Probably most of you recognize the above picture as the Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph) …….. in Paris, France. I just returned from a trip to Paris last week. The Arc of Triumph is located on the famous Avenue des Champs Elysees. It was built in the early 1800’s and has been used ever since to celebrate famous victories and conquests. The above photo shows the triumphant march of the French army following WWI. You have no doubt seen pictures of Hitler, and a few years later, the Allies, marching through the Arc of Triumph, celebrating their victory. The winner of the famous Tour de France always ends the race by triumphantly passing under the Arch.
When I was in Paris, I was talking with a leading intercessor there in the city. She told me of a vision the Lord gave her 30 years ago. She saw a picture of the WWI general passing through the Arc de Triomphe, probably very similar to the one above. Crowds were shouting and yelling and celebrating. All of a sudden, the crowd changed. The shouting was louder, and there was dancing, and joy filled the street in a way she had never seen. Then she saw it was the resurrected and glorified Jesus coming through the Arc. The final conquest, the final victory, the final triumph belongs to Jesus Christ! There was more to the vision, but that picture has stayed with me.
In Paris, just like any other place on this earth, most of the time we can’t see everything God is doing. At times, it seems like there may be more setbacks and disappointments than advances for the Kingdom of God. It appears that what God has spoken in our hearts is happening far too slowly than what we would like. That has certainly been the case for many workers serving in Paris. And that has been the case for many of us in many parts of the world. It is at times like these we must focus on what we know will be the final triumph….. when Jesus triumphantly comes to meet His Church. There will be a victory march that will make all the victory marches in history look superficial. And whether God has us laboring in the U.S., France, Mexico, Russia, China, Pakistan, Africa, or anywhere else in this world– we know who has the final victory.
We may be going through a season of great fruitfulness, or a season of pruning and perplexity, but we must always keep the picture of Jesus, the Great Conqueror, before us at all times!
(By the way, I had an excellent trip to Paris. God is preparing something there and I know it is for His great glory in that nation.)