The Kingdom of Heaven: A Moving Experience
Of all the great commands Jesus left us to live by, perhaps one of His greatest may have been His shortest command, “GO!” If the day and age we live in is characterized by any message it’s this: Less is more, and small is the new BIG! In other words, keep it short and sweet! The genius of God is that His Word is always fresh, always relevant, and always right. Jesus’ first bidding was an invitation to come, but His last was a command to “GO.” What Godly success is contained in this little two-letter word, “GO.” God has placed a divine GO in every one of us, a blessing that can only be claimed by moving forward. How many times in scripture did Jesus’ miracles contain a command to GO? In Matthew 8:19 Jesus is approached by a Roman Centurion wanting healing for his servant. What was Jesus’ response? “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” The bible records that his servant was healed at that moment.” In Luke 17:4, Jesus comes upon some lepers who wanted to be healed, and Jesus responds by saying, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. On yet another account In Luke 9:60, after Jesus bids a young man to follow Him, but the young man replies, that he must first bury his father. Jesus responds with the seemingly harsh reply, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” The point to note here is that Jesus was not unconcerned or unsympathetic about death but preoccupied with life. The call to follow Him was a call to life. When we move in agreement with Him, we will truly experience life and life abundantly.
These two letters, G-O, which are two thirds of God’s name, reveal a command that carries with it a blessing. This divine equation carries in it a powerful truth that can be applied to our lives and careers as men and women of God and marketplace professionals. How many of the challenges we face as believers, possibly two-thirds, could be overcome, if we lived in the momentum of God and simply moved forward. What might our circumstances look like, if we applied this truth to our lives?
Consider this – approximately two-thirds of our bodies are water. Approximately two-thirds of the earth is covered by water. We are tripart beings, consisting of three parts, spirit, soul, and body. Our Spirit is just like God; however, our soul needs sanctification. However, when we agree with God, and our soul comes into agreement with our spirit, we begin to see God move, and, the body simply follows suit- 2/3. Incidentally, the two men who are considered possibly the greatest basketball players of all time both wear the number 23: Michael Jordan and Lebron James. There are many of us who often spend a lot of time talking faith and giving lip-service to how much we desire something. But if our hearts are not engaged in the action to get it done, we give God nothing to work with, and often blame Him for our results. We are called to live by faith, and it is a lifestyle that we don’t have the luxury to exclude. The writer of Hebrews says it best in Hebrews 10:38, where it reads: “but the just shall live by faith.”
As He is about to leave, our Commander-in-Chief, Jesus gave us a clarion call to “GO.” In the Great Commission, Jesus gathers His disciples on a mountain, as He had done in so many times before to deliver His messages. However, this would be His last and most important message. These were to be His final instructions before ascending to heaven. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus declares, “Behold, all authority has been given to me in heaven and earth. GO, therefore and make disciples of all nations.” It’s time to GO! It’s time to live in the momentum of God. This case for momentum is even further solidified in John 11:11 “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent men lay hold to it.” When reading this scripture initially, I thought that perhaps it was saying that violent men and women have been attacking the kingdom of Heaven. Although there is truth in this statement, this only reveals part of the truth. The other part of that truth is that God wants us to be violent in laying hold to the promises of God, violent against sin, and violent in walking in the dominion that is rightfully ours as sons and daughters of God. I’m not talking about physical violence, of course, but laying hold to the promises with passion. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus poured out His passion, as He sweat, as it were, drops of blood. He lived a life of passion that was poured out for us. Can we give Him any less? What this scripture is telling us that the one who is the most violent will take it by force. Our Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ has given us the keys to the supply room of Heaven, and He expects us to use them with authority to walk in the dominion that we have been given. Perhaps the saddest words in all of scripture are recorded in Hebrews 3:19, and it reads, “and we see they were not able to enter in because of their unbelief.” With scripture on their lips, but a heart that was still in Egypt, the children of Israel turned an 11-day journey into 40-years wandering. Because their hearts were not in agreement with God’s momentum, they died in the wilderness, having never receiving the promise. This is not God’s plan for our lives. Contrary to public opinion, God is concerned about territory, establishing His rule, and spreading His influence in every sphere of society. Some may think that God is not concerned about numbers, yet one of the key books in the bible is named, oddly enough, Numbers.
Consider this: Everything about you was created with movement and momentum in mind. Your facial features, the setting of your eyes. Your seeing and vision were all designed for forward sight and forward thinking. Even your feet were made for walking and taking territory. In fact, in Joshua 1:3, God declares: “I have given you every place the soles of your feet shall tread, just as I promised Moses.” And even though the armor of God in Ephesians 6 contains powerful weaponry, including a helmet, a sword, and a shield, it never mentions a covering for your back. Why? Because you were made to advance and not retreat. You were made to advance, you were made to conquer, and you were made to GO.
What has caused you to stop moving or become stuck?
