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About two weeks ago I was in Rome, Italy. It had been a dream of mine to go there from the time I was a young child. I love art. I am artist and one of my favorite Christian artists is Michelangelo. I always wanted to see the Sistine Chapel where Adam is depicted sitting on a cloud stretching his hand out toward the father who is on another cloud stretching his hand back toward Adam.

To me it is an awesome picture of Heaven touching earth. Man doesn’t deserve it but God loves us so much that he sent his son to die, not to remain dead, but to be the firstborn of many sons. I am a son, and I like Adam, am sitting on that cloud, reaching toward heaven, asking God to touch this lump of clay so that his power moves within me in the most awesome way.

While in Rome I was struck by its ancientness. There were buildings as old as the Christian movement. I sat near the Pantheon drinking a Late considering how time has danced around that great building and yet it still stands.

I was also struck by the youthfulness of that city. Everywhere I looked there seemed to be young men and women just starting out in their lives. They were very attractive people. I am not sure where their hearts were for God, but many of them didn’t seem to have him on their hearts at all. Of course, God is the only judge and He is gracious and merciful. He got a hold of my life and I am sure He will get a hold of many of their lives as well.

I was struck by the sin that I saw in that city. Everywhere you looked it seemed like people were living in hopelessness and shame. I could feel the spirits at work in that city trying to destroy the lives of the people. In the midst of the Vatican and the great art people were living spiralling lives of hopelessness seemingly heading toward nothing but the grave. There was sexual sin and heavy drinking and drugs in the streets. There was probably a lot more happening that I couldn’t see either, but I could feel it. My gift of discernment was in overdrive. I could feel the emotions of a thousand people seemingly without direction or hope.

I struggled while I was there. Temptation was rampant. I felt like the devil was near me like Jesus in the wilderness saying taste and see, God will forgive you. I dared not give into the temptation even though it was fierce. I hope you don’t mind the honesty. I would rather be honest then be bound by fear of man. I confess to you that I was tempted in every way, but thankfully the Lord was faithful and provided a way through.

1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

In the middle of that temptation I had a great encounter with the Lord. The Lion of Judah came to me out of a whirlwind in a dream of the night. I remember we were sitting in a car in the dream when we looked out the window to see two or three tornadoes coming toward us. It was scary to see.

But out of one of the whirlwinds a great lion wearing as crown appeared. He was made all of light. His crown was yellow and his body was red. He was the lion of Judah. I heard angels around me call him by name. He ran and he danced and he played. What I felt during this encounter was nothing but bliss. I was amazed at the glory that the King displayed. He was holy and vibrant and filled with life.

I saw a second whirlwind and ran toward it. From this one the hand of grace appeared, much like the depiction for the Sistine Chapel. I ran toward a hand that was hovering from a cloud just above my head. It moved quickly but I jumped in the air and just touched it as it was passing by. It looked like the hand of a female.

The hand of grace came to me in a city where temptation flourished. I was awed by this encounter. I knew that God was good and that no matter what temptation came my way God would provide a way for me to be set free. God is able to make all grace abound in your life. Even when we sometimes don’t feel like we are seeking Him, He is still there. He still loves us. He always loves us. He honors the relationship that we have with Him. And when the enemy comes like a flood he appears like a lion and roars.

Two night later I had another dream. In this one I saw destruction coming into the earth. I witnessed a wave of destruction that was tearing the ground a part. It was as big as Niagara Falls and the roar was louder. It was coming straight at me and there was nothing that I could do to stop it. I just watched and waited to be destroyed. That is when a man appeared beside me and he shouted like a roaring trumpet. He told the wave to stop.

As soon and the sound left his mouth the wave stopped in it tracks and the ground settled. I just stood there thinking, “Why didn’t I shout that way?”

The truth is I am just glad that the Lion of Judah is releasing his roar. I believe that there is something about to be released on a grand scale. This generation may appear to be lost, but Jesus is about to roar and the children of God are about to be reaped into the Kingdom. I declare a brand-new day is upon us. Get ready for Jesus to make Himself real.

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