Of Cod and Catfish

As the US expanded from East to West, many hurdles were faced. Not the least of which was the shipment of food from one cost to another while keeping it fresh and the price as low as possible. Many people have shared this account through the years. I am adding an abbreviated version to make sure we are on the same page.

The fishing industry in the eastern United States wanted to provide fresh Cod to the West. First, they tried shipping frozen fillets, but that resulted in a loss of taste. Second, they shipped live fish via trains, but that also resulted in a loss of taste. In addition, the fish was mushy. Are you hungry yet? There is nothing like mushy fish. Finally, some brilliant person wondered what would happen if they introduced the natural enemy of Cod, Catfish, into the tank as they were shipped.

This was tried and to great results. You see, the Catfish in the tank caused the Cod to remain active and vigilant on the long trip from one coast to the other. Now the fish was fresh, had a wonderful flavor, and the texture was good. All it took was a little tension in the tank. I call this “Holy Tension.” As a follower of Jesus Christ, I live a life between spiritual victory and spiritual attack…tension, prosperity and persecution…tension; peace and stress…tension.

Most of the time, our natural human reaction is to avoid tension. We do not like being in arguments. At least most people do not. However, I have met a few that shall remain nameless. We always want to have God’s favor and blessing. I would submit to you that the presence of tension does not mean you are living outside of God’s favor but is a tool God uses to strengthen you spiritually. I think we learn more about God in the valley than we ever do on the mountain top. This Holy Tension strengthens us. This is true of our natural body as well as our spiritual bodies. It is the tension of weights that builds muscle.

 With all of my heart, I believe that we are standing at the precipice of the greatest revival that has ever occurred. This will not be a single nation, denomination, or people, but a worldwide revival that touches every tribe, nation, tongue and denomination. This revival will transform the Church and the world. We will move in power and miracles as the early church did. There will be instantaneous healing, deliverance, and restoration. Most importantly, there will be salvations in numbers we have never seen. I believe the Spirit is calling the Church to get ready. I also believe that this will parallel the greatest persecution the Church has ever endured. This is the Holy Tension.

For some reason, the enemy of our souls has not figured out that the greater the persecution, the greater Christ’s Church grows. Think through history with me. During seasons of intense Roman persecution, the Church grew exponentially. In modern times, the largest Christian Church is underground in communist China. How can this happen under a regime that does not even allow free expression of worship and is, by definition, an atheist government? There is Holy Tension.

Like Codfish, when tension is absent, the believer becomes comfortable and lazy. Introduce tension, and suddenly we rise to the occasion and push back with everything within us. This, in turn, strengthens our faith and causes us to take a stand and share our faith like never before. I believe God is calling His Church to prepare for great blessing while, at the same time, great persecution. We must prepare for Holy Tension. We must be like the Cod with the Catfish.

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