Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Today I discussed with some friends our desire to see the kingdom of God show up. I shared how I felt that God was telling us that it is here, and that He had been sharing with me how so many people missed Jesus when He showed up because they had such a limited idea of what He was supposed to look like. I told them that I felt like God was giving us a “heads up” not to do the same thing. We are so intent that He will show up in a certain way or in certain place that we are going to miss Him if we aren’t looking to the Father for our guidance. As we discussed this, God started revealing some things to me.
When Jesus began His ministry His message was, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (within your reach).” For so long the word repent has been used for “turn from sin” or “ask forgiveness for your sin.” I don’t think this is what Jesus is saying here. He wasn’t saying, “Turn from your sin and it will be good for you.” What He was saying was “Change the way you think about God, because He is right here within your reach, but you will miss Him if you don’t change your way of thinking.” This is His message for us in this day and age also. He is calling out for us to change our way of thinking about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is time to quit thinking of the Father as a cruel Taskmaster in heaven who has a big whip just wanting to thrash us with it except that poor, humble Jesus is holding Him back. It is time to quit thinking of the Holy Spirit as a “thing” and realize He is a person and that He is frankly the only God here on this earth, so we might want to have a relationship with Him. It is time to quit looking at God as only the Judge of all things wicked and threatening people with Him and with punishment. See God already unleashed the punishment, and Jesus took it for us, so that is done with. Now He is simply looking to love on all of His children, and I do mean ALL of His children, and that would be every single human being on the planet. Yes, I did say every single human being on the planet. Because here is the deal. If we don’t change our thinking about God and allow it to line up with the truth, then when He does show up at the least we will miss Him and at the worst we will try and kill Him (or those that follow Him). If we don’t change our thinking, then we won’t even be able to recognize Him. Look in Mark 1:15 where Jesus says, “Repent and believe…” We can’t believe something that our mind won’t accept. If we have a mindset of “God would not do this in this way” then when He does it that way we miss Him at the least or at the worst attribute His work to the enemy. It is time we change our thinking by allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us what He says about us and Himself in His word, and not by just holding on to some “doctrine” for the sake of holding on to doctrine. When we allow bitterness and anger and hatred to masquerade for a pursuit of holiness or to masquerade for standing for truth, then we are in the enemy’s camp and we will miss Jesus when He shows up. It is time to change our thinking.
Jesus didn’t come to simply help us cope. What a waste that would have been. He didn’t come to give us another Dr. Phil (no offense to Dr. Phil, by the way) to get us through our lives hanging on until we “fly away into the sweet by-and-by.” That is also a waste. Jesus came to restore us to the Father. He came to reestablish our relationship with the Father. When we walk in that relationship with the Father we move from merely existing in a natural world simply coping and doing the best we can (which is never enough, by the way), to living FROM a supernatural world where by His grace we take our God-given place of dominion. That is called abundant living and it is what Jesus promised us. We are not here to sit around waiting for Him to come to save us from this “cruel world.” JESUS ALREADY CAME AND DID THAT!!! We are to change our thinking and see the kingdom of God come to this earth now (in our time) just as it is in heaven. That is what Jesus told us to pray for. Would He ask us to pray for something He wouldn’t do?
I am ready to repent and believe. The kingdom of God is within our reach.

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