As It Is In Heaven

As it is in heavenWhat does “as it is in heaven” look like?  I believe that there would be great benefit to our faith, if we would do more pondering on phrases included in the prayer taught by Jesus. 

Kingdom Characteristics Revealed

As we are awakened to God’s Kingdom desires for the earth, we discover a great deal by considering the phrases of the prayer that Jesus taught His disciples.

We’ve Been Taught Many Things

In the past several years, I have come to appreciate the “power teachings” of movements known as “Word of Faith,” and “Revival Culture.”  A good awakening has taken place regarding the aspects of mental, emotional, and physical health being for the “now” of our lives and not simply heaven’s atmosphere in the future.

NDE Testimonies

For the past few years I’ve put time and research into what’s been termed “Near Death Experiences” where people often die physically (near death being experiences “near to” AFTER rather than before).

The vast majority of these testimonials talk about the feelings of overwhelming love and acceptance.

As I’ve Been Pondering the Kingdom on Earth

If we are praying that God’s Kingdom would manifest on earth as it is in heaven, then would it not logically follow that the earthly expression of God’s Kingdom would be the increasing reality of …

….Overwhelming Love and acceptance.

The Primary Manifestation

The primary manifestation that God’s Kingdom is present in our lives and activities is the experience and motivation of love for one another.

I don’t mean the “Hallmark Card” warm fuzzy variety…although there are certainly warm feelings inseparably involved.   I mean the “lay down your life” CROSS reality with one another.  Not only for friends…but even those considered to be enemies.

A Faith People

This leads me to believe that true operational faith does not come from how many scriptures verses you declare over your situations, etc.  But…

THIS ONE THING:   LOVING THE ONE PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU.

Ask for an increase in your life of Holy Spirit produced “God Style” unconditional love.  According to the scriptures, it is love that motivates our faith.

Like the song says, “What the world needs is love.”   Not just any love, but the overwhelming love and acceptance that God IS.

LOVE IS PRIMARY OXYGEN OF GOD’S KINGDOM

Seek as your highest priority of life, God’s reality and expression of Kingdom LOVE.

Gary

 

Much Better Peace

hand_ofgod2In very troubled time, Jesus spoke these words to His friends, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (Gospel of John 14:27)

Better Than Any Earthly Government

The One known as the “Prince of Peace,” addressed a deep desire felt by all of humanity.  Peace.  The promise of peace.  But, He also made a comparative statement that helped define it.  He said, “I do not give the same kind of peace that the world gives.”

Because everything about the Kingdom of God is transformational in nature, we automatically realize that His peace is better that any peace the any earthly government or political candidate or party has to offer.

Jesus Gave Earth Dwellers His Peace

Too many times too many sincere Christians believer that the laws and limitations of the earth are the “real” conditions that we all have to make the best of until we are no longer on the earth and living, unshackled, in the ages to come.  Or the promises only have the power of a nice sentiment.

Jesus Wasn’t A Writer For Hallmark Cards

When Jesus said, “My peace I leave with you…” He was about to leave this earth realm.  He said that He was going TO LEAVE HIS PEACE for the power, purpose, and enjoyment of those left behind (for now).  He also added one more thing to the promise.  He said I GIVE to you.  In other words, it’s a unearned gift.

What Better Peace Was He Leaving?

When Westerners think of peace they think, “the feeling of tranquility.”  That is not incorrect, but boy is it incomplete!

The Hebrew word, Shalom, (Peace) includes the idea of conditions feeling peaceful.  But, as with all Hebrew words, Shalom also includes much more.  It is a word that conveys the concrete realities of completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full. In modern Hebrew the obviously related word Shelem means to pay for, and Shulam means to be fully paid.  Mankind seeks peace from many different sources.  The only true Source is the Prince of Peace.

Peace comes from within and can be experienced deeply regardless of the external conditions.  Further good news is that whatever we experience from God’s Kingdom rule within helps shape what we experience in life.

