The Roaring 2020s: Open the Floodgates of Heaven!
Let me begin with a little prologue for context. January 2020 didn’t simply begin a new year; it began a new decade – “the 2020’s.” And what a beginning! No doubt, 2020 was one of the most dramatic and traumatic years of our lives. It will go down in history for the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, shutdowns, social and racial divisions, flaming riots, broken government and institutions, economic instability, cyberattacks, confusion, dangerous mental and emotional distress, etc.
And rather than the door shutting on 2020 as we hoped, it flung open wider, not only to the same woes but to new, even worse ones. Within a few weeks, we’ve seen election chaos, pandemonium at our Capitol, major Big Tech takedowns of what they consider objectionable accounts, major division in society, and even genuine Christian believers unfriending each other.
I thought of the “Roaring 20’s” (1920s), so named for its freewheeling culture and then thought of our current decade. Dubbing it the “Roaring 2020s,” and wondering how it will play out, I see 2 primary options:
Roaring of tyranny – the roar of rancor, loss of freedom, our nation’s demise, one-world government
Roaring of freedom – the roar of the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah,” His fearless Church come alive, a mighty outpouring of the Spirit, an uncontainable Great Spiritual Awakening.
I believe the devils of hell, intent on claiming our nation for their purposes, have long plotted to vanquish us and usher in a new epoch – one of pervasive upheaval, darkness, and despair. Swollen with arrogance over their recent gains, 2020 seemed a perfect time to launch their all-out attack. They fully expected our nation’s greatest firewall – the Church -- to give up quickly. Seeing us as weak, foolish, distracted, fearful, and ill-prepared for their “day of evil,” they began their frontal attack. They felt certain that upon hearing their bells tolling the death knell over our cherished values, we would think it was over – that we had lost too much ground, hope was gone, and the only thing left was to roll over and surrender.
But the devil and his armies seem to forget that the Lord has a Day in which enough is enough, and He rises to act. They may be principalities and powers in high places, but they shrink in terror whenever the Almighty “has bared His holy arm” and sent a “storm of the Lord” against them. They should never count the Church out. Jesus Christ has won the victory for us. As we discover who we are and what we possess in Him, the gates of hell collapse before us.
This is our time to rise up, and we must not wait for another. True, we have all been through a jolting period. Some of us feel numb, some discouraged, some fighting mad, and others weak and fearful. We all, no doubt, feel some grief, and that is understandable. But it is time to lift our eyes again and embrace our hope in Jesus. Let’s invite Him to console, restore, and rejuvenate us.
NOW, LET ME EXPLAIN MY VISION FOR THE COMING YEAR AND DECADE. It’s a grand vision that actually began many years ago:
It was 2003, and my husband Clay and I were flying in a 6-seat SIM bush plane with the pilot and our missionary friend. Looking out over Niger, Africa’s ever-expanding Sahara Desert, I thought how the barren land pleaded for rain in two spheres – material and spiritual. What could be more appropriate than listening to Michael W. Smith's Worship CD and crying with him, "Let it rain, let it rain; open the floodgates of heaven”? I could almost hear the land begging God to manifest His glory there.
After we came home to California, I continued to pray for Africa. One day I was praying,
and God gave me a new impression. This time America, not Africa, came to mind. I thought of the storm drain at the curbside in front of my house. Often, I could hear water tumbling through it after a rain. As I pondered this, I was happy at the thought of how God sends “rivers of living water” into our souls.
Then suddenly I saw something else – an opposite interpretation that ended my happy reverie. Instead of a lighthearted reflection, this one was ominous. I saw in my mind’s eye spiritual storm drains. Far from being a blessing, these were a work of our enemy. He had constructed these out-of-the-way, subterranean channels, and through them he contained, confined, concealed, and channeled heaven’s divine life-giving flow away from God’s people. Unbeknownst to those who needed it most, who lived aboveground and were unaware of God’s provision, the precious supply simply passed unseen, unspent, and unproductive out to some wasted sea of oblivion. Increasingly, the landscape exhibited spiritual drought!
