Category Archives: Kingdom

Values

Recently a gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo was killed. It had apparently not yet injured a boy who went past 3 barriers to invade its habitat. A decision was made quickly by Zoo officials that attempting to tranquilize the animal, and by doing so save its life, was too risky to the child because they could not be sure what the gorilla would do in response to the pain of being shot before the tranquilizer took effect. It might cost the child’s life.

In a situation where a very valuable and well-loved animal’s life was weighed against the value of a small, immature and relatively unknown human, the animal lost. Two values systems collided and one had to lose.

In the cultures we live in, both in and out of our relationships with other believers, values systems collide constantly. From unrestrained gangsters to unrestrained law enforcement, from replacing carpet to investing in missions, from traditional music to contemporary (you can easily stretch the list), we fight over how to make decisions.

Most of the arguments could be settled simply by understanding the Kingdom of Heaven and the values things and actions have based on the culture of Heaven. We can’t even agree on that, though.

Internally, you make decisions that are along the same lines, and you can make those without having to surrender to others’ non-Kingdom or misunderstood Kingdom values . The question at that point is simply, “Are you weighing things’ and actions’ values from the perspective of Heaven and eternity?”.

You can. You should.

With Jesus in His Trials

Luke 22:24-30

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.

For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am with you as the one who serves.

You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

The first twelve apostles were instructed regarding their dispute about which of them should be considered the greatest. The instruction did not advise them to stop wanting to be the greatest. It was, instead, advice on how to both measure greatness and attain it.

The process included being servant of all, staying with Jesus through His trials, and through those processes being established as honorable with a place at the table of Jesus and enthroned beside His throne.

Even Judas was promised a throne, and even though his peers condemned him in his failure, Peter was not condemned for an equally disgusting disownment of Jesus, and Jesus is never quoted in the Book as changing His mind about this promise to Judas.

Let’s stop looking at difficulties and insults and accusations as anything other than opportunities to fellowship with Jesus outside the camp, so that when He reenters the gate, we are nearby and walk in with Him in the same triumph.

Why Joshua?

Joshua already had the preparation for ministry of having been Moses’ servant since his youth (Numbers 11:28). He had faith to be one of the two spies who believed that Yahweh was capable of fulfilling His declaration that He would give the descendants of Jacob the land that had belonged to the descendants of Canaan (Numbers 14:8).

In Exodus 33:7-11, what may have been the description of his real preparation for leadership says that Moses would knock off work and head into the camp, but Joshua would stay inside the tent of meeting, where Yahweh was manifesting and talking to Moses as a man talks face to face with another man. Joshua would just stay there.

Just spending time away from everyone else can empower you to greatness if you spend it in the Spirit of Yahweh. You don’t have to be speaking or hearing anything to be changed by His presence.

On the days with the wondrous place is filled with the whisper of His voice, you will be changed and led.

Find the place of meeting that He is drawing you to. Hide from all else and all others. Spend time there. Be changed and be led.

Then go lead.

Leaving Something

Most of the people who are remembered after they die are remembered in terms of what they built. All building isn’t measured in terms of “buildings,” but sometimes in terms of what was happening that needed to stop, or a process that was created, or a freedom that was established.

I haven’t counted, but it seems that the percentage is at least large, of people whose investment in the earth was not appreciated until after they died. Many of their contemporaries insulted their dreams, often because they saw the innovators’ suggestions as insults to their maintenance programs for previous ideas. New implies that Old was not good enough.

I don’t suggest that you build in order to be remembered. I do suggest that you build to make a difference in the earth that was imparted from heaven. Finding purpose, pursuing the realization of John 15:16 and 1 Corinthians 12:18, investing life in what God sees to be valuable, these produce change that is worth living or dying for.

Jesus died to make the difference He imparted to the earth. We are investing our lives in something. Make it count. Leave something in the earth that was worth your life.

Go be awesome!

Authorization

When and how does someone get authorization to tell you what to do or not to do? What are the limits of what they can say and on what subjects?

Somewhere between the bookends of the Shepherding Movement and the idea that even Jesus shouldn’t be trying to run my life, is the liberty found in the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

There are times in Scripture when people and angels were given words of revelation or instruction that were ignored at cost and others that were obeyed with blessing.

Jesus said that His sheep know His voice and follow Him out to pasture and in to safety. That truth is the explanation of and instruction on how to discern who has a word of authority in your life or work.

When we learn to recognize His voice it will facilitate the realization of the prophetic pictures in Ephesians 4 of reaching unity in the knowledge and faith of Jesus, and no longer being carried away with stupid teaching.

