Our minds are renewed. We are learning how to think God’s way—death=life, losing=winning, serving=leading and last=first. As this way to think becomes a part of our lives, we are suddenly dangerous!
We are finally ready to be engaged, every day, naturally and spontaneously, in the great purpose for which we were created, as God tells us in Genesis 1:26-28; 1.) to bear God’s image (as the Holy Spirit conforms us to Jesus’ image); 2.) to rule over the earth (in all we do—at work, at home, etc.); and 3.) reproduce (both physically and spiritually).
And the beautiful thing is that this engagement is completely unconscious. Our only awareness is that wherever we go, we know and believe, by faith, that the kingdom comes, and we are ruling in that place just by our presence, just as was Jesus wherever He went.
He always brought the kingdom, the rule of God, with Him. From the beginning of His ministry in Galilee when He said “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15), all the way to the end at the cross, as spoken from the mouth of one of the centurions who crucified Him: “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54). Wherever He went, the kingdom came with Him!
Yes, the same love, attention, and involvement Jesus had with all He met comes with us as well, wherever we go and with all whom we meet, because He lives through us by His Holy Spirit. Our joy, freedom and openness about our sin and then experiencing the Lord’s forgiveness for it, communicates to them, without a word needing to be spoken. They know intuitively that we have “repented and believed the gospel,” just as Jesus instructed the Galileans to do in Mark 1, and we too are ruling over all difficulties and opposition we face.
What if all God’s people had this vision each morning as they left their homes and attacked the world? What if they went with this attitude: “Because, and only because, of the cross, I am now a winner, not a loser; confident, not fearful; victorious, not defeated; a lover, not a hater; and a giver, not a taker!”? As the Lord’s church, when our spiritual eyes are opened and we see this, then Jesus’ Great Commission will, unknowingly, without any effort on our part, be subsequently fulfilled!
This posting is but a brief introduction to an investigation of the structure and mechanism God has created to make this beautiful dream a reality. It is not simply an esoteric idea for ivory tower dreamers but a reality, in which God has ordained we live, called in the Bible “the kingdom of God.”
The vast majority of believers do not have a very concrete idea of what that term means. Most believe it is synonymous for Jesus being Lord of my life, or being a serious Christian. It is true that the kingdom begins within you (Luke 17:21), but that is only the beginning. The kingdom of God is ultimately defined as “the domain over which the spiritual sovereignty of God or Jesus Christ extends, whether in heaven or on earth.”
So, the Lord’s prayer “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth” is more than a prayer that the sovereign will of God be done in my heart, but then, after His rule is established there, that it is extended to cover the whole earth.
God has not left us in the dark about the structure and mechanism through which this will occur. It will not be through random, hit-and-miss activity, but through a very definitive, concise structure, spelled out clearly in His word. We will begin the investigation of that method next week.
It can feel like the powers of the prince of this world are overwhelming, and drive us to hiding, retreat, or even surrender. It’s good to be reminded that regardless of the apparent results, our job is to ask the Lord to lead and guide us, and just do the next thing at hand. The results are always up to Him. Winning can look like losing, not in an Orwellian sense, but because we see only with our human understanding.
That’s a good word!
Perfect love casts out fear.
Hey Robert, last night, as I was falling asleep, I unexpectedly exclaimed to Father, “What do you have planned for me tomorrow?” This is not characteristic of ‘ol pessimistic Jerry. And I had not read your blog yet. Bless God! Oh also, the opening line of the opening prayer of the Orthodox liturgy is “Blessed is the Kingdom..”
In your next blogs would you reflect on the role of Jesus Ascension to Father’s right hand, as integral to Jesus’ rule and reign? (And this was prophesied in Daniel’s vision of Jesus coming on the clouds of heaven.)