Your true life and my true life does not depend on the outcome of the 2016 elections.  It depends upon which Kingdom carries the most practical importance in one’s life.

I appreciate my country of birth (USA) but my passion isn’t about “Making America Great Again.”  In my opinion, that is a very fleshy motivations.  It’s about making God’s Kingdom Great Again In Our Experience.

Gary

 

Kingdom of God “P” Words

Praise PrayerThe Kingdom of God on earth has a distinctive, recognizable atmosphere.  That tone or mood will be discovered within the realm of two “P” words:

 

Praise

Praise, at it’s core, is an attitude and expression of highest gratitude and thanksgiving for God and for each other.  It’s not a matter of thanking and praising Him FOR every negative circumstance and trial of life, but WITHIN or IN SPITE of them.  It is the intentional attitude of recognizing that nothing is beyond God’s authority and ability to resolve and restore.

Prayer

As with praise, prayer has often been reduced to definitions that are not untrue, but are far from complete.  It simplest terms, prayer can be described as man talking to God and God communicating with man.  In reality, prayer is as complex and full of powerful potential as the idea of active two way communication itself.   For me, personally, it has been helpful to think of prayer as having truthful connection with God where I am always learning and perceiving the wisdom of His mind, and heartbeat of His love.  Of all forms of communication in life, meaningful contact with God is of the highest and utmost importance.

Naturally Supernatural

I believe the breath of the Kingdom of God trumps all in my considerations and movements in my life.  Without both of those in full measure, the Kingdom of God is just another among many useless doctrines of religion.

Gary

Psalm 8

psalm-8Psalm 8 is another confirmation of the place of mankind in the earth.  We broke connection.  We messed it up.  But Jesus, the 2nd Adam, reconnected us all with the original plan.  Activation simply depends upon each one’s individual choice to accept or reject God’s gift of purpose.

The Position

The Psalmist first states mankind’s position, represented by Adam, in the creation story.  Out of Himself, God created the reality we call earth.  It was designed as mankind’s home to enjoy.  He then declares that man’s position is a little lower than Elohim.  That is a pluralized Hebrew word that can mean God, angels, or heavenly beings depending on the context where the word is used.

The Purpose

You have made them a little lower than [God/Angels/Heavenly Beings]
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:

Mankind was created from earth’s elements which is inferior to the realm of heaven.  And yet, at the same time, God breathed Heaven’s Spirit into them as a coronation so that they could fully represent Him in the natural realm of existence.

This coronation gave them power and authority over every natural thing that God had created.

The term “under their feet” is a term of victory in battle.  The assumption therefore is that natural creation will have to be subdued.  Not in the ways of the flesh or the wisdom that comes from the tree of the knowledge of natural good and bad, but by the Wisdom of Heaven that comes from the mouth of God.

There Is An Example To Follow

It’s not simply a matter of titles, rights, and powers.  But, instead an active task to intentionally fulfill.  Mankind committed high treason and broke their God connection.  But Jesus fulfilled, establish, and exampled it once again.

Jesus went about doing good which included lifting the oppression and mending the brokenness that came as fruit of the high treason.

Jesus, in clear communication with the Father, ruled with the Wisdom He received directly from what He saw and heard daily in the Father’s counsel.

Original Plan and Purpose Restored

The original plan and purpose can be summed up simply with  the sentence, “Love God with everything that makes you, you.  And, love those around you with the way that you crave to be loved.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Nothing.  Love has nothing to do with it if it’s meaning has been equivocated to a self gratifying definition.  But, the love that is God is very active.  And, it is self-giving.

The core issue is this:  The most frustrating thing a man or woman will ever encounter is the kind of love that God is, without the  beyond natural power to do anything to change the brokenness and oppression in our neighbors.

God’s original plan:  To give man a home of His own that he would enjoy and develop with His authority and wisdom.

