Kingdom Principle: Resiliency requires Conviction & Responsibility
Kingdom Servants may care less as long as they are not careless about what they carry.
|1 Kings 18:20-21, (22-29), 30-39||Psalm 96:1-9||Galatians 1:1-12||Luke 7:1-10|
I am in this world for a purpose, and so are you! As I discover my purpose as a Kingdom Servant –in service of the King I live out my life as He decrees and wills. As I live into this commissioning I must not be careless in regards to the responsibilities that God has given me in this world. This task would be easier if everyone fulfilled their calling and cared about what God is calling them to be focused on… When others “miss” their God calling, gaping holes appear (from our perspective) in what needs to be take care of, this is called the tyranny of the urgent vs. the important. When we turn to the urgent we play the role of the King, not the servant, we become side-tracked and ensnared by something that was not our responsibility. These may be noble or needed issues that must (again our perspective) be addressed, but if we are constantly running around to save the world, we have become its savior. To know the difference between a temptation of deviation verses the “cause” that God has called us to engage we need a deep awareness and conviction of the Holy Spirit. (John 16:5-15). This conviction will root itself in our awareness our role (Who am I?) and be expressed in our responsibility (What is my impact?).
The background: Last year, I laid the foundation of how a Kingdom Servant lives. (see below) This is begins with our calling(which connects with our choosing and God’s commissioning) and is clarified in our trials & suffering. Living into our God given identity will produce in us humility and confidence. Kingdom Servants are humble and confident, yet they will need to draw upon the conviction of their role and responsibility to stand firm when as the world seeks to raise them from the role of a servant to that of a savior. We see this most clearly in the hope of Judas, to force Jesus to rise up against the Romans moving out of the role of a suffering servant, into the role of a conquering king. It is one thing to discover the fruit and joy of being a Kingdom Servant, it is quite another to resist the pull and temptation to exchange the role of servant for that of savior. Very few choose this exchange, yet many discover they have exchanged the truth for a lie. This week we build on these concepts and look at the inner convictions of a Kingdom Servant.
The inner Convictions of a Kingdom Servant: Know your role, be responsible, & model resiliency.
1. God gave me a role. There is one true authority… to which a servant submits – their master’s. (This builds off of last week’s concept of order and hierarchy.) When you know the order and hierarchy of the Kingdom, you fulfill your role will excellence and submission. We know the kingdom is a paradox, so we must not be confused in that our role is both a bond-servant to the King, as well as co-heirs to the throne. (be among the list of servants Romans 1:1, 1 Cor. 3:5, James 1:1, 2 Peter 1:1, Jude 1:1, Rev. 1:1, Matt 12:15-18) Much of our journey is to discover our role, then to contribute in that direction. In general, a person rarely figures out their role much before 35, and that is not a benchmark to reach, rather an indicator of how much time it takes in abiding with Christ to silence the distractions of this world. A role is not a title or label it is a conviction of the spirit which overrules ones soul’s desire for immortality. Further a rule is not your job, it is your commissioning which while is expressed often in one’s vocation, it is not limited to work or income. One’s Conviction to this role is the described by Jesus as the ability to put one’s hand to the plow without looking back. (Luke 9:59-62)
2. God gave me responsibility. Once I’m commissioned, I’m always on mission. The question of responsibility is a two-fold issue. You are responsible for your attitude and your actions, but not for the attitudes and actions of others. When it comes to your attitude – it certainly has a lot to do with your perspective, and this derives from you understanding of your role. Not everyone will agree that there is no such thing as failure or that all suffering has purpose and meaning. If your role is to be a servant of the King, then life is not a matter of wants and personal achievements, it is a matter of the King’s desire and will. So while I am responsible for my attitude, without the conviction of my role, my contribution may be lost.
The conviction of the Kingdom Servant goes beyond one’s own perspective. If you have the ability to respond to a situation and you do not, then you must give account for why you did not act. You may simply say this is not my responsibility, and if that be so, then you were correct not to respond. But if you choose to say; I did not want to or you did see the need, you will indeed be held responsible for the outcome. The actions you take or do not take are your responsibility. In living this out our “Yes” shall be “Yes” and our “No” shall be “No”. (Matt 5:37, James 5:12, 2 Cor 1:15-22) One’s Conviction to this responsibility is modeled in relationship to Jesus by the Centurion solider of this week’s scriptures. His attitude and his actions reveal both his role (reverence to those above him, respecting those around as well as taking responsibility for those beneath) and his responsibility was not swayed by public option or expectations, rather he resiliently follows his conviction.
This is where many kingdom servants simply miss the permission to care less. If we fear the judgment of the world, for not helping someone when we “could of”, or if we are overwhelmed by the “should of” lists in our mind, or further if we get stalled by the “what if’s” and “would have” we are moved out of the role of servant by allowing our mind, will and emotions to become our master. I have called this trap spiritual OCD. It takes unresolved conviction to overcome this trap, and it is possible when we embrace the notion that I can care less about something, so I can care more about what I have been commissioned to carry.
3. Resiliency is my reward. There will be opposition, suffering, trials, and failures… but none of it needs to be in vain. Resiliency is the ability to bend and not break, to rebound from a situation that may take another out, but for you it renews your hope and strength. (Romans 5:1-5) One’s Conviction to your role (who am I?) and responsibility (What is my impact?) yields a resiliency that is the described by Jesus as the peace that comes when you have nowhere to lay your head at night, yet you are advancing the Kingdom. (Luke 9:57-58) The conviction of the Kingdom servant is that I am to have resiliency. Therefore when we lack resiliency, which is indicated by our acceptance of the lies our body and soul tell us, it means that we are not being propelled in the power of the Spirit. If our conviction is first to be a Kingdom Servant, then a short-coming in resiliency is not a short-coming of my faith, rather it is renewal in my clarity of my role and responsibility which will lead me deeper hope and love.
We see these realities in the scriptures this week in Paul and Elijah’s life – Elijah leads with conviction, even if he (thinks he) is the last prophet he will still stand and declare Yahweh is King, for this is his role. There is no lack of responsibility, he has proclaimed the drought (1 Kings 17:1) and now he knows it is his responsibility to bring an end to the confusion. We have to read further to discover his resiliency and his mis-step… but it is there and he rules as God leads. Paul has quite of history of conviction… prior to his conversion and calling from the Lord, his conviction led him to murder followers of the Way. But now he lives with little concern as to who he offends and how he is received by those who rule the synagogues – they are not his mission. He declares his is responsible to Jesus and Jesus alone. This conviction makes him offensive to some, but that is not his responsibility, rather it is undivided conviction that makes him resilient even unto death. (2 Cor. 6:4-10, 11:16-33)
Do you believe you are resilient to opposition, trials and struggles… if so – how can you see this in your awareness of your role and responsibility? If not, how might you begin today to pursue the answers to the questions, “Who am I” and “What is my impact” so that you might fully step into your commission… it may be easier to discover these questions by looking back in your life, than trying to forecast it into the future. Use this outline to help you look back to uncover the truths in your life, and answer these questions to help you share your story that reveals the King’s redemption in your life.
Kingdom Principle: Kingdom Servants – love all regardless of color, creed, class or connections. Kingdom Servants are People of Faith.
Kingdom Principle: Kingdom Servants – know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Kingdom Servants follow a plan of Hope
Kingdom Principle: Kingdom Servants enjoy peace & prosperity as a way of life. Kingdom Servants – Fulfill their Purpose of Love
Kingdom Principle: God’s Power flows from the Center to the outer-most edge. Prayer moves Kingdom Servants from the outer-most edge to the center.