unnecessarily checked through to my final destination at the gate by the way, so I could have clean clothes to wear today. I was tired, probably a little smelly and ready to go home. Instead I emptied my wallet because of no fault of my own, checked into a hotel somewhere in Chicago, slept just a little, woke up early, wore the same smelly clothes today, and finally flew home.
How sad of a story that is, right? You have to be kidding. That’s simply called travel.
Come on people. It's not all about us. Sometimes life doesn't go as planned. Yes, the man in Chicago who refused to deplane was extremely in the wrong.
It’s our job as lights in a dark world to smile and reveal the life and love of Jesus in challenging and unfair situations and not grumble and demand our rights to be met!
Ironically, just as I emerged from the jet bridge in Springfield, Missouri, I saw the group of people waiting to board the plane for their own flight. The attendant said, “This flight is overbooked and we are looking for volunteers to surrender their seats.” I’m sure those who either volunteered or were forced to give up their seats acted a lot more maturely and appropriately than the gentleman did yesterday.
THE LOST ART OF SUBMISSION TO AUTHORITY
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. (Rom 13:3-5)
We aren’t only to submit to authority that is fair or right. We don’t turn our submission on and off based on our own analysis of the situation. We should have no fear of authority, of pastors, of leaders, of the police, if we are doing what is right.
Regardless of whether David Dao was treated properly or not, he disobeyed a clear and direct order. He was wrong, no matter how important he believed himself to be. Entitlement must go. Humility and submission to authority must find its way into our independent, narcissistic culture.
As I said above, I’m stunned at the Christians who are instant in their defense and outright celebration of David’s clear indiscretion. In today’s society it seems it’s the authority that’s always the villain. Corporations, pastors, police officers, parents and others are held in suspicion at best and rebelled against without apology at worst.
Airlines absolutely have the right to remove people for any reason. Refusal to comply is against the law. That simply cannot be argued. We are required, per Scripture, to obey. Our supposed ‘rights' are not more important than our responsibility to submit.
God will always support authority that is wrong before he supports one under authority who is right and in rebellion. Those who don't understand this set themselves up for great bitterness both against authority AND God.
We presume God is most interested in right vs. wrong. He is not. He’s interested in our response, our reaction.
It doesn’t matter if United Airlines was wrong (though I personally do not think they were), David’s reaction was unacceptable. The airline had the right to do what they did. They had no obligation to explain themselves. They along with the lawmakers write the rules.
There are many “unfair” rules the flight attendants must enforce on flights. They are irritating. I really don’t think my seat being two inches more upright is really going to save me in an air disaster. However, they are the boss! What they say goes, whether it’s when we can wear headphones, get up to use the restroom or whether we get to fly that day at all. They and ultimately the captain are our authorities in the air. It doesn’t matter if we like the rules or agree with the rules. We simply have to obey the rules. I think introducing “yes sir, yes ma'am, no sir, no ma'am” back into our culture would do us all a lot of good.
FALSE HUMAN RIGHTS
From my Charisma News article False Human Rights Destroying the Church and our Nation:
Today we are absolutely overwhelmed by the constant, self-centered shouts of those who demand that their country—or their church—gives them what they believe is rightfully theirs.
It's a false human rights movement.
The right to abortion. The right for same-sex marriage. The right to be equal. The right to be heard.
It's a sickening, selfish focus that is driven by human desire instead of a willingness to take up our cross and die. How often have people left churches because their supposed rights weren't addressed? How much dissension is in the workplace because people are looked over in favor of another?
I've said it before—today, when people's self-centered pursuits are rejected, they abandon relationships, leave churches and cause division, but when Jesus was rejected, He didn't abandon people. He didn't forsake the church.
An offended people will destroy a nation. A surrendered people will build a nation.
All over social media today I’m reading about who was right and who was wrong. Some are screaming that United Airlines was wrong and that David is the victim.
Friend, it’s not about right or wrong. It’s about our response.
Christians are being tortured, raped and murdered as martyrs all over the world, and we think someone being required to vacate a seat on an airplane is a violation of human rights? We’d have to be sick to think such a thing!
COVENS IN THE CHURCH
From my book on authority, Covens in the Church:
The enemy has caused many to believe that we can’t experience freedom while being submitted. This is simply not true.
Freedom from authority is rebellion.
Freedom in the absence of authority is anarchy.
Freedom under authority is liberty.