Gary

The Human Project

Humam ProjectThe Human Project is at the very heart of God’s intentions for the earth.  That means that YOU are not just stuck here in the “nasty now and now” until your body dies and, through Christ, Heaven becomes your eternal dwelling place.  God had a much different plan for YOU.

Boiled Down Into One Sentence

Jesus declared that our highest priority in life was to increasingly discover God’s Kingdom and how it functions in the earth.  That being the case, how would you boil down and summarize everything that Jesus taught into one sentence?

Many would quickly say, “Love your neighbor.”  Others would express it in the words of what we call, “The golden rule.”  Or, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  “Don’t worry but trust God,” would be what some would say is the central theme of Jesus teaching.

Still, those who are very passionate about social justice would say, “Love your enemies.”  If a person’s motivating mission is seeing the restoration of miracles and healing, that is what they might emphasize.  And still others would likely say, “Telling people about salvation from sin through Christ.”

The one sentence description reveals who Jesus is and what His mission in the earth was.  And those words tend to identify our personal passion.  If not our own motivating passion, at least what we think it is supposed to be.

Three Of The Four Gospels Summarize It For Us

Actually Matthew, Mark, and Luke boil it down for us in the first sentence they put in His mouth when His public ministry commences.

“Repent for the Kingdom of God is has arrived.”

The fact revealed by those three Gospels is that the moral teachings of Jesus is not that actual essence of His teaching.  They are all subordinate factors of a larger, more important idea.  Those behaviors only make sense in the context of some bigger thing.  And that is, “The Kingdom of God is here.”

The Essence of The Kingdom of God

At the conclusion of the creation story in Genesis 1, we discover that God made mankind (humanity) in His image and after His likeness.

In the Near Eastern cultures, kings were thought to be “deities.”  Only kings were given the well known title, “The image of god.”  They were thought to be special representatives of their gods.

The Biblical culture made a scandalous differentiation.  It was that the Hebrew God made all of humanity as His representatives.

The primary emphasis is that God is the Supreme Source and Ruler, but on the earth, His human creation were given the assignment to carry out that rule.  You will discover in the Bible  narrative, God nearly never – if ever – actually acts out His authority and power without doing it through humans.

Broader Perspectives

Although there are specific descriptions of what His acted upon rule looks like, none of those specifics describe the essence of God’s Kingdom.

The Essence, Once Again, Is God and…

THE HUMAN PROJECT

If Man doesn’t activate his responsibility regarding (name the specific), as God reveals His desire to him/her,  it simply is not going to get done in the earth.  That is…until God finds someone who will be and do what God has designed and authorized them to be.

Shirking Our Design And Responsibility

Since we are made in God’s image and are therefore tasked with divine responsibility in the earth, then it does no good to try and put it back on God.

In the garden, Jesus said, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

He was NOT attempting to off load anything.  He was saying, “As a man, I don’t want to go any further with this.  It’s just too much.  However…NOT MY WILL…BUT YOURS BE DONE.  In other words, “Let’s get on with it, then.”

Too many things are put off onto “Whatever God wants”

What He wants is for you to begin functioning according to your design and authority and do here and now what you see him doing, and saying what you hear Him saying.

“I’ve given you the authority to oversee, steward, and manage my desire in the earth.  Get on with it.  Learn about it.  Just do it.”

Summation

We can’t talk about the God’s Kingdom without talking about The Human Project, it’s rights and responsibilities.

Someone said, “Why is there so much suffering in the world if God is love.”

Answer:  Because it takes humans to exercise the power of His love.

Till next time….

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Does That Look Like?

Kingdom-of-GodGod’s creation story reveals a very important truth about God’s purpose for mankind.  It says that God made man “in His image.”

What most people don’t know is that was a common phrase at the time of Moses’s writing.  All kings were referred to as “the image of God” that represented their gods.

Mankind Had A Specific Purpose

When the early Hebrews learned God’s creation story, they immediately recognized that the account was telling its readers that mankind was created to represent Him in the earth as His kings.