I thought of how the devil works to quench the Holy Spirit’s activity. One strategy is to place his evil storm drains near the Church’s foundations. In Ezekiel 47:1-12, we see the picture of water flowing out from beneath the temple, growing into a river, and giving life to everything it touches. Rather than being flushed away, this water is sent to become a holy river for replenishing the earth.
This Scripture well illustrates how God would use the Church. He yearns to send an outpouring of His Spirit so “rivers of living water” flow out to the spiritually lost and destitute of this world. But the enemy knows that if he can distract us with lesser concerns and make us content with spiritual dryness, he can quickly divert most of God’s supply away from the need – out of sight, out of mind, underground, and under wraps.
In this way, some churches have dried up and died. Others still have a trickle, but because it’s enough to keep them alive, they overlook their parched condition. They may still impact the world in some vital way, but so much effort must be done in their own flesh that they further dry out. Finally, there are churches that are more awake to the spiritual battle. The Holy Spirit flows in and through them in much greater measure. Thankfully, they truly do make a difference and even thrive.
Despite some positive signs, however, we are in trouble. What we have is not enough. We must get rid of the storm drains that divert God’s living water away. His supernatural supply is powerful, but when we ignore our growing lack, the enemy exploits those places with his own tide. As I indicated earlier, we are at war. I already mentioned many outward calamities afflicting us. But the inward ones are even more insidious. Our enemy has done great damage to our identity, not only within the Church but within the culture. Who can miss his increasingly fervid efforts to wipe out every vestige of God’s imprint from our public arena; his systematic flushing of our Christian values down the drain, along with every other true acknowledgment of God and His truth. As we turn our heads, the demonic strongholds grow stronger and fiercer, more intent on suppressing even our most cherished freedoms.
It’s not that the Church has done something terribly wrong. It’s that we generally have ignored the changes around us. Now, like the proverbial frog in the kettle, we find ourselves enduring a day of evil our parents never knew. Not long ago, the Christian worldview dominated our land; today, that worldview is largely rejected and loathed. Consequently, we can no longer afford to disregard the Holy Spirit’s resources. We need much more of Him now than ever before! If we scarcely have enough spiritual life to sustain ourselves, how can we weather the coming assaults and help a spiritually dying land so desperate for an outpouring from heaven?
If you were raised in church, you might remember the beloved old hymn, “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing.” Here’s the chorus: “Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need; Mercy-drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.”
In more ways than one, I have related less and less to this pleasant imagery. I suppose mercy-drops and showers still have their place, but in a culture of raging spiritual conflict, it seems we need something more intense, even militant– not a friendly rain of God’s Spirit but a flood. “Let it rain, let it rain; open the floodgates of heaven.” So that’s how I’ve prayed – for a spiritual rain so powerful that it would flood our land.
While this has been my heartfelt prayer, I believe the Spirit is showing me that even this is not adequate for the hour we face. One day, He gave me a fresh revelation, more profound than my former understandings. I had seen news stories related to the world’s largest hydroelectric dam -- the Three Gorges Dam in China. In August 2020, it was filling to capacity and showing signs of stress. To relieve it, officials opened all 13 of its floodgates. The discharge rate of water through them was up to 60,000 cubic meters per second. That’s nearly 16 million gallons! Or – get this! -- a gushing deluge approaching a billion gallons per minute!
As I tried to wrap my mind around this and saw footage of this water release, I realized my deficient conceptions of Michael W. Smith’s, “Let it Rain.” Throughout the years, whenever I heard, sang, or thought of it, I focused more on the rain than on the floodgates. In fact, although he repeatedly sang “open the floodgates of heaven,” I had totally missed it!
Now I see it! It overwhelms me! The physical torrents released from the Three Gorges Dam seem massive, but they cannot be compared with the infinitely greater spiritual deluge when Heaven’s floodgates open! I also sense a dual purpose in a heavenly deluge. Just as Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil and to bring redemption to the world, God’s outpouring will both ruin and heal. Heaven has simultaneously stored up a flood of cataclysmic wrath on evil and lavish blessings of renewal on His Church.
