And those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who grumble will accept instruction. —Isaiah 29:24
Jesus clearly says the kingdom of heaven is among us (Luke 17:21) or “at hand” (Matthew 3:2, 4:17). One wonders why we made it into a reward system for later, or as someone called it, “a divine evacuation plan” from this world. Maybe it was easier to obey laws and practice rituals for later reward than to actually be transformed now.
The price for real transformation is high. It means that we have to change our loyalties from power, success, money and control (read: “our kingdoms”) to the Lordship of Jesus and the kingdom of God. Henceforth, there is only one thing that is Absolute and, in relationship to that, everything else is relative—everything—even the church (Don’t think I am disloyal because the failure to understand this is what got many of our leaders into trouble recently), even our nation, even national security, even our wealth and our possessions, even our identity and our reputation. All of our safety nets must now be of secondary or even tertiary importance, or even let go of, because Jesus is Lord! Whatever you trust to validate you and secure you is your real god, and the Gospel is saying, “Will the real God please stand up?”
We can see why there are so few kingdom people. Jesus is saying that all these systems are passing away and limited and that we should not put all of our eggs into such baskets. Yes, we need to work inside of these institutions for social order and some small degree of justice, but we shouldn’t think these systems will ever of themselves accomplish God’s justice or God’s reign. If a person thinks this, he or she will end up bitter by the second half of life.
What in your life gives you false happiness and fulfillment and prevents you from letting God’s truth break into your life?