But not only His kings with a bunch of authority and power, but His kings that ruled (subdued) like Him.

Subdue Like God vs. Like Self Interest

The word subdue is loaded with a whole host of connotations.  Most of them have been fashioned by the “wisdom” of Self Interest (Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil).  Various “flavors” of self interest enforced with its own brand of power and authority.

On the other hand, subduing as God intended was more about helping “things” do to accomplish goals that they couldn’t or wouldn’t on their own.

I Am Subduing Words

When I write these blog posts, I am causing the words to do what they would not do on their own volition.  I am ordering and designing them.  Believe it or not, I “work hard” at the process.  But, this is only one of the descriptions that God had in mind when He said to subdue.

The Big Question

What does subduing look like in the elements of your daily life.  Although, in Genesis, subduing was about agricultural goals, the principle applies across time and cultures.

So what does it look like for you?  What does it mean to be a king in your environment?  What does it look like to subdue in relationship to an environment when someone else is the rightful, God-given king?

Ponder that and you are pondering God’s Kingdom as it relates to you.  Don’t give up because it’s work.  You have access to Holy Spirit help.

The Kingdom of God is like “a mustard seed.”  Pursue application of the little things and let them grow instead of limiting yourself to BIG applications.

Gary

The Taste Test

only-the-word-of-god-can-do-thisThe “Disciple Makers” (Teachers) of the Old Covenant used to start the first lesson with a batch of new students by putting a dab of honey out for the pupils to lick.  The teachers then repeated the words of Psalm 34:8, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good…”

This sensory perception emphasized that the Lord is not simply a rational (Western) concept; but, instead something to be experienced.

Seek To Experience God’s Kingdom

The Hebrew world view – which is our foundation of faith – was more than concept in the way it was thought of and expressed.  In their minds, a “concept” was not actually learned until it was concretely experienced.

In other words, the rationale of a truth is critical, but wholly incomplete without the actualized experience.  Experience without the guidelines of the rational application of the Scriptures is like a bird attempting to navigate the skies with one wing.  However, the “rational only” approach is the same scenario just with the opposite wing by itself.

It is therefore not inappropriate nor inaccurate to say, “Make it your highest pursuit in life to experience as well as understand the rationality of God’s Governmental Rule.” 

Breath The Scriptures

How can we advance in experiencing God and His Kingdom?  Well, the first thing to understand is that His Kingdom is not a set of static principles to be manipulated.

God’s Kingdom is alive because it came out of Him.  He is the Source.  Therefore, His Kingdom is a living, breathing expression of Himself.

Meditation – to be more than a mental exercise – starts with the desire to experience being one with His Word.  To not only rationally dissect and define points of doctrine.  Instead, to allow Holy Spirit to reveal it also through the pictures of your imagination, emotions, and senses.  To “feel” what God is saying.  In other words, the full process of “the ponder” (Scriptural Meditation).

To meditate is to breath the scriptures allowing Holy Spirit to help you become part of the “fabric” of His living word.

It’s Not An Easy Task

It takes diligence, practice, patience, even a personal plan that leads to a habit.  It’s counter productive to what many “rational approaches” to meditation have taught you.  It is certainly counterproductive to the religious expressions that worship at the Western alter of Intellect.

But, if it was easy, Jesus would not have had to say “Seek” (even as for hidden treasure).

Don’t Misunderstand

It is, in fact, very important to do due diligence to good research into accurate word meanings, cultural concepts, etc.  But, as you engage directly with Holy Spirit and dig for the gold you will begin to experience Kingdom life on an entirely fresh plane.

Btw…I believe the best way to “engage directly” with Holy Spirit, your Supernatural Tour Guide, is through praying with your spirit (tongues).

Would you like to experience the Zoe Life of God’s Kingdom?  If your answer is yes then…..Seek it as your highest priority of life.  I, nor Jesus, didn’t say your ONLY priority but your HIGHEST priority.

Questions or comments:  Please do so!

Gary