This post was updated on 3.18.15
Kingdom Principle: The Kingdom advances, but not at a consistent pace or set direction. Kingdom progress cannot be measured in linear distance or positive experiences.
As we near closer to the Passion week culminating the season of Lent, we have the perspective of looking back to see things clearly. We must hold this tightly in our lives as we do not posses that same privileged as we live each day by day. If the Kingdom advanced at a consistent pace or a set direction, there would not have been the stories of the disciples freaking out while at sea with Jesus, nor would there have been Healings of Jarias Daughter or blind men – only to have followers turn away because of Jesus’ claim to die on the cross. The Kingdom advances in such a way that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. However that advance does not always seem to you and me to be one of logic or linear movement. In fact often it seems like a step in the wrong direction proves to be the best step we ever take for the Kingdom – that wrong step, was our judgment. We cry for Mercy often, seeking to receive God’s grace and protection from all trial and hardship. However we are quick to bring our own judgment on a situation – believing that the obvious challenge to our hopes is contrary to the will of God. We are called to pray – Thy Will be done, not my will be done.
Let us not forget that as we read last week –God so loved the world…. And this week we are confronted by the ruler/prince of this world will be under judgment. God’s judgment is not missing, but it always has the right timing. Three times in the gospel of John prior to this passage – Jesus states that the hour has not yet come for the Son of Man to be glorified, and yet now as the Gospel has reach the Gentiles and the world has pronounced judgment against Jesus. The time has come.
When Jesus cries out to the Father, saying “glorify your name” – it makes it clear that nothing we can possibly do can bring Glory to the Father – rather it is our submission to him that he uses to bring glory to his name. Consider all the hard work, all sweat and tears, all the discipline that has moved you closer to the goal set before you – as not truly giving Glory to God – unless you ask and submit it all to the Father. Even more difficult to imagine – the Father saying – not right now – the time is not right to bring Glory…. To let the King shine through you – you must be willing to be broken. Without brokenness – you have it all together and there are not cracks from which the light can shine. This is not a call to sin in order to create cracks – see Romans 6 – rather it calls us to embrace healing that begins with discovering our brokenness. It is this brokenness that most challenges our concept of advancement. We work so hard to do the very best we can – that it is quite contrary that it is brokenness which actually advances the Kingdom most clearly.
How do you pursue brokenness – First – it is simplicity over complexity – see last week’s post. To make that tangible – 1. Ask God to open your eyes to the brokenness that is already there. – His word is already written on your heart – even if you don’t know it’s there – in the same way – God does not need to “break” you – rather He wants you to know your brokenness. 2. Believe that Jesus has paid the price for your brokenness to be healed. Believe that His blood was shed for you and that through him your spirit can be made new. From this place the joy of salvation begins to shine. 3. Confess your need for the Father to save you and to bring His Glory to that others can know Him. Confess your desire for mercy, yet your willingness to walk in submission in obedience so that in suffering you can be perfected. (to be made complete). 4. Finally, Declare your stance for the Kingdom, that your life is not your own and that you give up your life, even “hate” your life if it means to follow and be a servant of the God most high. In this declaration you stand as the priesthood of all believers proclaiming the salvation of the King to the entire world.