The following is from a vision the Lord gave me back in 2004, but I recognized that it wasn’t yet the right timing. However, during the last number of months as we’ve crossed into this new era, God has increasingly grabbed my heart with this vision and made it clear that it’s now in due season. In fact, for the last couple weeks, every time I go back to the Lord to hear His priorities as we continue forward, He brings this vision to the forefront. I’ve only slightly updated the language and writing in parts since I first put it on paper sixteen years ago.
Vision: Through the Eye of a Needle
The Lord led my heart through prayer into a vision of some place new. I seemed to be in the middle of a giant wilderness joined by many, many others. My reality was transported to another land, an empty land. It was made of rocky, dry terrain and a giant canyon sat directly before me. But beyond the canyon were big, great mountains that towered into a beautiful sunset. They were surely a large part of the destination on the other side of this canyon. There were smaller hills on all sides of me, but nothing as dominant as what stood ahead.
The light drew me and I had to go. I saw a glisten spring up from the ground right at the edge of the canyon. The light was almost drawn to this small edge specifically; thus, I was too. I crept to the edge, looked down and pondered the unique object that sat before me. I couldn’t help but laugh! It had to be a joke, yet the stark reality of this unlikely bridge across the canyon stared back at me.
“A needle and thread?” I thought to myself. “What kind of a path is this?” My answer sat right in front of me—a very narrow one. The path was indeed no bigger than a typical string of thread. Not only was this pathway unbelievably small, there was a much bigger bridge crossing the same canyon just ten yards away and headed the same direction. A second bridge was next to that one, only it was even larger. In fact, there was a cluster of different bridges across this canyon, and each one got bigger and wider. Who then would go through this gate, through the eye of a needle, with these more sensible options nearby?
“I might as well be riding a camel,” I thought to myself—of course thinking of Jesus’ teaching that it is much easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. I always thought of this story as an outlandish parable shared to illustrate the surrender of walking in the Kingdom of God. I later came to know its reality regarding “The Eye of the Needle Gate” of Old Jerusalem, and how a camel would have to be stripped down and unpacked from its long journey if it wanted to fit through.
What if this parable wasn’t just a teaching, but a path forward? What if Jesus was shining light on a door that is open to us, an invitation onto a path that will look insane to try and cross? What if He was preparing us for the choice we would have to make to fully live into the Kingdom possibilities before us? Only moments later, after this parable, I remember Christ closed His story by reminding us, “…’With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible'” (Matthew 19:26).
If a camel can travel through this place then there must be a way that I can too. But why? How do I even start? We’re talking about a needle, and it’s not a big one. There is nothing abnormal about its size, nor mine. The path did not fit in this world and I definitely did not fit this path. But for some reason I was considering it. I could not get over the thought that Jesus was speaking of something more of Him for us to experience than what our eyes or minds could show us. Maybe the eye of this needle was not just a narrow path, but an even narrower view that provided vision for something else?
These thoughts, however, were not completely overshadowing my own fears, and the laws of nature didn’t seem to be budging to fit me through such a minuscule place. Plus, everyone else crossing the variety of other bridges seemed just fine. Crowds of people were going about their own life’s path across all of these bridges. I saw many people that I know, and even more that I did not.
There were people I had gone to school with, grown up with, worked with, and even wonderful people I had learned from who were traveling these crossings just fine. It wasn’t just the way of the world or society; these were strong, stable, well supported paths. They were bound to a rock – that’s stability extended to great depths – and offered safe and pleasant passage. So who in their right mind would even consider an entrance or a path through the eye of a needle instead? I could see why this path was almost entirely ignored.
A great number of people moved and worked constantly, but never seemed to actually go anywhere. We were living in a simplified wilderness, but we walked, built, and pressed forward in a very modern mindset. Imagine a technologically sound caveman, if you will; this seemed to be a simplified society where very few people were content to be simple. But amidst the whirlwind of work, worship and play, the eye of a needle sat simply up from the ground as a gateway to this path of thread.
We are taught to be in the world but not of it, but I’ve begun to notice that even our best intentions can still become slowly dependent on the world and its ways. I realized my own part in these patterns had created a fear of losing control. That’s what would have to be lost to step outside the world and walk through this impossible path.
The sunset fell further behind the mountains ahead and my vision was now clearer. I didn’t have to fight the glare anymore, which further opened my eyes. I looked even more closely at the needle and could now make out some writing that had been etched into an otherwise small rock. It was the verse Isaiah 11:16:
“There will be a highway for the remnant of His people…”
“But wait,” I thought. “Aren’t we all Your people, Lord?”
“Yes!” I heard it again. “You are all My people. However, many are called, but few are chosen. The chosen are those who choose to follow My call, even through such a narrow place. At this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. My grace is sufficient for you, and My ways are not your ways.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Whoever is first shall be last and the last shall be first. I oppose the proud but give grace to the humble. Humble yourselves in My sight and I shall lift you up because I dwell in the high and holy place with Him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it springs forth; shall you not know it? For with man this is impossible, but with Me all things are possible.”
I awoke after some time and knew what His familiar, yet poignant, words meant for this time – this crossing over into the time before us. We are entering a season that will not make sense to the world, or even the world’s understanding of Jesus. We have had a long journey through hills and valleys, but to enter the Kingdom era before us we must unpack much of the baggage we’ve used or collected along the way. We must strip ourselves of the mindsets that may have helped us survive, but they are not what will allow us to flourish.
Jesus has given us an invitation to enter this new season, but many who are called to such will miss it without going low and finding perspective and the pathway through the needle’s eye. The Kingdom possibilities before us are AWESOME, but only a remnant will take the invitation to bring to life this peculiar path. Those that do will be like those in Isaiah 60:1-2:
“Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.”
The eye of the needle is our invitation through this remnant highway, to be a Kingdom people, who will usher in His harvest, His glory and His majesty upon the earth. The remnant Ekklesia that is arising must know such a narrow path, and show the world a new, different, authentic way that overcomes the many counterfeits of the times. Jesus gave us the answers, and they are waiting to be brought to life through the eye of a needle.