Just think about it! When Heaven’s righteous floodgates open in full force and the floodwaters descend upon the world, it will not be like Noah’s flood. It will be a spiritual outpouring like none other, where truth swamps the refuge of lies, where it wrecks enemy strategies, and it obliterates the wicked strongholds and storm drains. But, concurrently, the deluge that devastates this evil, I believe and pray, will flood the Church with vibrant life and glory. I hope you can catch the vision of this outpouring renewing our land, leaving it pure, radiant, sparkling, alive, and fruitful.
Many of us are living in the most challenging time of our lives. If you feel distressed, I believe the Lord wants to lift your spirit with the vision I described. I believe this vision is for you, and I believe His grace truly IS sufficient to carry you to restored faith, confidence, vitality, and purpose. The Holy Spirit will enable you to reclaim what the enemy stole, to “see” miracles in the making, and to receive renewed anointing for your calling. Yes, He’s kept you here “for such a time as this.”
Many of God’s people believe that before Christ returns, the earth will experience one final, massive, glorious, worldwide revival. I love this vision and pray into it. Please join me! I believe our united prayers will finally bring the shift that moves God to command His floodgates open and release a mighty outpouring to fill the earth. Are we entering the Tribulation? Perhaps. If so, let’s pray all the more intently for God to act quickly.
One day I had just concluded my prayers along these lines, and I took out my daily Bible reading schedule. It directed me to Ezekiel 43, and the first words astonished me! “Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory” (vss 1-2). Wow! The God who spoke the world into being, confirmed my prayers and declared that He can, indeed, “roar” from heaven like “rushing waters,” cleansing our land and leaving it “RADIANT”!
Please prepare your heart by repenting of any hindrances and join me in praying for our land.
HERE IS A PRAYER:
“Lord, we are so needy. Exhausted by our own efforts, we surrender to Your effort. Looking up, we see what You can do when You open heaven’s floodgates. Please do it now! Let massive, mighty, gushing torrents from on high leave hell’s forces stricken and helpless to contain them. We pray these torrents will inundate enemy storm drains so they no longer swallow up Your living water and ruin Your plans but are swallowed up in them. We pray that Your water-levels rise, forming swift-flowing, irresistible currents of holiness, justice, truth, and love; that they surge over the land – rushing, drowning, swamping, sweeping – until demonic influences, plots, schemes, doctrines, and strongholds are demolished and wicked debris washed away. We pray that every obstacle and resistance to Your purposes will be gone, replaced with passionate love and zeal for You. Yes, let there be an unprecedented Great Spiritual Awakening. May the landscape of our land be resplendent with Your glory! We see the release of those bound in darkness. We declare that the grip is being loosed, hope is rising, and that this land belongs to our King. Yes, Lord, pour on us – more, and more, and more. Flood our hearts, immerse our lives, saturate our land, and make us a blessing to the world! We lift our hearts and voices in praise and shout, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!” Yes, Come, Holy Spirit, COME! For Yours, O Lord, is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. AMEN!!” 
EXCITING ADDENDUM/CONFIRMATION: As I finally completed this, I again went to my Bible. I turned to one of that day’s scheduled passages -- 2 Kings 7. I was shocked when, before I even began reading, my eyes fell on these words: “Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens could this happen?” AMAZING! This was in verse 2 (NIV). Let me provide a bit of context: Samaria was in a brutal famine, the whole land parched and the people starving. Elisha prophesied that the very next day there would be so much food that it would, in fact, sell for cheap. The king’s officer expressed his complete unbelief with this floodgates prediction. Of course, God could do anything, and He did it just as Elisha said. Unfortunately, the king’s officer did not live to see the miracle. The message here is that things may seem impossible to us but that we should believe in God more than in our circumstances. We must not say it’s too late for Him to move dramatically in our nation. I believe He is speaking here, directing us to pray in faith for something mighty. May we grab hold and pray bold prayers of faith, remembering Eph. 3:20 (AMP): Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us . . . “Thank you, Lord! Amen!”
(Dam photos above are of The Three Gorges Dam. If you want a glimpse of this Dam when its floodgates are open, be sure to see the videos below.)
Three Gorges Dam - (Note: Most, if not all, of the floodgates are open here! (Watch the 1st 30 seconds; then scroll to min. 5:39.)
And here is a different visual picture. Look at this time lapse deluge from a cloudburst in Austria: