Kingdom Principle: The King does not give as much as he withholds
To say that the King does not give as much as he withholds, is hard to understand without knowing how much the King gives. This is not simply a catchy statement – about the King giving his life, rather this is a practical condition meaning that if God has given “X”, and he has withheld “XX”, in order to be your King. A simple analogy on the heels of Halloween; I allow my kids to Trick or Treat – going door-to-door to fill up bags of candy and yet I limit how much they can keep and how much they can eat each day. I also limit the number of hours they can spend Trick-or-Treating. With no limits – They could potentially collect 30-40 lbs of candy in one night and again with no limits they would eat half of that the first night. I have actually placed more limits on Halloween than given permission. But for them, they do not experience the limit, they experience the joy of having a couple piece of candy. And for most of us we do not experience the Mercy of God, but we do enjoy the Grace. To grow in our understanding of the King and to live into the Kingdom we must appreciate what has been given as much as we are aware of what has been withheld.
The Church has become fixated on Grace. (not bad – except when we error on the side of grace, for there is no error in grace) The Kingdom is filled with Mercy. That which the King withholds falls in the realm of Mercy. Grace is given as an undeserved gift. It is given and the Church can tangibly see the effects of what is given. Salvation and life transformation are gifts of Grace. When Grace is given and receive, it is invested in and it increases in expression – this is the parable of the talents. Mercy on the other hand is when punishment is withheld or removed; nothing is being “given” which it as tangible, but the result is exponential. This is the parable of the 10 Virgins, is that the 5 who were ready fully understood Mercy, those who did not, well they need Grace. Mercy is the prevention of the weight of the world crushing you at any moment.
Practically Speaking: If you Speeding down the road , and you get pulled over, you can ask for grace or mercy, but which do you really want- If Grace – you are asking for the officer to give you a letter of recommendation to reduce your insurance rate. That is to give you something you don’t deserve. If Mercy – you are asking for the officer to let you go without giving you a ticket. To not give you what you deserve. To withhold punishment. Many of us has mistaken Grace for Mercy and in doing so, have never enjoyed the true benefits of Mercy. Because God is rich in Mercy – He give us Grace…. Grace is a Gift and Mercy is a Means by which the gift is given
MERCY IS THE DIVINE MOTIVATION IN US FOR CHANGE –this is key why the church struggles with mercy, but loves grace. Grace does not require change; yet we were given grace so that we might change. Grace is the teaching and Mercy is the learning. In the Kingdom, as in the parables your learning is paramount.
For most we never think about the difference between Grace and Mercy. If we don’t become aware of Mercy as separate from Grace, we can get spoiled by Grace. Have you become “spoiled by Grace?” Do you wonder when bad things are going to happen after a good thing? When you see a police officer do you feel as if they are waiting for you to do something wrong? Do you wonder why things always break or don’t work when there is no reason for them not to be working correctly? Have you never driven down the street and hit every light green or is traffic always at its worst for you? If so, I am going to suggest you begin to look for Mercy. Mercy is the action of God that withholds what which could be experienced as hard, trying, punishment or judgment and you are never the wiser.
The King is constantly withholding in the Kingdom. (If you read that last sentence and still think that withholding a negative term – then Mercy is yet to take root in you.) This withholding or dispensing of Mercy is seen in two unique ways – Delayed Entropy & Increased Awareness. Delayed Entropy is the slowing down or withholding of the natural rate of decay or pressure of the world. When your clothes last longer than others or you don’t get sick and others are suffering – that is Mercy. When you don’t run out of gas and pull into the gas station on fumes, when you get cell reception in a dead zone to make an important call or when you don’t lose an account or get fired due to downsizing this is Mercy. Increased Awareness is the common or natural state of the mind is withheld and rather you experience an increased or heightened ability to have perspective or to insight beyond yourself. Mercy leads you to make decisions that don’t make sense to others at the time. Mercy increases your awareness of others and motivates you to reach out to a friend then discover that in that moment they needed you most. Mercy as increased awareness is a withholding of your selfish nature.
Mercy frees you to invest your life, not fearing it will be consumed by the world. Mercy causes your eyes to be focused on the Power of the King, rather than the neediness of ourselves. Mercy reminds us that while destruction can come at any time, it pleases the King to thwart the will of the enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy your life.
Mercy is the motivating factor of life. Does it take a “carrot” to motivate you? – Something out in front that is desirable. Or Does it take a “stick” to motivate you? – Something behind you that is painful you don’t want to repeat. Or is there an internal motivation that directs you beyond the external factors of life. Internal factors are rooted in Mercy – they are Values, Character and Personal Strengths… Where we are aware of it or not – it is there, but it is not until we begin to identify them do the gain the prominence in our lives that they desire. To more deeply discover your values and strengths – go to http://www.viame.org and take the survey.