This morning I asked the Lord what He wanted me to write about. Almost immediately, this is where He took me.
Before coming into an understanding of God's Kingdom, we view everything through a world lens. It is not our fault. It is the only lens we have.
The problem comes when we view the Kingdom of God with that lens and perspective. It is distorted and out of focus. The Kingdom of God is nothing like the world. In fact it is the antithesis--very opposite--of this world. Well meaning Believers even approach their purpose in His Kingdom looking through that world lens. That is what He wants me to address. They approach telling people about Jesus and His Kingdom with an attitude of building a building, networking, branding, merchandising, marketing and what the Kingdom is.
God is not pleased. I do not say that lightly, but with reverential fear and humility.
Often they see it as an income and occupation, but for most of us, that is not what it is meant to be. Recently I read a quote from John Bevere that really struck home: "If you send yourself, you go in your own authority. But if you are sent by God, you will go in HIS authority." I will add that if you go in your own authority, it will be mired in struggle and lack.
This problem is nothing new. Jesus even dealt with it. Peter wanted to camp out on the Mount where Jesus was transfigured before them, and build three temples. Not only did Jesus not want them to build three temples, He instructed them to tell no one until after He was risen from the dead! Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.” Matthew 17:1-4 & 9 NKJV
So then, how do we begin to see our life, world, purpose, and finances through a Kingdom lens? First, we fill ourselves with His Word. Study the life of Jesus. Everything He said and did had a purpose. That purpose was to show us how to live a Kingdom life. Knowing that helps to develop our "Kingdom lens" and changes our perspective and changes the way we handle life.
Second, we learn to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We call Him our Kingdom governor to remind all that it is the Holy Spirit that governs our lives, if we will only listen. At first that may feel foreign and uncertain, but you will become more familiar and confident. “If you love Me, obey My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you. . .But when the Father sends the Advocate as My representative—that is, the Holy Spirit--He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:15-17, 26-27
When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own but will tell you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring Me glory by telling you whatever He receives from Me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever He receives from Me.’ John 16:13-15
This is all we need to see life with a Kingdom lens--Kingdom knowledge by God's Word and His Spirit. Jesus kept it clear and simple, if you see with your Kingdom lens, not the world's lens. He was a walking, talking example of life in the Kingdom of God, right down to His prayer to the Father as he faced the cross. He showed us how to live in this fallen world and at the same time, be a Kingdom citizen. And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:41-44 NKJV Even in His agony over what He must do, He prayed "not My will, but Yours be done". He showed us that no matter what we are going through, we should always choose to say "nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done". He is our perfect example of how our life should be handled in His Kingdom.
Jesus and His Kingdom does not need to be marketed, branded or sold to anyone. In doing that, we are actually showing that we don't truly believe. Allow the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to draw people. Jesus even showed exactly how to evangelize and reach those who are lost when He sent out His disciples--now Apostles. This whole chapter is rich in Kingdom instructions. No one got rich on this "tour"! Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!
Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.
Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy person and stay in his home until you leave town. When you enter the home, give it your blessing. If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing. If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day.
Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are My followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Matthew 10:7-20
Luke said it this way: If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day. Luke 10:8-12
Focusing that Kingdom lens is a process, but soon it will be automatic and your old world lens will be put away. But one word of warning. Once you see with it you cannot unsee it. You will no longer feel comfortable listening to a feel good, self help unbiblical sermon. It will annoy you as scriptures will flood your mind in response to the untruths being spoken. You will become a "Kingdom truth meter" and that isn't a bad thing!
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:15-19 NKJV Can you tell I love God's Word?!The Holy Spirit always reminds me of scriptures in every situation. That is my Kingdom lens!
Be a Kingdom light shining in the darkness,
All scriptures are NLT unless otherwise noted.
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