“…the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
Arranging For Life…Here
At soulstuck.com, I try to write about things that will get you in touch with the soul. Life is too short for us to live so long in the mindset of only what is tangible and physical. It is a mistake to believe that we are going to be here forever.
So much of what the world around us speaks to is about this life here on earth. And for good reason, I guess. We are here, for now. And while we are here we have our lives to live right?
We long to find comfortable lives. We try as hard as we can to arrange for the good life here on earth, because, we mostly think that this is where the good life is to be found.
But tragically we find out that all is not well here in Eden. What comes into view is not the “good life” we so desperately seek, but the realization that there is sabotage afoot. Our bodies work against us and death finds its way into our members. Something lurks in the shadows of our comfortable lives, waiting to pounce on us and take away our peace and harmony. What is this about? Why is it so?
As we get older we see the world as it really is and we find ourselves longing for another world. Many of us don’t even know if there is another world beyond ours, and so along with the longing comes a loss of hope that we will ever find the “good life” that haunts us. We experience the death of a loved one and immediately our hearts cry is “Why?” We experience the pain of suffering, the sting of sin, and the finality of death, only to selfishly demand answers to our frail questions.
The Kingdom Of Heaven
C.S. Lewis brilliantly stated that… “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
It is that “other world” that I want to address today. Arguably the central message of Jesus was his message of the imminent and immediate presence of what He called The Kingdom of God or The Kingdom of Heaven. Everything he taught about morality, and living life, he taught under the umbrella of this Kingdom language.
His first known message after returning from the desert from being tempted by the Devil was “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” This “Kingdom” Jesus spoke of was not one ruled by human beings. There is no earthly palace where you will find it. The throne room is much more massive than we can understand because, as Isaiah the prophet recorded God saying, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool”. And yet, with all the grandeur of this Kingdom, it is still small enough to be close and within our touch here on earth.
So, in light of this, how do we keep this Kingdom in view? What are we supposed to do with all that happens to us and around us as it relates to reality and the world we see before us? How should we choose to live?
Three Ways to Live
Today I want to offer three ways you can live with the Kingdom in view.
- Live as an apprentice. Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do as we get older is to re-enter the classroom and admit that we don’t know everything. Jesus’ invitation to each and every human being is to become his apprentice on the path of life. The way of Jesus is the path towards and in this Kingdom where He is the Master and we are the apprentice. He is the Lord and his invitation is for you to become his disciple. Kingdom living isn’t simply about getting your ticket to heaven… it is about learning how to live the way of Jesus now. His is the way of the Master, keeping the Kingdom in view.
- Live with open hands. Here in America, we have a hard time letting go of things. We accumulate so much, we earn our living, we thrive on ingenuity and individual accomplishment. But the Kingdom isn’t about pulling yourself up and rising above the rest. Keeping the Kingdom in view means learning to live as a steward of the precious gift of life you’ve been given. It isn’t against bettering yourself, but if you think of yourself as the owner of your possessions and you live like you are the Master of your life, then you will find yourself extremely disappointed when you lose all you think you are in control over. If you recognize that all is God’s, your possessions and even your family and those you love… then you will find yourself more willing to let go and trust that God knows what He is doing when He takes these people and possessions away from you. Live with open hands, and you will keep the kingdom in view.
- Live in faithful expectation. It’s always easy to talk about faith until you have to begin living by it. What I mean is that many people wear their faith on their sleeve like it is a badge or membership at an elite club or political party. Faith isn’t a club you belong to or a merit badge you earn for good attendance at church. Faith is actually trusting God with everything in your life. Faith is putting your life in God’s hands at the expense of everything you know to be logical about life. Faith looks a lot like risk sometimes, and sometimes it involves what feels like risk at the outset.
God is advancing His kingdom and He’s inviting you to be a part of what He is doing. He isn’t some mystical Force you can wield or control, but rather, He is the author and creator of all things, and He is going to work things for good for you as you live in faithful expectation of His activity on your behalf.
Begin living with the Kingdom in View. I believe this is only possible for the person who has humbly come into relationship with God through receiving the gift of new birth in Jesus Christ. I would love to talk more with you about how this happens and what you can do to begin your path with Him.
The way of the Kingdom can be followed, but it is not easy, nor does it come without personal sacrifice. But it is free and is offered freely by God to anyone who would come. Would you like to live this way? I invite you, come and join the called out people of God and begin living in the light of His Kingdom.
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