For most Christians today, the Kingdom of God is a vague, mystical non-reality. Heaven is a celestial rest home for dearly departed saints. The Kingdom is mentioned twice in the ceremonial recitation of the Lord’s Prayer but has virtually no impact on the spiritual consciousness of the average church-goer.
Christ & The Kingdom of God
“Jesus will not change Who He is to accommodate your thinking; He will change your thinking to accommodate Who He is.” – Chip Brogden
In my written and spoken messages I make frequent reference to the preeminence of Christ. Just what do we mean by Christ having the preeminence? What do we mean by giving Christ the preeminence in all things?
“The Good Shepherd gives His Life for the sheep.” In one sense of course, in the most commonly interpreted sense, Jesus is speaking of his death on the Cross. He lays down His life for the sheep so they can be saved. Well, that is the natural side of it, I suppose. I’m not saying that’s incorrect. But is there a deeper meaning that can apply?
“Press” is the root word of “pressure.” When people feel under pressure they use another word to describe it: “stressed.” Stress and pressure. Too many things going on. Spiritual things, being invisible and intangible, become less and less thought of, as the things, concerns, and cares of the world press in upon us.
It is said that familiarity breeds contempt. In the beginning we coveted the presence of the Lord, but today perhaps we take it for granted. In the beginning we were awed by Him, but today perhaps we are not so amazed. His visits become more routine, more ordinary, more commonplace. The Lord is taken for granted.
We must allow our Husband to rule, and our desire must only be for Him. Some people want a “Prenuptial Agreement” with their Husband. That is, they are willing to come to Jesus, but they are not willing to bring all they have to Him, to have everything put in His Name, to forsake all others until death do they part. They are foolish virgins.
When everything is stripped away you are soon left with little but your own thoughts. In prison, John had a lot of time to think. And the essence of his thoughts were along these lines: Did I make a mistake? Did I really see the Spirit and hear the Voice, or was that just my imagination? And if He isn’t the One, do we need to start looking for another?
How can this man give us His flesh to eat? So wondered the crowd, and so we wonder, even when we know that Christ is referring to Himself in a spiritual sense. So what is meant by this strange command? How may we apply it to our Christian life?
There is more to the Christian life than just getting saved. That is the first step into a larger world. Jesus is continually calling out to you, saying, “Come to Me, and I will give you rest.” That is a progressive thing. It is a daily thing. Every day we come to Jesus, everyday we hand over something else, every day we learn to rest in Him, and trust in His life.
At His feet we discover there is a difference between the Holy and the Human; the One Who comes from Above, and the ones who come from Below; the One Who is Spirit and Truth, and those of us who are merely flesh and blood. His feet are burning brass. This is His majesty, and His righteousness.
Having the Son, possessing the Son, being one with the Son, we have and possess everything God is. It never has been a question of seeking ten, one hundred, or one thousand different things from God. If we do not know from our experience, we should at least know from the Scriptures, that Christ is the Gift of God.
Clearly, the knowledge of the glory of God completely fills heaven. But here on earth there is a gap between what God has declared and what currently exists. As with many prophetic declarations, this declaration brings the future into focus and describes something that has not yet occurred.