Keeping the Kingdom view!
Paul says, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6)
Seated with Jesus in the heavenly realms! Take your seat and look down upon our world. You will see all sorts of God things going on, and you will love and appreciate them. You will give thanks for them. You will be encouraged.
Failing to keep that Kingdom vision can make us very self-focused, sometimes even discouraged. We judge what God is doing from our limited point of view. If “our” ministry is thriving, growing, and prosperous, then we could begin to lean toward pride.
Seeing the Kingdom from below tends to divide us. We become too absorbed in our own lives and ministries, and often care too little about what others are doing.
Seeing the Kingdom from above unites us. We see and appreciate others and how God is using them. We see that they are needed part of us.
Keeping the Kingdom vision from the heavenly realm humbles us. We appreciate the role to which others are called and are grateful for them. They augment us. We are on the same team. We want to know these other partners and encourage them.
Remember to stay seated in that heavenly realm so that you will appreciate others more, knowing that you are only one part of God’s Kingdom equation.
Keep the Kingdom view!
I’ve been impressed again as I was reading in the early chapters of Joshua how often God talked to Joshua about what He was “giving” Israel, even though they still had to fight for it.
When they approached Jericho, God said, “I have delivered Jericho into your hands.” When they got over the debaucle at Ai and were going up under God’s anointing, again He said, “I have delivered Ai into your hands.”
Interesting. A past tense verb for a future event. But when God speaks, it’s as good as done, even though there may be many battles before its completion. I like this.
Since He promised that Israel “will come trembling to the Lord and to His blessings in the last days,” it is as good as done, even though we may not see it with our natural eyes for a few years.
When He speaks of that corridor between ancient Assyria and Egypt along with Israel becoming a blessing upon the earth, it is done though we have yet to see it. When God speaks, it’s as good as done.
Stand firmly on His promises.
Pray the Promises. Believe in them!
What better way to pray than to pray the Word of God!
When God tells us that certain things are going to happen, let’s agree with Him. Scripture says that sometimes things don’t happen because “we ask not” (James 4:2). Let’s ask.
When we come across promises and predictions, let’s pray them! His promises will happen. This is His Word.
Here are some examples:
- One of my life psalms is Psalm 112 because I see promises that I stand on regardless of present circumstances. If I am a man/person who “fears the Lord and finds great delight in His commands,” there are all sorts of blessings that are coming my way. I’m still praying them. They will happen! God promises. Go find out what those promises are. Read and pray the Word!
- Years ago I read Romans 8:29 and was assured that those of us in whom God’s Spirit resides are destined to become more and more like Jesus. Because I believed it and began praying it, I have seen all kinds of heart changes inside me. I still am in the process of becoming, but I am encouraged. You can be, too. That’s your destiny. Read the Word, believe it and pray it!
- Lately, I have been repeatedly fascinated and encouraged by God’s Word to Hosea that though Israel would not have a king nor a sacrifice for many years, “in the last days” they will come “trembling to the Lord and to His blessings” (Hosea 3:4-5). This is the Word of God. Let’s pray it!
- When Jesus told His disciples that the gospel would be preached to every nation(ethnos/ethnic group) before the end comes, let’s pray and participate until it happens.
And then there are those direct commands, such as:
- “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into the harvest field” (Matthew 9:38). Are we doing that? It’s a command.
- “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). Are we doing this? It’s a command.
- “Give yourselves no rest, give [the Lord] no rest, till He establishes Jerusalem, and makes her the praise of the whole earth” (Isaiah 62:7). Are you praying that?
The Book is filled with promises and predictions. Let’s be a part of God’s team that pray His Word into fulfillment!
Let’s look up into the heavens and pray, “Your kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!”
Read the Book!
In 1977, there was a tragic airplane crash on the island of Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. Because of miscommunications from the traffic control tower, two airlines collided and exploded on the runway, killing 583 of the 596 on board the two planes. One of the survivors was a man named Norman Williams, who some years later, was one of our speakers at a Spiritual Renewal Conference held at Belmont Church.
When the accident occurred, both airplanes burst immediately into flames. People all around Norman died immediately, some of the bodies charred beyond recognition, but Norman not only survived but survived in strength without his body being either scorched or singed. Why? How?
Here was Norman’s testimony later: On the morning Norman left for his trip, his Pentecostal prayer-warring mother sensed that some tragedy might lie ahead, and cautioned her son to stand on the Word of God.
Perhaps as a result of her caution, when the collision and explosion happened, Norman began shouting words from Scripture, words that were lodged inside him because of his careful acquaintance with the Word of God: “When you walk through the fire you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).
“I stand on the Word of God! I stand on the Word of God!” Norman began to shout, and in some supernatural way, which he never fully understood, he was able to escape through a hole in the roof of the airplane, slide down a wing and jump to safety on the ground. Even though the bones in Norman’s left foot were crushed and he spent many days in surgeries and recovery, his body was restored.
Why did Norman survive? Why not others? We do not know all the answers, but we know that Norman’s survival was connected to the fact that he had for years read and responded to the Word of God.
These are perilous times, times in which those who claim to be followers of Jesus are making decisions that are incongruent with the Word of God. Why? Because they either have never read the Word or they have decided that the Word of God does not really mean what it says.
As we are entered into this New Year, let me challenge you to find some reading plan that will assure that you are reading the entire Word of God from Genesis to Revelation, even if it takes you five years to complete the reading. Respond to His Word!
Read the Book!