Kingdom Principle: We most clearly see our alignment (spirit, soul, body) in our shadow from the light of the Almighty.
|Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67||Psalm 45:10-17||Romans 7:15-25a||Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30|
On earth it appears as if the sun is setting in the evening, yet it is not the sun which is moving at all, it is we who are in orbit. And so, discipleship changes our “orbit”, but it does not change the power or position of the “sun”. In our lives this becomes most clearly seen in a loser (lunar) eclipse, where we are able to see our “orbit” (discipleship path) as a shadow and reflection of God at the same time. In the eclipse, due to alignment, we see clearly the power of the sun, and the reality of the role we plan in the process. So the loser eclipse is a good positive state when the “loser” of our lives is removed and the “winner” shines only by the Glory of God. (If this metaphor is not clear for you… forget it and know that God’s mysterious flow of power is not dependent on our discipleship, but in our alignment of body and soul to the Spirit’s direction, we can see the effects much more clearly on those around us than we can if we focus on ourselves or God alone.
The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth is mysteriously marked by God’s provision, protection, peace and presence. Discipleship does not increase God’s provision, protection, peace or presence. (this is represented by the power of the sun light) Unfortunately many approach discipleship as if it can even replace or at least replicate God’s provision, protection, peace and presence. (this is like the earth trying to create a lunar eclipse without the sun…useless) The truth of the matter is that discipleship makes us aware of our experience and increases our desire for God’s kingdom rule and reign (the 4-P’s) in our lives. This takes place as we steward our lives for the sake of the Kingdom, a quick review:
As the Body is disciplined in submission to the Holy spirit–
- Strongholds are removed that prevent you from hearing God. Disciplining your body does not prompt God to “do” anything new; rather it de-clutters your life & aligns your resources so that you can receive all that God is longing to give you. In this, your future is recognized and your journey to discovering God’s unique purpose for your life accelerated. In the last 3 posts we have looked as this a coming through breaking points.
As the Soul is developed in submission to the Holy spirit–
- Strongholds are removed that prevent you from responding to God. Developing your soul does not prompt God to “do” anything new; rather it will leads you to embrace the greater work that God is longing to reveal in your life. In this, your history is redeemed and your journey to discovering God’s unique purpose for your life initiated. In the last 3 posts we have looked at this as having our eyes open to blind spots.
This removal of strongholds through discipline/development does not prompt God to do anything, YET God is very active and doing more than we can possibly imagine. The Scriptures this week demonstrate how and what it is that God is doing… bringing provision, protection, peace and presence without end to his children in the Kingdom. This reality is a great mystery that links our Discipleship with God’s Direction. Seen most clearly at divine appointments I am connecting to lunar eclipses. This post returns us to the concepts which were established early in this Lectionary year which laid the foundation for manifestations to be the defining marks of the missional movement of the Kingdom.
If discipleship was the answer to solving all of life’s problems, then Paul would not have written Romans 7, but the reality is that there is a war being waged against us, that does not decrease as we increase our dependence on Christ, in fact the war against us may actually be ramped up as we venture deeper into discipleship. (This is why we must not focus on ourselves alone.) If discipleship was the answer then John the Baptist would not have been labeled as having a demon, nor would Jesus had been mis-understood as a glutton and drunkard. In the narrative of Rebekah being selected (revealed as the Almighty shines around Abraham’s servant to create an eclipse or shadow that clearly and perfectly reveals her) as Issac’s wife (to be). It is God who sees and provides, rather than the servant making it happen our of sheer strength or determination. It is an act of Faith by which such things are revealed, and faith goes before as favor, and follows behind as flow.
Jesus reveals this mysterious movement of spiritual blessing in Matt. 11:28-30. The yoke of Jesus is easy and his burden is light –so one may ask, “How does this line itself up with being disciplined to overcome breaking points, and development to open our eyes to blind spots? – IT DOESN’T! This has everything to do with being a child of God which we did not earn but rather came as a gift, it is about being delivered through Christ Jesus our Lord, it is about knowing the kindness and faithfulness of God, it is about it is about following the wisdom of God which is the foolishness of the world.
Are you aware of the shadow you cast? Does it reveal the provision, protection, peace and presence of the King? If so, you are yoked with Jesus, who is gentle and humble in heart. The the Spirit of Jesus who leads him to be a friend of tax collectors and sinners, as well as to bring a sword and to turn holy expectations on their heads. Beware, the Spirit doesn’t say be friends of tax collectors and all sinners, the Spirit directs you to which tax collector and certain sinners to befriend. This is alignment to the Spirit, not reckless abandonment for the world. The Spirit also givens wisdom to direct you away from fools and evil person’s who just as well may be tax collectors and sinners (maybe even religious elites).
Unlike Lunar Eclipses the movement of the Spirit is not predicable. (but there are patterns and principles) In fact as the Spirit blows throughout Scripture it is consistently marked with surprise and startle, and most revelation and discovery of God is found as a result of the unexpected movement. We learn the most about God’s nature and plans not when God acts in accordance with our expectations but when God shows up in the least likely of ways and in the least likely of places.
Remember God decided to start a mighty nation with an old, barren couple who had no land and no money and no support network. God’s choices are often in the least likely of ways, crafty and wily Jacob is chosen over the hard working loyal Esau, Joseph is chosen but none of his brother conceived it to be true, Moses the stuttering murderer becomes God’s mouthpiece, rather than Aaron who is golden-tongued, David the runt of the litter, is left out to pasture, overlooked by his father as even to be counted. No less is Jesus born in a manger, having prostitutes and outcasts in his family line, comes to be the very incarnation of the Almighty God.
This all takes place by Faith filled with Expectancy … While I will not presume to predict or control the direction of the Spirit, it is true that it often expresses itself in patterns and principles. Below is a table which lays out some of those patterns you can expect. It is contrasted between Blessings & Curses. Much like eating bad food negatively affects your body and harboring un-forgiveness negatively affects your soul, in the same way, seeking direction in the spiritual realm poses the same potential to have positive (blessings) effects as well as negative (curses)
|Spiritual Blessings||Earthly Blessings||Spiritual Curses||Earthly Curses|
|Starting Point||Divine Power||Renewed Mind||Strongholds||Dis-Obedience|
|The “shadow” of our Soul||Peace (Anointing-calling, authority)||Protection/Life(Flow- Timing, alignment, success)||Idolatry (greed, pride, forsaken)||Evil Declarations (fear, destruction, death)|
|The “shadow” of our Body||Presence(Holiness –uprightness)||Provision/Prosperity(Favor -Abundance, opportunity)||Immorality(wickedness, impurity, lust)||Foolish Actions (pain, sicknesses, disease)|
|Alignment of the spirit||Grace & Truth (Righteousness by Faith)||Be-Attitudes (Gratitude & Leadership)||Enmity (Strife, hatred, despised)||Law (punishment)|