Psalm 1 is a powerful psalm. It contains within it a great truth, but also reveals a potential regression, depending on the strength of our faith and convictions. It reads, “blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.” If we were to remove most of the words, three key verbs would remain: walks, stands and sits. Many of us started off walking well. And then we became distracted or offended and started standing. And someone convinced us we couldn’t do it, and we bought the lie, and became discouraged. And finally, we sat down, stopped moving and camped out there. God doesn’t expect us to have it all figured out, but He does expect you to move forward, using what He has given us. Perhaps the best illustration is in Exodus 15. Moses is crying out to God, as Pharaoh’s armies are vehemently approaching. But God then gives him an answer he doesn’t expect. In Exodus 15:15 -16 it reads, “And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore cries out to me? Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thy hand and divide it, and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” -KJV. I think you know the rest of the story. The Red Sea parted, and Pharaoh and his armies (representing our circumstances) were drowned in the sea, and they walked through on dry ground. Many of us today stand on the banks of our own Red Seas. We’re crying out to God to move, but He is giving us today the same command that he gave Moses: “Use what I have given you and move forward.” Listed below are some barriers to our moving forward.
Barriers to Moving Forward
Running in the wrong lane – 1 Corinthians 9:24 reads, “Do you know that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain it.” Is it possible that we have not failed because we haven’t been running hard, but in the wrong lane?
Lone Ranger Syndrome – Many of us try to do it all on our own, forgoing the best wisdom, encouragement, and assistance of those willing to help because of pride. Are you an amateur at something that someone is gifted at? Why not let them help you?
Trying to Freeze-Dry Change – Many of us, to freeze-dry change, and lock time in place, spend time trying to keep things the same. Although there were many wonderful things in our past, God is more concerned about where you’re going than where we’ve been. Moreover, He doesn’t exist in our past, but in our present and our future. Isaiah 43:18 expresses it best, and reads, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” – KJV. When God sent manna from heaven to the children of Israel, He told them only to keep enough for the day. When they disobeyed and tried to save more for tomorrow, it turned into maggots. When we move forward in faith, we discover that today is enough for today.
Unbelief – Perhaps the most common challenge today is the same one that caused the children of Israel to turn and 11-day journey into a 40 – year wandering: Unbelief. Hebrews 4:2 says it this way: “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” – ASV. So how do we begin to move forward and GO? Listed below are 9 Keys to Living in the Momentum of God.
9 Keys to Living in the Momentum of God
- Fellowship, obedience, and dependence on the Holy Spirit – The greatest weapons that God has given us part from His Son is the Holy Spirit. He will reveal things to come, build us up, and lead us into all truth.
- Get moving – For some, it’s time to begin again with a new set of lenses. For others, time to go!
- Realize you have been equipped – 2 Peter 1:3 says “we’ve been given all things pertaining to life and Godliness.” Focus on what you have, and not what you lack.
- Prayer – We must be men and women of prayer and intercession. James5:16 says, “the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous avails much.” Intercessors have shifted the course of human history, and so can we!
- Go in the confidence of the loveof the Father – Before Jesus did any miracles, He received the unconditional love and acceptance of the Father. As Jesus stood in the Jordan River to be baptized by John, the heavens opened, and these thunderous wordscame from His Father: “Behold this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” If was only after this divine approval and permission that healed the sick, raised the dead, and casted out devils. If Jesus needed God’s love, acceptance and approval, how much more do we?
- Lay aside every weight – It’s time to travel light and rid ourselves of the baggage. Is there someone you need to forgive? Perhaps even yourself? Hebrews 12 says, since we are encompassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.”
- Speak, read, and live the Word – Studies show that when we talk to ourselves in negative self-talk, we do so at twice the rate of when we talk in positive. Proverbs 18:21 says, “life and death are in the power of the tongue.” We’ve seen enough death, it’s time to speak life to every situation in our lives.
- Leave it on the field – Sell out for Christ. The days are gone of encompassing unnecessarily the same mountains, making the same mistakes, and turning an 11-day journey into 40 years. Your best is always enough in the hands of the Savior. Let’s go up at once and possess the land.
- It’s time to come together – Alex Haley the author of the book Rootssaid, “If you ever see a turtle sitting on a fencepost, you’ll know he didn’t get there by himself.” Who has God assigned to assist you with your assignment? What gift has God placed in someone else to unlock the potential inyou? One of our tenets in KCIA is interlocking assignments.
In conclusion, it’s time to get moving again. Whatever has held you back, it’s time to throw off our limitations, leave it on the field, and GO! Everything in your life has prepared you for this moment! Why not let this be your finest hour, not next week, not next year, but now! What’s your story? You may say, “I’m too old!”, “I’m too young”, or “I’ve missed my moment!” Nothing could be farther from the truth! Why not pick up where you left off and step into God’s draft lines? God has everything you need, including a great sense of humor! He delights in showing mercy, using unlikely people to do extraordinary things, and using foolish things to confound the wise. The Christian walk is not a sprint, but a marathon. Perhaps you’ve placed a period where God placed a comma, but if you’re still breathing, God is not finished with you! The great Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain, Christian, man of faith gave instructions for the bugler at his homegoing service to save two military songs played that delivered a powerful message to us all. The first song played was Taps, which signifies that a soldier has gone home. But the second was reveille, blown first thing in the morningas a wake- up call. The message of reveille is “It’s a new day! Let’s get up, get moving, and let’s GO!” The great thing about God is that His mercies are new every day, His grace is enough, and His love is everlasting. No matter how old or young you are, God has BIG plans for you! Studies show that even if you’re up in age, that if you will find something you can believe in and give your heart, soul and passion to, it will literally reset your body clock. History is His story; God wants to use yours. It’s time to GO! All creation is waiting for you!