Recently, I was channel surfing and came upon the end of a NASCAR race. The winning driver crossed the finish line and took his victory lap. After the victory lap he pulled into the Winner’s Circle. What happened next was interesting.
Once his car came to a stop he climbed out of the driver’s side window and sat atop his car. His vehicle was covered with advertisements and company logos. Every square inch of the car was covered with product endorsements for things like sports drinks, car insurance, home refinancing companies and motor oil. The car was a piece of rolling advertising artwork that brought in huge income paid by the advertisers.
As I continued to watch the victory celebration, one of the driver’s assistants ran up to him with a baseball hat that had a company logo on the front of the cap. As soon as his hat was on his head the assistant handed the driver a can of some kind of sports drink.
You could tell the driver was schooled about camera presence because he kept the drink close to his face. The products were now in the hand of “a winner.” The not-so-subtle message was that if you used these products and drank this drink you could also be “a winner.” All of this was taking place as the pit crew was shaking and squirting champagne all over the driver and anyone else within twenty feet. It was a joyous moment, this endorsement party in the Winner’s Circle.
After I moved on and channel surfed my way to a news show, I thought of where I had recently read the word, “endorsed”, in the Bible. It was in Acts 2 where Peter was trying to explain what happened on the Day of Pentecost to an amazed crowd of people who just saw God do something no human words could adequately explain.
Peter said, “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.” (Acts 2:22)
This verse followed Peter quoting the prophecy from Joel 2 where God promised to pour out His Spirit on the Church allowing us to do things not in our natural abilities to accomplish. Joel prophesied a coming endorsement for the Church that God was in our midst.
As I read this verse, I realized those of us in the church in Western cultures need to be careful when we pull into our personal Winner’s Circle of life and ministry. We need to be careful we are endorsing things that required God to show up and do something beyond our best plans and programs.
We cannot accomplish the task Jesus gave us as His Church without the manifestation of His power in our cities. This is the endorsement that He is in our midst. The frontiers of darkness are not breached by the kindest of our intentions or by the most noble of our good works.
This kind of an endorsement means that we will have to redefine the Winner’s Circle. This needs to be a place where there is only one product being endorsed – the supernatural works of God. Without the manifestation of this kind of victory our cities will remain untouched by the love and power of God.