Well, here is part 2 of my series of posts on Kingdom Vision Unto Mission (KVUM). I get distracted sometimes in between posts w/revelation that is hitting my heart, or things that are burning in that moment of life.Â And as I have said in past blogs, this is a place for me to just get my thoughts and processes of study out into written form. It is changing my life at the moment and if you want to check it out great! If not, I totally understand. Love you all!
As shared in the last KVUM post, His Kingdom will one day fully be realized on earth, as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10), and He has a throne room that exists in the heavens right now and is a real reality described in the Word of God for us to tangibly grasp and pray around. If we keep Him before us, then His mission will remain before us and our lives will be shaped around it. Why? Because we realize that the things above will become the things of this earth, and they serve as a reminder to what is coming (our hope of glory). Thus, we are compelled to live toward that Kingdom, displaying it, and it comes near to us and the reality of it lives in us (Matt. 3:1,2; Luke 10:8,9; Matt. 4:17). It no longer is ethereal (up there somewhere floating and distanced from a real reality) and untouchable.
This also pivots off my “So Heavenly Minded That I Actually Become Earthly Good” post that I did several weeks back. If we don’t get our hands around the things above with a heart reality, then our signs, wonders and ministry will become the end in itself and miss the overarching mission of God (refer to Part 1 of KVUM).
The more we sit in the place of prayer, â€œseek first His Kingdom,â€ and meditate on His Word, the more we will come to life in our inner man and do the works of the Kingdom and preach the gospel of His Kingdom! It causes trembling, compelling and doing out of a place that is clearly marked by the unseen realm.
SIDE NOTE: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matt. 11:30 For the first time in my Christian walk, I am beginning to see this verse come to life in the way that seems like God intended it. What an incredible chapter leading up to the ending verse that I quoted above. I finally am seeking to give God the time He desires to get His Kingdom rooted in me, w/o placing time frames on my agenda for His will. Wow!! I cannot tell you what that has done to the growth of my heart, not just the knowledge of my mind. Almost daily I am experiencing moments of small, yet potent, revelation of His Word through the Holy Spirit in my inner man, that is deepening my love for Him and expanding my heart to know His Kingdom in a more tangible way. God is so faithful and it is so peaceful to just receive from the Lord in the way and timing He wants, rather than me trying to push Him to give revelation when I think I need it for the place of ministry, reputation, etc. And I know that it is in giving Him room in this season of my life (through lots of prayer and gazing on His throne), and the resting in Him, that opens the door for the deeper things that feel as though are being seared on my heart unlike any other revelation of the past. The only thing I can relate it to is my months of just seeking and memorizing Scripture in 3 Rivers, MI years ago.
I say all that because I haven’t had to conture or stir up a culture of His Kingdom in recent days, like so many do in the Western Christian world (including myself). But in seeking Him, that Kingdom is beginning to flow easily and naturally in my life, and the cost attached to knowing Him is becoming almost strangely easy to choose (because of grace given through the Spirit in the place of prayer) in light of the burning love that is beginning to come forth in my heart for God. Ephesians 3:16-19 are becoming incredibly real to me right now! “It takes time to get it (His Kingdom),” is what God has been hitting me with, and that can be offensive to some believers because there is a pressure in some peoples’ Christianity, that we put on the task that needs to be done. Which I am realizing, if we just slowed down, didn’t rush it, and took the time to truly get reality of Him in the place of prayer, then it would happen much quicker and with much less burden than the self-promoted Kingdom living that I know I have walked in for years. We must look on the unseen in order to bring it to the seen!
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Col. 3:1-4
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Matt. 6:33
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Rom. 8:5,6
FATHER IN HEAVEN
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name… Matt. 6:9
Before we can pray for His Kingdom to come and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we first must shift our eyes to the Father who is in heaven. If we donâ€™t see the Kingdom and His will (which is revealed in just looking at His established government in the heavens), then how can we pray that it would come. Jesus took His disciples right to the throne of God in teaching them how to pray. (A few references to God’s throne: Ezekiel 1, Daniel 7, Revelation 4, etc). Perspective is everything, and I believe Jesus was telling his disciples that they needed to become familiar with the beauty of Godâ€™s throne and with the One who sits on the throne.
