Kingdom Principle: Jesus is Lord (King) over everything; heaven to earth, past to future, sinner to saint.
My actions do not determine my identity, rather Jesus actions declare my identity.
|Genesis 28:10-19a||Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24||Romans 8:12-25||Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43|
How aware of God are you? Do you see God in everything? (I love the Everything by Tim Hughes) When are you most focused on God? Unfortunately that answer for the vast majority of people is that they are most aware and focused on God when they are in a crisis or have great need. This is not coincidence, for in these moments we are confronted with the reality that we are not in control, and that we are in need of a Savior, to be Lord over our lives. This shift of our awareness of God taking place in moments of peace verses chaos, takes place as we are comforted (rather than confronted) by the fact that we are not in control. In the piercing of our hearts (last week), the Lordship of Christ in our lives is made complete. It is clear to me, and I have shared with you elsewhere about the patterns of our lives leading to greater clarity about God and ourselves. (Hebraic thinking –last week again) It is in our patterns that we are given the opportunity to see with 20/20 vision. Meaning we clearly see things when looking back. The Kingdom Principle this week draws our attention to God’s 20/20 vision as foresight rather than our hoped-for hindsight. (Servantleaders discover this foresight.)
It is for this reason (God’s wisdom, vision and patience) that we are to surrender our life and the control we desire over lives around us, unto his judgment. God is truly all knowing, omnipotent and omnipresent …. Theologically this makes God “big” and “powerful”, but it is much harder to apply it practically to our lives and those around us. Practically we want to be “big” and “powerful”. For we often want to see the “wrong” punished immediately, the “careless” called to give account instantly, and all who are “evil” to be removed from this world. And who wouldn’t… except maybe God…. Yet, in God’s wisdom, vision and patience, it is the wrong, careless and evil people of this world through whom God often does his greatest work. We can’t forget that Paul calls himself, chief amongst sinners. (1 Timothy 1:12-17) There is a very fine line for us here to walk. I am not calling for universalism nor compromise and acceptance of sin, but I am calling us back to a pattern 2LAF.
For what reason does God have to be patient with Jacob? He is a liar, deceiver, swindler and passive-aggressive individual who betrayed his father Isaac – God’s chosen one. You would be a fool to get to close to a person of Jacob’s character. The church has a reputation of warning us to keep our distance and separate ourselves until this sinner confesses and begs for forgiveness, or else you will be burner or brought down…. But not God… Yahweh comes near to him, God saw the beginning and middle and end with Jacob, therefore patience and wisdom are demonstrated. The Spirit of God pierced Jacob’s heart at Bethel (if not before), but it still took a life time for his alignment to be clearly seen by us. Is this any different for Abraham, David, or any of us today? The eyes of his heart were opened, but as you see in Genesis 28:20-22, for Jacob following Yahweh was conditional on what Yahweh could do for him. Jacob’s soul had not clearly been pierced by the Spirit., Yahweh was not his LORD! But Jacob was his Child!
The call this week is to love the “Jacobs” in our lives, believing in the power of the Kingdom Come. The call this week is to embrace the “Jacob” that lives in you. David invites this process with Ps. 139. He cries out, God you are to search me and know my heart… There is no where I can hide from God and God’s Spirit. The lectionary cuts out verse 19-22 of Psalm 139, but it clearly calls us back to the place that is it God alone who is to judge and shall slay the wicked. And where I have hate and not love, Lord I submit my heart to you!
It is for this reason in the parable that the wheat and weeds, are allowed to grow up intermixed. God has the redemptive power and the long-suffering heart to bring about transformation of weeds that they may become wheat. (while this is not the point of the parable, it is the truth of the Gospel) The point of the parable is that we are not so separate out from ourselves – the weeds. Judgment is God’s job, as is separation/ sanctification. He is the Judge, and at the harvest all things will be revealed. God’s patience with us is to be our guide in our patience with others (especially the “lost”).
This Blog is called confronting chaos, where Chaos is the schemes of the enemy. The enemy sows the weeds, but the enemy is not the weeds. The battle is spiritual, not of flesh and blood. (Eph 6:10-12) One of the greatest tools against the enemy is love! It is for this reason that we confront chaos by comforting (loving) those who are caught up in chaos. How do we know if someone is caught up in chaos? We see the fruit,(Matt 7:16-20) and unfortunately we like the servants of the parable, are inclined to ask God; “Shall we deal with them ever so severely?” The disciples did this as well… they wanted to call down fire on them (Luke 9:49-56) but in the realm of the Kingdom we are to be motivated by love and not fear. (1 John 4:17-18) So our call of love is to call upon the one who can change hearts. For only God can see their heart, and it is God who will judge their heart. We must learn to see as God see’s. We are seeing their actions, or fruit, and that is not their identity. Fear not – this is difficult.
How often are we guilty of allowing the actions of other to determine the way in which we see them and decided if they are trust worthy people? It is hard to take this in, but God does not see our actions as a culmination of our Identity, much rather it is our Identity which is dependent on the actions of God in Jesus Christ. We are his children because of the work He has done, we are powerful, because of the Holy Spirit that is in us. We are his children, because of His Spirit which is in us. As you come into agreement with the actions of God in your life there is alignment in your heart.(last 2 weeks) That alone transforms your life. Around you will always be people who are out of alignment, do not fear “contamination” or their ways, rather trust in the provision, protection and peace of the Almighty.
We are only set free from the power and punishment of world (fear, guilt and shame and death), when our hearts (love, joy, peace and righteousness) are set on the freedom of the Kingdom. This frees us from the worries of the world, and fills us with the movement of the Spirit, delivering us from worrying, presuming, concluding and judging the hearts and lives of others. In this act of the Spirit piercing our hearts (spirit, soul and body) we are truly set free to see Identity of others through the imagine of Christ. (Romans 5:1-2)
How many hours of your life have you spent in worry? And yet most of us have heard it said, that worry can not add a single hour to our lives (Matt 6:27-33), but still we find our hearts here. (Our soul – heart must be thoroughly pierced by the Spirit) Think of the hours parents spend in worry for their children, imagine if those same hours were spent in prayer! Prayer engages the Spiritual, while any level of judgment on our part engages the Flesh. (For this is why we are called not to judge, least we be judged – Matt 7:1) This is not a movement to tolerance, or lack of discipline (Matt 18 is clear about this) but it is a call to take your eyes off of others actions, and to come to grips with the truth that God is a patient and moves on the hearts of his children in ways that we cannot or simply do not see. God sees the bigger picture – he as 20/20 vision both in hindsight and foresight.
We must not lose sight of our inheritance that greater and beyond anything in this world, and yet we have already begun to enjoy that inheritance now so that we begin to see the everything in this world as truly belonging to Him. Jacob belongs to Him, Esau belongs to Him, wheat belongs to Him, weeds belong to him, they belong to him, we belong to Him. Who do you need to release unto Him today?