In Los Angeles, I am breaking every rule I know about tent crusades. Our team is heading directly into harm’s way.
No other outreach has caused me more turmoil and agony than this one.
In general, there are a million reasons not to go to Los Angeles for a crusade.
To do it this way is ridiculous. We normally take several months to plan for a tent crusade. We have done some in as little as three months. But here—in a city that easily justifies a year of groundwork—we gave ourselves just 45 days!
Why would we do such a thing? Why would we put ourselves in a position where we have only 45 days? In Los Angeles?
Why did I do it? The Los Angeles County Fairgrounds was suddenly available for September 10-13. I knew that would not last. I snatched it up. Then the facts came crashing down on my heart.
Consider the Facts
— The cost for this crusade could easily be as much as five crusades put together. LA is expensive.
— It will be harder to get a crowd here than anywhere else I have preached. LA oozes with distractions and endless things to do. Plus, the most sophisticated marketing in the world goes on here. How can we compete with that? How can we get their attention?
— Then there is the persecution. The gloves are off here. Government and media have the Christian faith in their crosshairs. We will be censored, misquoted, and threatened.
— But the biggest obstacle is the vast number of believers across America who consider LA to be a lost cause. Many believe God should destroy LA.
There you have it. A crusade that is the most expensive—the most difficult—done in the least amount of time.
In the natural, I felt I was living out this hilarious quote: “We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”
What is not funny is the way my soul suffered. The crushing weight on my spirit had to be removed. I had to be convinced—totally convinced this was God. Only God’s voice could bring the relief I needed.
The story of how I got my answer is amazing. It began when I clearly heard this phrase: “Where is the God of Elijah?”
I could tell you we are going because of the great need. No one needs to tell you how destroyed and desperate millions are in Los Angeles. But that is not the biggest reason.
The real reason seemed like a complete contradiction: The reason this mission is impossible is: Los Angeles. The reason we are going? Also: Los Angeles.
This crusade is not about Mario Murillo. This crusade is not about the impossibility. It is about God and Los Angeles It is about this moment in history.
We are at the very same place that Israel was when Elijah was taken from them in a fiery chariot.
“He [Elisha] took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over” (2 Kings 2:13-14, NKJV).
The renowned prophet Elijah is suddenly gone. Israel is left with a massive moral vacuum. Would the evil now go unanswered? No! Never! God has placed a double portion upon the successor—Elisha!
But instead of Elisha declaring himself the new prophet, he did something remarkable. He declared the God of Elijah. And more importantly he threw down this burning question: “Where is the God of Elijah?!”
At that moment, Elisha understood what Israel needed was not a man. Israel needed a national miracle. They needed to know what God was going to do now that Elijah was gone.
This self-effacing act released power. Elisha struck the river Jordan with the mantle, and the waters parted, just as they had done for Elijah. The vessel was not the important feature. The God who was doing something new—that was what mattered.
We are at the very same place that Israel was when Elijah was taken from them in fiery chariot. It is breathtaking but true—Los Angeles has been used to bring more moral awakenings and miracles to the world than any other city in the modern era.
Los Angeles can only go one of two ways: It can either destroy America or it can save America.
Shall I list the movements that God birthed from Los Angeles ? Billy Graham, Aimee Semple MacPherson, Kathryn Kuhlman, Youth with a Mission, Trinity Broadcasting, the Jesus Movement, Azusa Street and many, many more.
If God wants to use this city to shock the world one more time, how can we question it? We have only one question to ask: Where is the God who did all of these things in Los Angeles?
And If He is at work, then nothing else matters. The money does not matter. The shortness of time does not matter. The sleepy church does not matter.
I am entering the greatest time of testing in my life. But God will be with me in the fire. The potential for failure and humiliation is great. But God is greater.
I am not going to lie to you. The biggest miracles I have ever needed must come in a short span of time. But I remember these words: “And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly” (2 Chron. 29:36).
We have thrown caution to the wind to go to Los Angeles. We are sacrificing everything not because our time is short—but because America’s time is short.
I believe you may have a date with destiny in Los Angeles. Do not fear to join me. It is time for all of us to break the rules that do not matter.
For the original article, visit our content partner at mariomurillo.org.
Mario Murillo rose from poverty in the Mission District of San Francisco. After being revolutionized by Christ, he felt a call to the University of California at Berkeley. His international ministry was launched after a four-day conference in San Jose, California, extended for six months with a total attendance of nearly 250,000 people. Since then, his voice has been heard by millions around the world, bringing a message that zeroes in on the hurts of society.
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