Clash of the
Given our comments on God's love throughout this site, we now confront the age-old struggle for independence or a clash of the Titans, of which we think we are at times. Perseus was Demigod and the son of Zeus. He battles the minions of the underworld to stop them from conquering heaven and earth and beheaded Medusa.
In likeness, we frustrate the powers of Heaven from advancing when God's people fight each other—keeping the kingdom of God from pushing into the enemy's territory. So, it is stated in Matthew, "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12, NKJV). This struggle is genuine. It requires forcefulness to subvert it, and it is undoubtedly violent. I do not wish to explore the many reasons and causes of offenses, but Paul states it clearly, "there is a spirit of lawlessness that abounds in us." But most problems in the family of God trace back to a spirit of lawlessness. Here we lay a foundation called "God's Government and Order."
Consider these beautiful words by Philip Yancy: "One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as "those evil people" or "those poor people who need our help." Nor must we search for signs of "love worthiness." Grace teaches us that God loves us because of who God is, not because of who we are. You see, the real source of our unity is God's primordial love, not our inclinations and efforts to maintain it.
Primordial means something grand and organic to our spiritual lives. When we were born again, immediately, we were connected to a larger, faster, more transcendent reality than ourselves. Deep and abiding, it penetrated our inner being. Then consider those of the world. Despite the vast wealth and having the world at their fingertips, many rich and famous people have taken their lives for feeling small, unloved, and lonely. They have no primordial meaning. They are not connected to their God-given destiny. But whether we are rich or poor, thereupon the heights to which we can go we are secured on an unmovable foundation far above the valuations of this world that can only come from the Lord's sacrifice of His Son.
GOING BACK TO
It's always good to recall our beginning, especially when it comes to family, faith, ministry calling, and even our vocations. Here I refer to the time when intimate fellowship existed between the Father and Adam and Eve. It was this most primordial time for a man. Adam and Eve had an extraordinary physicality with God. And although it was only for a brief time (Genesis 3:8), God set out to establish a family of faith through whom He could bless the nations of the world and restore intimacy. He then raised a standard-bearer nation, Israel and the Jewish people. Their purpose was to proclaim through the Torah, Feasts, and a sacrificial system, the One True God's principles, and precepts. From it, the nations of the world would learn how to move towards a restored intimacy.
Then upon the advent of His Son, the Jewish Messiah, the New Covenant body carried this mission forward. Matthew 24:24 states, "this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." This end will be ushered in by no other than the Messiah himself! "Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power, for he must reign, till He puts all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be abolished is death. For, He put all things in subjection under his feet" (I Corinthians 15:24-27).
All of this was for one future grand purpose; one day, the earth will be filled with the knowledge and glory of God, and by extension, His love. So, we wait for this glorious day, when God's Son, the first and last King, will return and remain the "only" King until the end of time. Finally, all other powers will be destroyed, and to Him, all nations will come and give Him praise. (See also Psalm 117:1; I Chronicles 29:10-13; Zechariah 3:20).
The point is. We can lose awareness of a significant and looming purpose of God's design for us. We can think that the world is our oyster, and its purpose is to serve our needs alone. But God is the master architect of this oyster and our lives, and this habitation we call earth was created not out of a crucible of pain or through war or struggle as nations are born. Earth came forth out of love. God is love, and love is from God. Without it, creation would cease to exist. Furthermore, love is older than hate, and hate will die with Satan in his final judgment.
When we come back to the Titan warrior's battle within, we're dealing with the management of the House of our Father and its government. Unequivocally, the government is from God because He loves us. But contention over it has been long-standing. On every side of it, battles take place over God's government, which pulls the House of our Father downward.
Fundamentally, God's government is to restrain our inclinations toward independence, self-will, and self-promotion. But it was not created to inhibit creativity, one's individual destiny, or one's growth in becoming a conduit for God. Actually, the government in the house of God is a shepherding function. It is designed to keep the sheep safe and always moving the herd to safer and greener pastures. Increasingly, weakening demand for biblical governance is found, causing an individual to cast off God's government like perceived shackles. At first, I think back to two principles discussed in previous chapters; attitude and perspective. Consider for a moment the views and beliefs of the Israelites when they were liberated from Egypt. Two divergent scenarios emerge.
Moses first led them out of terrifying generational bondage. Four-hundred-and-twenty-years had passed, likely, many desired complete freedoms from anyone and anything. One might envision the kind of freedom that allows a man to stand on his own two feet, being solely responsible for his actions, and living with nothing but the open sky between himself and God. But what do we find?
