Don’t Relinquish Your Seat! What the Ecclesia Can Learn from Rosa Parks

There is much the ecclesia could learn from this forerunner and pioneer!

By Jason Tanksley

History was made on December 1st, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. Future Civil Rights leader, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, even after being ordered to do so by the bus driver, James Blake.

Her act of defiance and refusal to relinquish what she believed to be hers established Parks as a key voice in the Civil Rights movement. She became an undeniable force that opposed the racial segregation that stood as a dark cloud of demonic oppression during that time. Later, she aligned with Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP and Martin Luther King, Jr. Rosa Parks was dubbed by the United States Congress, “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”.

The catalyst for this tidal wave that ripped through the bigoted mindset of entire generations?

She refused to give up her seat!

One woman, who stood boldly against certain consequences and repercussions, defended her human rights and refused to be labeled as “less-than” by oppressive laws that were developed in ignorant and ungodly minds. One woman created a ripple that was felt and heard throughout the nation. One woman who said, “No, I will not move. This is my seat. This is where I belong. I am seated here”.

There is much the ecclesia could learn from this forerunner and pioneer!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

 – Eph 2:4–7

There is a war raging against the identity and authority of the church. Doctrines of devils, ignorance and a lack of scriptural integrity has resulted in many relinquishing their seat to every voice of condemnation and oppression that tells them to move elsewhere. We’ve put the fate of cities, counties and entire nations in the hands of flesh and blood alone. We’ve chosen to let modern-day legislature determine the standards of moral and ethical values that are already clearly defined in scripture. Voting has replaced prayer and the battle is fought in the courtrooms and not the prayer closets. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in voting and am so thankful to live in a country that allows us to exercise this right. However, the “head in the sand” approach that the Church has made does not represent a Kingdom that operates from the heavenly places and yet manifested in the earth.

Has the church become a sub-culture instead of a counter-culture? Are we as believers marked with the boldness and authority that the first-century believers carried that made them targets of the religious leaders of their day? Have we traded casting out devils for teaching on how to co-exist with them? Are we focusing on filling houses of worship with flesh-pleasing programs instead of boldly proclaiming an uncompromising gospel that says, “I know where I am seated and I refuse to move!”

Have we relinquished our seat?

I am encouraged to see a revival of teaching on prayer and fasting. It brings me joy to see a movement back towards the roots of true Christianity, not the fabricated and religious bondage that exists as nothing more than a social club with no power, no presence and no relationship. I believe the Church is taking her seat back! We read above that we are seated in heavenly places, but what does this mean? Check out the preceding chapter:

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,

which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

 – Eph 1:17–23

If we are seated in heavenly places then we are seated, with Christ, in a place of authority and dominion, in and through Jesus! We do not have to relinquish our seat to every sin that tempts us, every sickness that attacks us or every devil that tries to oppress us. We do not have to be silent and fit into the status-quo, we can boldly live in the world, marked by the power of the Holy Ghost and not become a bland vanilla blend that simply fits in instead of standing out!

If one woman can become a catalyst for entire civil rights movement, what could a praying church do when it refuses to give up its seat. What effect could proper scriptural teaching, preaching and discipling have on sleeping saints? I believe it could be tremendous with a transforming of magnitude proportions that could rock cities with His Glory!

Saints, I encourage you today, do not relinquish your seat. A price has been paid for this position! Refuse to be moved by the voice of defeat, oppression or condemnation. It’s time to start a tidal wave that breaks the boundaries of what was!

Jason Tanksley began in ministry after training and serving under his spiritual father, Apostle Ryan Lestrange. Jason leads iHUB, a growing and thriving revival hub located in Bristol, Virginia. He is also the found of JTM, a ministry with a mandate to ignite, inspire, and awaken the ekklesia. Jason and his wife, Robin, have four children and reside in Bristol, Virginia.

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