Understanding the Kingdom #2
There are two things I think are very important to know about the Kingdom of God: It is progressive, and it brings opposition.
- John taught the Kingdom of God is at hand …. he lost his head.
- Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God … he caused a bit of a stir.
- The disciples taught the Kingdom … 10/12 were martyred.
- Paul taught it … he was stoned.
“Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.'”
In the first part of this study, we talked about what the kingdom of God is, and defined it as, “Where God is ruling and reigning,” and to make it more personal, “His rule and reign in our hearts.”
- You enter the Kingdom of God, submitting to His reign, and resist the many kingdoms of this world.
- As soon as you give more of your heart over to God’s reign, you’ve taken it from the devil and he will oppose!
How often does your flesh rise up and take the reign from the Lord? I know mine does a lot. The Lord whipsers to your heart, “Give $50 to that ministry.” Your flesh says, “Now way, man. I need that $50 to pay this bill. It’s already behind, I can’t be foolish with the money God has given me.”
Another area the flesh will rise up and try to take over is the mouth. We open our mouths and spew seeds of anger and bitterness. That’s not what God would have us sowing in the fields of our own hearts and the hearts of others. Every time I think about this, I see an image in my head of words flowing from my mouth. Each word is a seed and each seed gets thrown out into a field. Which ones are going to bear fruit?
When you get determined, saying, “I am going to obey God. I am going to allow Him to rule over every kingdom I have within me,” you will be hitting resistance at nearly every turn and you must be ready for it.
Have you ever picked up you Bible and read a verse you’ve read a hundred times, but this time it penetrates your very being? Like, suddenly you know without any doubt what God wants you to get from that particular verse? At that moment, it comes at you like a tidal wave, and you absolutely know it’s true and powerful.
Five minutes later, you’ve set your Bible down, still thinking about how awesome God is to show you something so amazing, and suddenly a thought pops into your head. “Wait, was that really God? Was I just imagining it? Did I make it up?” These types of things hit you and, because you know opposition will come, and you’ve prepared yourself for it, you’re able to stand firm against:
- Your own doubt and unbelief
- Your friends/family’s doubt and unbelief
That doesn’t mean you get up there on your little soap box and start preaching to everybody, but it means, deep within you … in your heart and in your life … you stand on the revelation from the Word of God. Speaking the Truth when it is necessary, but out of love, not in a hurtful or condemning way.
Our world is falling apart because not enough Christians are willing to stand firm – allowing God to truly be Lord of their lives. We’re manipulated, controlled, and owned by someone/something else taking over as lord.
Matthew 11:11-12 says, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”
Let me encourage you. Jesus said, in the verse above, that we are greater than John the Baptist. We have so much value as God’s sons and daughters, and you need to remember that. Here is a great list of things God has declared about you: I call it, “The List.”
If you’ll yield, you have the power to overcome anything of this world that comes at you.
- Pray – Matthew 6:9-10
- See – Matthew 6:33
- Receive – Hebrews 12:28
- Your power increases and increases, the Kingdom is progressive, the more you yield to the King.
When oppostion does come, do not back down! So many times, Christians have missed out on the power God wants them to walk in for one simple reason, they don’t want to pay the price. There’s a price to be paid … why read the Bible, learn what God is saying, get the revelation from the Holy Spirit, and then back down because someone else doesn’t agree? Or allow doubt and unbelief to rule when life smacks us in the face? Get up and declare the Word! It is the truth, whether we see it with our natural eyes or not.
- The Kingdom is near when the devil is cast out. His kingdom will beat anything that comes against them, when His people will believe and pray for it. And when the Kingdom is near, the devil leaves.
- Another way to see it, when Jesus is lifted up and glorified, everything else starts sliding down.
- Healing becomes available as we pray the Kingdom come. Healing is always available when the Kingdom is near … whether there is belief or not. But when there’s not, results will not be seen.
- When you’re born again, the Kingdom of God pops into your heart and life in seed form. You’re not going to be fully committed or persuaded to give him absolute reign right away. It increases and increases as it is watered. You have to take care of your seeds. And it will not end … there is no end to where He wants to take you in His kingdom.
- Don’t ever give up! Keep on praying, seeking, and receiving. Keep pressing in, believing the Word. The Kingdom is progressive and it is growing. And as you yield more and more to His rule and reign, you’ll see those things you’ve dreamed of becoming reality in your life.
God rules. God reigns .. with our participation, our willingness to yield.
Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you.“
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