Let My Kingdom Go
Jesus told his disciples that the Kingdom of God was in their midst. (Luke 17:21 NIV)
I have been reminded by Lectio 365 that, “Let my Kingdom Go” may be the prerequisite; to let His Kingdom Come and His will be done, here and now.
We are often too full of our own plans, status, and gratifications to be involved in His Kingdom work here and now.
Even in Church. “It’s one more show, so flip the dial, give up on the real and settle for style.” (The Proof by Don Fransisco)
The only reason to be on stage and up front at church, is to draw attention to the presence of God, not people. If Jesus were to walk into church, would we be open mouthed in awe and stop and listen to Him.
Would we, should we, be on our knees?
Kingdom/Fear: Spirit of God
Do we mindfully expect His supernatural presence, His spirit, to be with us each Sunday? Each day?
As we move toward Pentecost, I am reminded that the fruits of the spirit are; love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV) The fruits are vital. Caution! Gardener God removes branches from plants bearing no fruit. (John 15:2)
Fruits are evident in the way we action love for God and our neighbour. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Too often we focus on spiritual gifts that might draw attention to self. Healing, miraculous powers, prophesy and speaking in togues can seem more visible and personally gratifying than knowledge, faith, distinguishing spirits, or interpretation wisdom. (1 Corinthians 12: 7-11)
We need different gifts, given to different people, to benefit all people. (1 Corinthians 12:11) All Holy Spiritual gifts are of God, even those that are less, up-front and presentational.
We often think of the spiritual gifts promised by Jesus at Pentecost. It was better that the resurrected Jesus left His disciples so that the Holy Spirit could be given. (John 16:7)
Tongues of fire and speaking foreign languages to large crowds are the memorable, presentational, public, up-front examples at Pentecost.
Unlike Babel (Genesis 11) Pentecostal events, empower unity, irrespective of differences, for a shared understanding of God’s word.
God’s spirit continues to draw our attention to His greatness, not our own endeavours, however big they may be.
We must not forget that the Spirit of God was there in power at the creation of our existence. (Genisis 1:1-2)
We should remember God’s Spirit was lived out perfectly in human form, by Jesus, who was in very nature God, taking on the nature of a servant. (Philippians 2:6-11) Our leader put us first, self second.
Seven spiritual gifts are listed by prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament. The fruiting branch rooted in Jesus is foretold. The Branch of Jesse, part of The Jesus line from Abraham. (Matthew 1:1-17)
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD— and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;” (Isaiah 11:1-3 NIV)
Kingdom/Spirit: Delight in the Fear of the Lord. Really?
We miss the real if we only focus on Scripture we find desirable and easy to relate to. My NIV software offered eighty-three responses to a fear of the Lord search, including six from the New Testament. (Acts 9:31)
Fear can be a bad thing. Should we be frightened in God’s presence? God is love. (1 John 4:16) Prophet Isaiah knew this too.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
What does it mean then, to fear the Lord? Is this constructive? Let’s stick to the family branch line from David to Solomon with his wisdom.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV)
Fear of the Lord is required to focus with His knowledge and wisdom. “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:50 NIV)
Even the unjust judge knew that fearing God should motivate the right action and justice for people. (Luke 18:1-8)
C. S. Lewis describes fear in relation to awe -when you, “feel wonder and a certain shrinking” or “a sense of inadequacy to cope with such a visitant and our prostration before it“… It is a fear that comes forth out of love for the Lord.
It is this fear/awe, whilst aware of the very presence of God, that takes us from our selfishness and circumstances. God’s presence renews our perspective, focus and wisdom to enable and envision, His kingdom.
Let my Kingdom Go! “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NIV)
Where is the Kingdom of God?
…”the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:21 NIV)
Earlier versions of the NIV translate this as, “the kingdom of God is within you.” Which is it? Where is the Kingdom of God?
One version of the Greek New Testament (GNT) concludes this verse as:
Translating ‘entos’ precisely is a challenge. You could go for, “within” or “inside” or “among” us, as well as in the “midst.” Where is the kingdom of God?
After a bit of research, for me, the best interpretation for accurate contextual application is, in the midst/core/centre of the heart.
We need to faithfully put our personal kingdom desires well behind kingdom of God priorities to be fruitful servants of God.
Let His Kingdom Come and His will be done. Let my Kingdom Go. I’m back to fruitful actions from the heart, with Christ.
We must remain focussed and rooted in our awesome God, to grow and bear His fruit? (John 15:1-17)
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (1 Corinthians 3:16 NIV)