You will be trusted with authority when you grow up in worthiness of it. Others will too. Listen for the Shepherd’s voice in both cases and obey Him.

Refusal Prevails

By faith, Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin.

Although Potiphar’s wife spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her. When his master heard the story his wife told him – “These are the things your slave did to me” – he was furious and had him thrown into prison, where the king’s prisoners were confined. So Joseph was there in prison.

Both of them were able to stand in positions that delivered God’s people in the midst of His enemies.

So, because your God is so merciful, I urge you to present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God; it is a reasonable offering to Him, and an act of worship.

Don’t be conformed to this age – don’t submit to what doubters and accusers say about you – be transformed into the realization of what Yahweh says about you; let him heal and renew your mind daily.

Then, you will have so much proper discernment that you will be able to not only know what God’s good and perfect and pleasing will is in a situation, but you will be able to prove why it is good and righteous.

Your Savior

Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of the righteous be delivered? But thus says Yahweh:

Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.

I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine.

All flesh will know that I am Yahweh, your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Isaiah 49:24-26

A Large Flock of Birds

In the United States, I see a small group of people who consider themselves to be Republicans and another small group of people who consider themselves to be Democrats.

Between these bookends, I see a large group of people who are like a flock of birds. They dislike (some hate) both of the ruling parties. After 4 or 8 years of abuse by one party, they will vote for anyone the other party stands in front of them. After 4 to 8 years of abuse by the alternate, they will vote for anyone the first party puts in front of them next.

This year, there is a runner on the track who is misaligned with both Democrats and Republicans. Fear from both parties of being dethroned is reaching a screeching pitch.

I suggest that continuing to allow the couple who has been ruling the nation (Dems and Reps) to work together to produce the continued destruction of the nation in contrast to taking on a different leader who has no allegiance to either member of the couple (or anyone else, apparently) all turns out the same way on one level. It is still leading a government that confesses that it is of the people, by the people, and for the people, not of, by, or for the King of Glory.

The Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL in politically correct cloak) attempting to rule in places where it has power has caused more Muslims to convert to Jesus than had made that decision in the previous 10 centuries. Fearing evil is an inappropriate response to it. Light overcomes darkness. The darker it gets, the brighter even the dimmest light will become.

If we are more concerned with how any event or election or battle will affect and be affected by the Kingdom of Heaven, we will perceive the correct steps to take that will find advantage in the situation.

No matter what, and no matter who, if we align ourselves with what the King wants to do next, then in the place where we stand, His Kingdom will come and His will will be done.

When we stop settling for the low level of thought and value called “our nation,” and rise up to the appropriate level of thought and value called, “His Kingdom,” we will lead and liberate people who are in a great darkness.

Why Does Jesus Want You?

When you are in a bank planning to do business with one of the tellers, a man with a gun suddenly appears and tells you to fall on your face. He wants everybody’s money. When he gets through the scattering of people to you, he points the gun at you, demanding your money. You give him your cards and cash, wondering if he will also want your death.

Some requests for money at religious meetings are pretty similar. If Jesus really sent this guy to demand my pockets be emptied, will He want me dead if I don’t comply? Or even if I do?

Jesus didn’t come to steal. He came to invite us to the opportunity of LOVING Him with all that we are, and all that we have.

If you are sensing that the force drawing on your pocket through a preacher or a beggar is manipulation and gun-pointing, look past them in the scene and find Jesus. He’s always nearby.

Read His face for what He is expecting of you. He already has your death. The life he replaced it with is connected to Him or it wouldn’t really be life.

Ask Him what He wants out of your pocket. Some days He will say, “Nothing.” He wants the next person to learn to empty their pockets, and wants to teach you just to obey that day. Other days, He may want you to love Him with all you have.

Ask & listen & obey.

Your Nephew

If you want to do what Yahweh wants you to do, the only way you can fail is to quit.

When Saul was “serving Yahweh” by imprisoning and killing Believers, his God sent Ananias to touch him with freedom and redirection.

When Jews were plotting to kill Paul in Jerusalem (Acts 21 – 23), his God sent Paul’s nephew to warn him and the Roman Tribune who had imprisoned him.

When the prince of the power of the air tried to kill Paul at sea, Jesus protected every life on the ship, which was destroyed.

When a serpent bit Paul’s hand after the shipwreck, his God healed him from the bite and used the healing to lead everyone who knew about it to salvation in Jesus.

No matter what enemy plots against you, no matter how much unified humanity stands against your purpose, no matter what means of access (health, finance, relationships, sanity) any unclean spirit tries to attack through, if you don’t surrender, you don’t lose.

Never give up. Never surrender to anyone but Jesus.

To Him, surrender all.