Not of This World
In the book of Genesis, we learn right up front that God speaks a thing and then, it is. In fact, we learn later on, that God “summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do.” (Romans 4:17 NET) That’s not how most of us roll. But God does. So, when God speaks to us and calls us by a new name, a new title, or gives us a new command………? Oh, we can argue about it! We won’t be the first. In fact, it will put us in a list of greats, like Abraham, Moses, Gideon, or Zachariah to name a few.
I am a Christian. A follower of Jesus Christ. That to many seems like I must have exchanged a life of fun for “religion.” Exchanged a good time, for a list of what-not-to-do. Sadly for many in the Body of Christ (read Christians), that is too true. But Jesus said that He came to earth so that we “may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” (John 10:10 AMP) Now that sounds good!
To me, living under a list of rules is not even a good life, much less an abundant life. I’m really not good with that. I grew up in a culture of rules. I am grateful for the heritage of respect for God and for people it provided. But that culture had little power to show me what a friendship with God is like.
As a friend of Jesus, I don’t just get a little good life when I’m a good girl doing churchy things and the rest of the time I just try to dress right and not cuss or drink or smoke or sleep around and then at least I can feel good about that. Or that I’m not like those sinners. (DEEP sarcasm intended here). No!
Why would a supernatural God, come into the world in a supernatural way, live among us and be different than the rule makers, allow himself to die so that he could rise again from the dead supernaturally….. only to give us a totally boring and worldly list to live by?
No, Jesus came to Earth for two reasons. To reveal the heart of the Father and to bring His kingdom to us here on Earth.
Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9 NLT) Paul, who met Jesus supernaturally, said that “Jesus is the radiance of His (the Father’s) glory and the exact representation of His (the Father’s) nature.” Hebrews 1:3 NASB (parenthesis mine). Jesus exhibited the Father’s love for His kids in all of his miracles. (Miracles…that’s what we call supernatural events.)
Jesus made gallons of the best wine out of perfectly good water when everyone at the wedding feast was already drunk! I know some have noticed that they didn’t run out of wine until Jesus and the boys showed up! Hmmm?
Whenever He got together with His friends, two things happened: He taught them something that blew their minds and it was a party. Jesus was so joyful and laughed so easily that he was often accused of being a drunk and a glutton. Not so! But He embodied love, joy, peace, kindness. He, as creator, had compassion on people who the world deemed expendable or scum. All the while he was modeling the Father’s heart for us.
In the Kingdom there is no lack. So when lack appeared, He multiplied food and there was always extra left over. In the Kingdom there is no sickness. So when He touched the sick, His health was contagious to them! In the Kingdom there is no death. So when he observed death, he brought dead people back to life. In the Kingdom, Satan is already defeated. When Jesus encountered the demon possessed, the demons had to admit the presence of their darkness simply because the presence of His light was so much greater. Once they were exposed He would cast them out and set the person free.
That is Kingdom living! Does that sound boring to you? Sick people being healed, dead people being raised up, the hungry being fed, the poor (body or spirit) being refreshed and pointed to their true identity….Ahhh! Whenever I think of it, just like the first time I read the book of Acts, I say, “That’s the church I want to be!” Can you imagine what the world would look like if all believers began to model life lived in the Kingdom on the earth?
I love reading the Bible. I love reading about the life of Jesus and all of the amazing things He did. Here’s where it gets sticky. I am a follower of Jesus. He says He has given ME authority to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons. Jesus gave me His own example of kingdom life in John 13:3-5: “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, so he got up from the meal…and began to wash the disciples feet.” In the Kingdom, when you know your identity in Christ (Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power), and you know where your citizenship lies (he knew he had come from God and was returning to God), you serve your brothers and sisters (even those who you know will betray you), and you wash their dirty, grimy, stinky feet. You act out your love in tangible ways and represent the supernatural kingdom to which you belong.
So we have a decision to make. Do we want to agree with Father God about who He has made us in Christ? About where our citizenship lies? And about how that citizenship entitles us to live? That would rock everyone’s world! Maybe even turn it upside-down?!
Or, do we want to stay carnal Christians who are saved from Hell, but who are satisfied to live as citizens of this world along with the lost. That means status quo for us and for the world.
Does the thought of moving in miracles scare you more than living a boring life? Do you feel like there is no freakin’ way you could do any of this? Do you realize that when Jesus sent out the 70 disciples to try out their new skills and they came back victorious, they weren’t even saved yet?! Ouch.
Remember, God “summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do.” He has called you: more than a conqueror, complete in Christ, a member of a royal priesthood, anointed by God, an enemy of the devil, joint heir with Christ sharing His inheritance with Him, commissioned to make disciples, the light of the world, the salt of the earth and much more. He has called us “the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” Whoa!
Some of that sounds like it might involve me taking a risk or two. John Wimber said faith is spelled, R-I-S-K. Maybe that’s what Paul meant when he said they were fools for Christ?
Do you remember that Jesus called us to walk out the Kingdom toward the world by doing everything that He did while on earth…and greater? What does that even look like? I don’t know but I sure do want to find out and I sure don’t think it’s boring. I want to be so close to Jesus that I smell like Him to the world. I want to live a supernatural life of trusting Him. A life that is based in knowing my identity IN CHRIST and in knowing that my citizenship is not of this world.