“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” (Albert Einstein)
In light of the foundation laid by the early Church, I am personally gripped with internal examination and the demand for transformation. From the previous article, we learned the early Church held strongly to the “doctrine of renunciation.” It has challenged me to live a sanctified life, like all God fearing people should. Are we not called to holiness? Are we not called to carry our cross?
Over the years, God has compelled my wife and I to make a lot of sacrifices in order to carry our cross on this journey of kingdom life. We have chosen to literally believe the scripture: “Come out” of Babylon (Rev. 18:4) to Christ alone. How? Satan’s control in the multi-facets of life is all around us being supercharged by carnality. I coined this as the “Babylonian matrix.” Ponder this: its control over money systems, laws, politics, religion, education, employment, the food chain, health, our children, our marriages, etc. How do the saints escape its grip? Everywhere we turn we are caught in its web of deceit. A fair question to ask, will there ever be real freedom on this side of eternity?
“You shall know the truth and truth shall make you free.” What I have discovered to experience freedom is, First, in humility we need to be real and stop playing a “con” on God or ourselves. “Walk in the Light” (1 Jn. 1:6-7) be honest about any bondage in our lives. Secondly, cry out to the Deliverer and Healer of the broken hearted (Lk. 4:18). He who called us is faithful. Christ will not leave us as orphans. Thirdly, follow Him out of every influence, agreement, and wrong thinking contrary to His nature. By faith be willing to “come out” to enter into the Kingdom of God. We must come to terms that it is impossible to be in two places at the same time. We’re not omnipresent, only God is. Loyalty for two kingdoms leads to instability. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
Furthermore, what if those kingdoms are in conflict? Being IN the world and OF the world, inevitably will lead to infidelity to Christ. We can’t serve two masters. Living in the Kingdom of God is more then just a spiritual concept. It’s holistic, encompassing the entirety of our lives, both spiritual and natural. Christ is Lord of ALL or not at all. Period. This isn’t meant to condemn us its meant to motivate us to seek God and to prioritize His eternal purpose. Therein we find hope.
I believe true discipleship is marked by a sincere pursuit to have everything center around Christ and for Christ–Christocentric. Colossians 3:4 says, Christ “is our life” not just a part of it. Saints, He is jealous over us and will not share us with any other gods. This is a struggle, a daily wrestling match. By faith, choose to be “all in” and trust Him. He is able to swallow up the lower realities of life: temptations, distractions, and challenges by the higher reality of “being seated in heavenly places with Christ.”
I speak the truth in love.
What does Ya’shua say about this lifestyle of discipleship?
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark. 8:34-38
Self denial? Pick up our cross? Lose our lives for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s to find it? Are these the kind of disciples Christ is looking for? Yes. Christ and the demonic world systems are mutually exclusive. The sooner we accept this as part of the “born again package” the sooner the ache from the God shaped void is satisfied. Christ alone is our satisfaction.
Settle it once and for all, Christ being our life will cost us everything: Our ego. Our pride. Our security. Our religion. Our status. Even our reputation. To gain what? A pure understanding of who Christ is and who we are in Him. Seeing His beauty. Knowing His love and life. Experiencing His eternal purpose. Christ is our prize! From the perspective of eternity it is like comparing the Grand Canyon to a roadside ditch. Really, there is no comparison. He is glorious and worthy!
The Scripture says:
“… I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ… That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings… I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus… I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”(Phil. 3:7-14)
We have to make tough decisions based on the fact that we are “not our own” and are held accountable for what we know. Keep this in mind on your journey.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10-14)
In conclusion, one day I woke up from a dream with these words on my lips, “To see the Kingdom of God you must come through the cross.” I began to meditate on what this means.
The Scripture says,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
A dead man isn’t concerned about his own will or way. A dead man isn’t offended. A dead man isn’t consumed with rank or position or security. A dead man isn’t full of selfish ambition–he is just dead! We need to be emptied of self, the dead man, and filled with life in Christ. As the scripture says: “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.” It is important to operate by His faith, believing into Christ. He will make you victorious.
May we experience a life of purpose, which is found in knowing the beauty of Christ. His loving kindness empowers us to pick up our cross and follow Him. Nothing else in this life really matters! It’s a faith walk anchored in the revelation of Christ.
When you are going through a challenge keep in mind, the temporary sacrifice is worth it all in light of knowing Christ and eternal glory. Don’t get discouraged or feel like failures. He will never leave you or forsake you. The Lord has given us the Helper, the Holy Spirit.
A prayer for change,
Father, You are an ever-present help in time of need. In Ya’shua’s Name forgive me and cleanse me with the blood of Christ. Put a guard over my eye gate, ear gate, mouth gate and sexual gate. Deliver me. Change me. Empower me. By your grace I will prevail over the warfare in my mind. Help me see clearly your plan for my life. In humility, stir up faith and passion in me to carry my cross and follow hard after you no matter the cost–moment by moment, day by day. Amen.