WHAT THE EXODUS
The exodus actually reveals what liberated people really want and need; someone above them and that someone must be greater and more powerful. We need someone that can help us bear the responsibility of the fear and dread that life often holds. This can only be God. Although we were created with a driving force for independence, God placed a God-shaped vacuum within us that can only be filled by Him and Him alone. Only in Him do we discover our Strong Tower, our Master, and our Comforter.
Looking back to lawlessness, people are deceived into thinking that they need no one and nothing else than the blue sky above them. The Atheist thinks they don't need God. The Agnostic considers it but thinks that no God is personal enough. Eastern religions find it in an array of priests and inanimate objects. We will not find any of the later in the house of our Father, thank God. But let's touch upon the Jewish meaning of kingship on which our Father's house depends upon. When a king's subjects willingly accept his authority and loyalty, then and only then does he become their King. A despot, for instance, forces adherence upon his subjects. For the same reason, Jesus did not force Himself upon the Jewish people when He came as their Messiah. He needed them to willingly and freely accept Him. That, of course, is precisely what He accomplished so that we would live willingly under His authority. This extraordinary scenario portrays every child of God as a free moral agent who willingly and willingly comes to Him.
To further explore God's authority or government, think of how God rules His house spiritually and practically. First, this comes through His Holy Spirit. Second, it comes from His Word. Third, the government is exercised through His agents or, as noted above, His operatives. His operatives comprise the five-fold offices called the Ascension Gifts, spoken of in Ephesians chapter four: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers. Of course, we have Elders and Deacons as well. These five officers, or five unchanging anchors, were given to us to grow the body towards unity and stability. As we learn from the Scripture, their impending work came not from human institutions and denominational streams but from the Father through His Son. But under the hand of independence, people are looking for something new today.
Under the smokescreen of irrelevance and a desire to circumvent the real problem, one's inner condition, they seek to offset this resound due to the acute failures of government and the perceived shortcomings of leaders. So, a pseudo cry for revolution can be seen today. This would be a dilemma for the House of God. At the very least, "let's take the plank out of our own eye first, and then we will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in our brother's eye," Jesus is not saying there's not a splinter in our brother's eye. He is simply saying, let's overcome our self-first. That should keep us busy until He returns, I should think.
As noted earlier, you see this as a time to put things in their right place, call things as they truly are. George Barna, Christian Pollster, stated the facts on May 7, 2009.
"Christian pollster George Barna reached out to members of the Christian press Wednesday night, insisting that the United States is being destroyed from the inside and that the way to restore the country is through returning Americans to their core values. Barna noted, "We talked about one nation under God, but today really we are one nation under self, sometimes aided by one or more God's."
THE SAME TRUTH FOR
EVERY GENERATION (II Timothy 3:16-17)
Many people demand change in today’s times. Often this means that our time-tested dogmas of Holy Writ, the examples set forth for us from days past, can easily give way to a diversity of opinions for Godly living. But how does the diversity of opinions fit our Lord's instruction for us? Jesus said in John, "if you make my Word your home, you will indeed by my disciples (8:31). You will learn the truth, and the truth will make you free" (8:32).
You see, if we're not careful, it's easy to take for granted our time-tested spiritual water. Esau took for granted his birthright for a bowl of stew from Jacob. Never again was he the same. This same water fed Moshe, Abraham, Joshua, and Paul, along with an innumerable host before and after them, feeds us today. Just be more diligent in nesting yourself back inside its intricate web of Jewel-like wisdom. Work toward the following,
 Foil the current of the world, which is drowning so many in
 Give God's Word a chance again and discover salient
messages for peace in the House or our Father.
 Find timeless antidotes to rebelliousness and wise counsel
for our individual inclination towards independence.
 The same truth for every generation is God's
Living Word. But let's not stop here.
COMING TO THE
Perhaps as one who has been starving, figuratively speaking, pull up a chair to the banqueting table. As a parched sojourner in the desert beloved, stumble it’s the fresh springs of water. Rav Shaul or Rabbi Paul reminds us of this almost two-thousand-year ago." Therefore, we ought to give more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest any time we should let them slip" (Hebrews 2:1).
When Yeshua was hanging on the cross, He said something extraordinary, "It is finished." Do you know what this means? It means it's finished! These simple words pointed to the fact that the process has been completed. Nothing more is needed. Nothing else is coming down the pike, as the saying goes. The only signature events left is the rapture and our Lord's second coming. Upon the sacrifice of His Only Son, we have the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, and Teacher; we have His Inspired Word, or His manifesto for living, the Bible. We can stave off this temptation when our flesh screams for something new or when God's words seem to lose their luster. Just lower your bucket back and drink of its deep and dependable waters.