It must be made clear now that while God desires leaders to serve with great love, humility, passion and care, there are some in the body who simply do not do so. While God will hold those leaders deeply accountable for their leadership, God will hold the rest of us accountable for how we respond to them. Do we serve from a position of great love, humility, passion and care–or not?
Loving submission to authority is non-negotiable and more important now that it has ever been.
God loves you very much and is capable of protecting you even as He has placed you under the authority of imperfect men and women. Remember, we are not to be self-governing in an attempt to protect ourselves from flawed leaders. That is the wrong response to the problem. Using a spirit of Control to fight a spirit of Control doesn’t work. This is the core idea of the entire book. As we submit to those whom God placed over us, be they good or evil, God will ensure our protection.
We may have to go through difficult situations that seemingly limit us, put our dreams on hold or even violate our pet ideas and opinions. The situations may last years, but we must submit in love without failure! God is able to bring us through!
We never speak against or elevate our own opinions above God’s established authority. Pastors, prophets, apostles, politicians, policemen, bosses, etc. We humbly support them, unless, and only unless, they were to cause us to violate a CLEAR Scriptural truth. That’s it.
It’s important to understand that to submit to God’s appointed leaders in our lives only to the point where we agree with the order is NOT submission at all.
Submission is actually spotlighted when someone honors his or her authority when the order is contrary to their own opinions, experience or position. We can agree with our authority while not agreeing with the order or instruction or position. It is never appropriate to remove ourselves from a position of submission if the order given is inconvenient, bothersome or irritating.
HONOR OF AUTHORITY MUST RETURN—TO THE NATION AND TO THE CHURCH
It’s time to crucify our narcissistic, independent flesh and love and honor—and obey—the authorities God has put in our lives. We don’t have to be afraid. We can be free.
Today there seems to be a new uprising against the establishment, against leadership almost continually.
We can contend for cultural change. In fact, as Kingdom Christians, we have a mandate to do that! But, we do it with intercession, love and honor for our leaders.
God will not affirm those who use control, manipulation, unrighteous anger and an independent spirit to affect change.
Entire movements of zealous intercessors and godly social activists can do wonders in society—as long as their heart is right.
Come on friends, let’s change the world the right way. Let’s go the way of honor. God will have our backs.
The vision is HOT and I am boldly calling you into position.
Revival Church is a key gathering point for the entire regional church of Detroit—and the need for highly devoted people is skyrocketing.
We need you.
We are looking for people who really believe that revival can come to Detroit—but we aren’t looking for people who are waiting on the sidelines for something to happen. It’s time to work.
This need of fiery people includes 1000 people who won’t take no for an answer when presented with the possibility of revival. God gave me the job of gathering 1000 people to join together on Friday nights to pray for Detroit. See where we’ll be next Friday at www.revivallab.com.
**MY GUESS IS if you are in this region, and you are reading this, you are included in the 1000. We’re calling every leader, every pastor, every intercessors in the entire region to pray with us every week.
The importance of the region of revival minded Christians gathering together is so extreme.
Everybody MUST watch this video. It’s about the call to rock Detroit with fire! Go to www.revivallab.com and watch the video on the bottom left corner.
The State of the Church
I am humbled by what God has done in such a short amount of time. The culture that’s been developed at Revival Church is stunning!
>>One friend regularly comes from Chicago because she can’t find anything like Revival Church in her city of millions! Detroit is going to draw the masses just like this!
It’s rare to find a church that’s made up of so many people who have devoted themselves to revival. The cost is so high, and the reformation requires so much.
Our worship experience is rare and very special. TheLab School of Fire is growing fast and transforming a lot of people.
Our leadership team is unparalleled. We are blessed. It’s hard to believe we started in my living room just two and a half years ago.
- I am actively dreaming and allowing God to radically expand the vision of Revival Church.
- We must see another wave of people flood into position and refuse to allow anything to move them out. It’s time to lock in and refuse to let issues, unfulfilled expectations or frustrations shut you down.
- I’m boldly asking for another 150 people from the region to discover their role at Revival Church—and simply come every time the doors are open.
- I’m boldly asking for everybody to financially invest into this mission radically. Some can give hundreds and I’m convinced some can give tens of thousands of dollars.
- I’m seeking ways to impact a much broader region…well beyond the Detroit Metro area.
- I’m looking for 100 new students at theLab School of Fire. They must be trained in the DNA and vision that God has imparted into this regional ministry of revival. This will require thousands of dollars for marketing.
