As Christians progress in their faith, at some point it will genuinely dawn on them that, “Yes, I have been saved by a God who loves me, thinks I am positively adorable, and has fully forgiven me for all my past, present and even future sins.” The Christian then, very naturally, begins to look up from constantly evaluating himself and begins for the first time to look outside of himself.
He has been trapped in the endemic Christian pastime of “navel-gazing,” i.e.,”How’m I doin’ in living this Christian life?” He realizes, “Just fine, thank you, because how Jesus lived that life 2000 years ago God has been credited to me!” So, case closed. The next question is, now that navel-gazing is completely unnecessary, “What now?”
Until you are convinced, in your heart, of the answers to the first three questions of our “Theology for Dummies,” don’t even think about the fourth question, “What now?” Until you know that an absolutely sovereign God relates to you, an absolutely sinful, no-salvage-value human being by absolutely unconditional love and grace, you are not ready to consider or even think about “What now?” Your navel still needs your full-time attention!
However, when you are convinced, by faith, of the answers to questions 1-3, you are ready to begin to explore joining Daddy in the family business—spreading the rule of Jesus Christ over the whole earth, into every nook and cranny of every nation, tribe, and tongue.
The possibilities are infinite, so how do you know what God wants you to do when you sign on?
The first thing to take into account is the gifts and abilities God has already given you to prepare you to join Him at work. The fact that I wanted to be a professional baseball pitcher was irrelevant, because my inability to throw a baseball hard enough to break a pane of glass took that pursuit off the table early on! The second thing is to ask yourself, “Can I make a living doing something I do naturally already?” In other words, “What do I really want to do?” Is there a place in the Father’s business for someone who loves to do that?
The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” God is waiting to extend His rule into that very field of endeavor. He is doing that, right now, in every human institution, vocation, or avocation. Anywhere there is authority and responsibility, Jesus is claiming that structure for His kingdom/His family business. He is engaged in friendly takeovers everywhere, bringing His Kingdom, just as He did wherever He went when He was on the earth. However, now He is doing so from His Father’s right hand—through us, His sons and daughters on the earth today!
Do you believe that? It is not some pie-in-the-sky, theoretical doctrine that some ivory tower theologian has manufactured, but biblical theology taught from cover to cover in the Bible—if we have opened eyes to see it. Let’s look at the first three verses of a chapter in the Bible that teaches this truth clearly and concisely.
Psalm 110:1-3: Vs. 1 – The LORD (God the Father) said to my Lord (Jesus Christ), “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
At the conclusion of his message on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:32-36), Peter preaches that what the crowd had just seen and heard, the coming of the Holy Spirit, is the proof of the fulfillment of this verse, Psalm 110:1, which he then quotes. Daniel 7:13, 14 is another prophecy of this event. Jesus, after stripping the kingdom of the world from Satan at the cross, returns to Heaven at the ascension to receive that kingdom from His Father. Then He takes His seat at the Father’s right hand to rule over it.
Vs. 2 – The LORD (God the Father) shall send the rod of Your (Jesus Christ’s) strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
This verse lays bare the exciting nature of Jesus’ rule that applies directly to us: God provides the strength of that rule “out of Zion.” The word “Zion” literally is Jerusalem, the city of God. but throughout the Bible it is used to designate the people of God—the Jews in the Old Testament and the church in the New. In this verse Zion is a direct prophetic reference to us, His people on the earth today, empowered by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and now residing within each of us! If there were any doubts, the next phrase removes them: “rule in the midst of Your enemies,” i.e., all those who resist Jesus’ rule. There are no enemies where Jesus is now seated, at God’s right hand; the enemies are where we are, where the rule is taking place through us, on a daily basis, right here in the midst of the battle on the earth. His enemies are all around us.
Vs. 3 – Your people shall be volunteers In the day of Your power; In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning, You have the dew of Your youth.
Here is the incredible thing: joining with Jesus in His rule over the earth, the family business, is completely voluntary. We are not conscripts. We are volunteers, signing on because we can’t help it; we can do nothing else. He is in the process of capturing our hearts, and when He has done so, we join Him with the enthusiasm of youth. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “The love of Christ compels us.”
God does not recruit us for His kingdom/family business by pressure, guilt, obligation or a call to duty. Instead, He changes our want-to’s, just as He promises He will do “For it is God who is producing in you both the desire (the “want-to”) and the ability (the power) to do what pleases him.”
For many who have grown up with “ought-to, need-to and should” Christianity, this sounds too good to possibly be true. But it is not. An absolutely sovereign God has us all right where He wants us and it is not our job to make any changes in our lives. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). God has a monopoly on our sanctification and wants us to keep our hands off. We are simply along for the ride. This is simply another way we try to be like God—thinking we can help Him shape us up. That is His job alone.
This means we are truly free; free to be forgiven sinners, never excusing or hiding that sin but walking in the light with our “chief-of-sinner” flags flying for all to see, just as did Paul (1 Timothy 1:15). We are free, not just “free not to sin,” but free, as Martin Luther said, “to sin boldly,” if that is where we are and what we want to do.
Can you trust Him to do as He says He is doing—making you holy by unconsciously obeying His law? If you can, you are “walking by faith,” ready to voluntarily join Daddy in the family business and discover experientially the joy of doing exactly what God created you to do!