Jeremiah 29:7 Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
Simply put if a city does well its citizens do well. We have a vision for our city to do well. It’s a vision near and dear to the heart of God. Much has been made in recent years, on a national stage, of the social despair and unrest in our city. What if all that we have experienced is a stirring, a stirring for something more, something better?
Raised high and proud, there is an iconic billboard you see as you drive into downtown Portland that says, “Keep Portland Weird.” It would be easy to shrug off the sign as typical language for a town known for a city culture of coloring outside of the lines. While much of that is true, we see something different. One of Jesus’ core disciples shared a prophetic vision for humanity. He says in 1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
We want to call your attention to the phrase “peculiar people.” When God looks upon humanity, His creation, He sees us with all our flaws and idiosyncrasies. He imagines a world full of those who would radically love and worship Jesus. He doesn’t call us to set those passions down rather He calls us to offer them to Him. We believe the phrase “Keep Portland Weird,” is a prophetic declaration over a city that belongs to God.
History shows that men and women from the 1908 Azusa Street revival made their way to Portland and the surrounding area spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit revival fire. We remember in the 60’s the “Jesus People” revival where hippies flooded Portland churches bare foot and praising the name of Jesus. And once again the Holy Spirit has His eye on us. Revival and spiritual renewal are in the air.
The Lord showed me a vision of small wildfires dotting the state. The fires were insignificant and didn’t call attention to themselves. Then the wind began to blow across the state intensifying each fire creating white hot embers. Embers were carried to other parts of the state connecting these small fires. In no time the entire state was engulfed in flames. This is a vision of revival! What Jesus is doing now may seem small, unnoticeable, and insignificant. The Holy Spirit and His wonder breeze are now blowing connecting these isolated pockets of revival, uniting us into an all-consuming flame of His love and compassion. This is what we see for our city and beyond. Solomon said these words in Proverbs 11:11 When God’s people bless the city, it flourishes!
Pastor Wendell Robinson