- I’m looking for my leadership team to expand significantly with people who are burning with the vision and who will serve humbly and feverishly (just like our current leaders!).
- It’s time to get our message on as many media channels as we can. Detroit must hear the sounding of the alarm to gather and advance the Kingdom in Detroit.
I received some rock solid insight regarding church development from Ed Young, and I wanted to pass this on. This is very much what we are applying at Revival Church. If you are a leader, this is for you:
- Draft impact players.
One of the most important skills as a leader is to have discernment. Draft people who are influencers. Draft yes men and women (i.e., people who are yielded and encouragers). Look at the spouse of your impact players. You better go spouse hunting because they are one. How do these people spell relational relief. Check out Facebook. Check references.
- Develop double vision.
If you have a church of 20 people, pastor like it is 40. If you have 200 people, pastor like it is 400.
Change > Conflict > Growth = the spin cycle of success. If you aren’t careful as a leader, you can get as a contemporary church become as predictable as a traditional church.
- Build a big shallow end in your church.
You better have a place where you can rapidly plug in new attendees and new Christ-followers. The church grows from the outside-in. Start reaching people, and make a big place for them.
- Put on your shades.
The vision should be so bright, so hot that people have to wear shades. Make people feel and know the vision of your church. Don’t assume that people know the vision. Talk about the vision. People don’t give to need; they give to vision.
- Las Vegas
Las Vegas has nothing to say, but they know how to say it. We have everything to say but don’t know how to say it. Most of us do a horrible job in promoting. We should be the best promoters in the world.
- Consult other leaders before you consult the consultant.
Talk to people who are in the game and not the consultants.
- Pay now or pay later.
You have to pay your people well. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. What is well? I have no idea, but you’ll know if you ask questions. Put money in the hands of people that you know will be generous and bring the tithe. Where your treasure is, so your heart is. If you are going to err on the side of a poverty mentality or prosperity mentality, err on being generous.
- Have a good HATtitude.
What kind of hat do you wear? If you can’t put on the hat of enforcing the rules, you are doing something wrong. Sometimes you need the vision hat. Sometimes you need the corporate hat.
- Deal regularly and rapidly with staff infection.
When you see a shark on your staff – deal with it. If you have to sit down with a staff member and motivate them more than twice, you don’t need them around you.
- Watch the leaves.
People will leave your church. Don’t tell me how many people are coming to your church; tell me how many people are leaving your church. If you are doing the right things, people will leave. Even a third of the angels left heaven.
- Become childish.
One of the most important things in the church is your children’s ministry. Put your best energy, best time, best money, and best volunteers with the children.
- Pick up special deliveries.
Pyramid your church with special days (big events). It must have a meaning behind it and not just gimmicks.
- Tweak out!
Create a climate of critiques. Small tweaks take you to giant peaks.
- Investigate what you delegate.
People don’t do what you expect; they do what you inspect.
- To go out, you have to get under.
I have to get under the things that God has placed over me so that I can get over the things that God has placed under me. This is about authority issues. It is about honor.
- The message is the main thing.
Worship elements, videos, and other things are important, but the message is the main thing.
- Become a rescuer.
Church is about souls. We do all of this because people need the Lord Jesus Christ. We are rescuers.
See you tomorrow for burning prayer at 10pm and then Sunday at Revival Church!
It landed again. The spirit of revival exploded onto the scene in Detroit last night!
I honestly can’t imagine any revival hungry person in the Detroit region missing these services! Watch the video HERE!
I'm barely able to function as my eyes attempt to focus on the blazing glory in front of me. Obliterating the old, and experiencing something new. The glory is hitting the earth. They had to carry me out of the mtg last nite. That hasn't happened to me for many years.~Brian Simmons
I was consumed by the glory of God myself all night long. Leading a meeting under such a strong influence of new wine is a site to behold! Then, when I was in the foyer one of my heavily anointed staff comes over and touches me… and I was done. I crashed. The anointing was so intense, and so new, that I collapsed. I’m still carrying that glory right now as I type this.
IT CONTINUES TONIGHT AT REVIVAL CHURCH
I’ll say it again, if you live within 2-3 hours of Detroit, and you are hungry for God, hungry for revival, it just wouldn’t make any sense to stay home today. If you think the Super Bowl is a better alternative, I have done a tragically poor job of revealing to you the level of God’s glory that arrived in the city last night. We cannot treat this arrival of the King casually. His Royalty is here!
Revival Church meets at CENTRAL CHURCH, 1529 E. 12 Mile Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071.