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. John 13:3,4 (lived the practical out of heavenly reality)
When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, â€œFather, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You…â€ John 16:1
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Hebrews 11:13
They endured because they saw Him who is invisible. Hebrews 11:27
Looking unto Jesus…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. Hebrews 12:2
I believe one of the biggest obstacles hindering the Church from praying is a lack of true revelation concerning the nature of God. There is a lack of the knowledge of God, and not understanding His majesty and holiness. The high and lofty exaltation of God in our hearts and minds needs to be restored, where we see who He is and fall at His feet. Like Isaiah, where we say â€œWoe is me! I am lost…â€ in seeing His true nature; or like Daniel who grew faint at His sight.
When Jesus gave us the Lordâ€™s Prayer, His goal wasnâ€™t to give us something to memorize easily as a religious prayer. But He wanted to root our prayer lives in the clear and increasing revelation of the One who sits on the throne and of our relationship to Him. I love how Revelation 4 describes the seat of government in heaven, and chapter 5 you see where authority rests…in Jesus. But we must understand chapter 4 in order to feel the full weight of chapter 5.
After these things, I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, â€œCome up here and I will show you things which must take place after this.â€ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. Rev. 4:1,2
I believe the cry in this verse of â€œCome up here…â€ is, in a sense, a cry that God gives to His Church to get vision of the heavenly realm, so that we might be gripped with eternityâ€™s values and realities in order to prepare for Second Coming (where that Kingdom comes to this earth in it’s fullness).
SIDE NOTE: One thing that has been hitting me since digging into all of this, is how I had lowered the magnitude of God’s majesty and elevated the goodness of my humanity. The result of both those views narrowed my ability to see God for who He really is, and thus placed me at the center of my Christianity w/God as a backup plan. I had a tendency to quickly lean on “doing” for Him based on not valuing heavenly vision because the things above were not tangible, but ethereal. Which helped to position me as the leader of my life w/the label of Christ over it all. I did relatively well at succeeding in man’s eyes. Since I have intentionally sought to gaze on God’s tangible, real throne and ruler-ship above the heavens, through His Word in the place of prayer, I have been blown away how I am humbled and brought low. Thus causing me to cry out for His grace in all I do and to fear Him. What an enjoyable place of peace and safety I have found it to be! And it is lining up w/Scripture in such a powerful way as I read.
The result of being brought into the right understanding of God is faith. Faith is seeing, knowing, and understanding the realities of Heaven, and it gives us boldness and confidence to live in the unseen, and to call â€œthose things which do not exist as though they didâ€ (Rom. 4:17)
Jesus wanted to root people in this reality before He ever told us to ask for anything. Before He said â€œLet your Kingdom comeâ€, he has a call to heavenly reality. God is calling us all to â€œaskâ€, but we must be seeking to know Him and His reality, in order to set that asking in itâ€™s proper place. Knowing the One we are asking is more important than the asking itself. I am becoming more convinced as I study that the prophetic cry of the hour is for the church to set their lives on heaven, with the understanding that out of that reality will come the works of the Kingdom (that is my next KVUM post). Heaven is rarely spoken on in much of the Church and yet I am finding that it was the driving force of the early apostles.
PILGRIMS PASSING THROUGH
â€œJonathan Edwards, the great Puritan preacher, often spoke of Heaven. He said, “It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven . . . to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?…In his early twenties, Edwards composed a set of life resolutions. One read, “Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can.” (Heaven by Randy Alcorn)
Successful business leaders say that the one of the most powerful ways to become successful is to journey decades into the future to find out where they want to be, and they work their way back from that starting point. Itâ€™s when believers understand where they have come from and where they are going, that they are empowered to live life on this earth truly as strangers and pilgrims.
Four of the most critical chapters in the Bible are the first two and the last two. Itâ€™s as we are filled with a vision of heaven now, that we begin to long for that realm, that city, that kingdom to come to the earth.
Our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able to subdue all things to Himself. Phil. 3:20-21