What if I told you I’ve found an answer to many of the problems in the world today?
We shake our heads in shock and disbelief as our senses are overwhelmed with the violence in the world today. We turn on the news and see riots, explosions, anger, hatred and chaos. I think we all want to stop up our ears, shut our eyes, and block it all out. We want “normal” so badly and most of us are trying to grit our teeth and bear it until everything is right again.
What if I told you I’ve found an answer to many of the problems in the world today? What if I told you there is a way to walk in the center of the hurricane; the place where it’s completely calm although dangerous winds are raging all around?
The answer is violence. This scripture blows me away and excites me like no other.
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subject to violence, and the violent lay claim to it.
Biazo is the Greek word used in Matthew 11:12 for violence. It is the only place in the entire New Testament where that particular word, chosen by the Holy Spirit, is used. It means “to force, force my way, come forward violently.”
In other words… “laying hold of something with positive aggressiveness.”
“There is only one place our violence should be poured out. It should be poured out against ourselves and any other thing that hinders us from laying hold of the Kingdom of God.”
There is only one place our violence should be poured out. It should be poured out against ourselves and any other thing that hinders us from laying hold of the Kingdom of God. We have to decide to crush it all if that’s what it takes.
Does that sound too radical? To most of us, it does. We want to say things to ourselves like, “Don’t take this walk with God that seriously, we have to live life down here.”
“We could be the most powerful and wealthy person in the world and it profits us nothing in the end.”
Jesus didn’t talk like that. He said, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” It’s a rhetorical question because the answer is obviously “nothing.” Think about that statement. We could be the most powerful and wealthy person in the world and it profits us nothing in the end.
We came into this world with nothing and we will leave with nothing. The only thing worth pursuing is the Kingdom of God. Jesus said another astounding thing.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
At face value, that scripture seems so simple. It is not. Seek God’s Kingdom above ALL else. To seek something we cannot touch, taste, smell, hear or see above everything we can is one of the biggest battles in this life. It’s backward to how we are wired in our sin.
God formed us from dust in the beginning. However, He breathed heaven’s life into us. The earthly part of us did not rule us, God’s Spirit was supreme. I truly believe Adam and Eve radiated the life of God. Their dusty selves were glorious because of His Presence.
“We no longer look up, we look down. We look for happiness and satisfaction in our five senses.”
When sin entered, the Light went out. The dust became more important than their spiritual lives. They died spiritually so everything in humanity switched courses. We no longer look up, we look down. We look for happiness and satisfaction in our five senses.
For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world.
1 John 2:16
“The only thing the Father cares about comes from within.”
Everything we value on the outside comes from the world. The only thing the Father cares about comes from within. Think about the perfection at the beginning. Adam and Eve had no clothes, no fancy home or any other worldly thing. They had God and each other. That was paradise.
“Exposure is what we fear most.”
As soon as sin entered, self-consciousness and shame entered. Ever since that day, we are all trying to hide who we really are from God, each other, and most dangerously… ourselves. Is it any wonder Adam and Eve hid when they heard God approaching. Exposure is what we fear most. This dust we live in desperately wants dignity and glory. The glory left in the garden. We are dark and God’s Word will tell us that truth if we will let it.
Hebrews 4:4 says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
“If people who call themselves Christians, got violent about getting to the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of God would start to take over this world.”
What are our innermost thoughts and desires? Only God knows… literally. When we let His Word do its job, we start to know what lurks deep inside. Most of us don’t have the backbone or stomach for what He sees. Most people on the planet are deceived by our own hearts. If that weren’t true, revival would come to the world. Why? If people who call themselves Christians, got violent about getting to the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of God would start to take over this world.
The Kingdom has been forcefully advancing since the days of John the Baptist. Nothing will stop this Kingdom but us. Where is the Kingdom? I believe the Kingdom of God has more than one meaning. It is the Kingdom where God dwells but it’s also inside of us.
“… For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
“The greatest thing we ever do on planet earth is to carry God’s Kingdom inside our souls and open our mouths to proclaim that Kingdom with everything in us.”
We bring this powerful Kingdom to earth just like John the Baptist did. We are meant to be a voice, crying out to make way for our King. John the Baptist had a single mind, he was a voice for God. He never did a miracle, yet Jesus called him the greatest man born among women. The greatest thing we ever do on planet earth is to carry God’s Kingdom inside our souls and open our mouths to proclaim that Kingdom with everything in us.
Where are these people today that will forsake every single thing on the planet to be the house of God?
…And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.
John the Baptist lost his head because he dared to speak against the ruler of his day, Herod Antipas, about his marriage to his brother’s wife. He didn’t care who he upset as long as he was faithful to God and His Word. He was never careful or calculated in his words. He let them fly in holy boldness and he was killed. He had no agenda, he was God’s and God’s alone. Oh, to live in that state always.
How do we live that way? Is it possible? I would say a hundred percent “yes.” But you and I will have to get violent (or forceful) in a positive way.
“Wussies will never grab this Kingdom and live in glorious freedom. It takes courage to lay every other thing in the world on the altar and go after God.”
Wussies will never grab this Kingdom and live in glorious freedom. It takes courage to lay every other thing in the world on the altar and go after God. God won’t do that part for us. We have to go after God in cold blood, hoping the best but fearing the worst.
Jesus never tried to get converts. He told the truth.
In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
When we aren’t willing to lose everything in this world for the sake of God’s Kingdom, we cannot follow Jesus. We may look like we are but we are not.
Ask yourself a question. What or who do you fear most? The answer to that question will tell you whether you are serving God or fooling yourself. We are the most deceived people on the planet for one reason.
The heart is deceitful above all thingsand beyond cure. Who can understand it?
“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
“I live with the most deceitful person in the world… myself.”
I live with the most deceitful person in the world… myself. I lack the ability to know this. The scripture plainly states we are incapable of knowing our hearts. We have to let God search it.
Our heart is beyond cure; we cannot manage its wickedness. Oh the pain and joy of true transparency.
“We are shown for what we are in His Light. There are no words and no excuses… just truth.”
Just like Adam and Eve, we hide from God as He tries to come to us. His all-knowing Presence is devastating. We are shown for what we are in His Light. There are no words and no excuses… just truth.
If we will get violent and force our way toward Him and not away from Him guess what will happen? That truth will set us free.
“…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”