Upside Down Kingdom

Last week, I felt led to write about racism. I simply reached out to a friend, Janay, and asked what I could do. That question changed my life. It turned into a blog post, then an Instagram live, talking with my kids, taking them to a protest with me, challenging my life group, and sweet Janay even started a ministry to equip the Church in leading the charge toward racial reconciliation. Read last week’s post here.

I listened, learned, spoke out, made mistakes, and accidentally offended people. I’m not gonna lie, as a people pleaser, my little heart is pretty exhausted! I’m just trying to do better and asking God to search my heart. He is adjusting things in me that have been programmed incorrectly.

My hope is that walls are being torn down in our nation. Big, ugly, tired, OLD walls that have divided us and defined our normal for so long. May they be exposed in our hearts and may we submit to the process of seeing them demolished.

This is what I know about God: He does things differently than we would. In fact, He turns our expectations upside down and often does the exact opposite. Here are a few examples:

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” (Matthew 10:39 ESV).

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last,” (Matthew 20:16).

“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it,” ‭‭(Mark‬ ‭10:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬).

But if you will listen, I say to you, love your enemies and do something wonderful for them in return for their hatred. When someone curses you, bless that person in return. When you are mistreated and harassed by others, accept it as your mission to pray for them. To those who despise you, continue to serve them and minister to them. If someone takes away your coat, give him as a gift your shirt as well. When someone comes to beg from you, give to that person what you have. When things are wrongly taken from you, do not demand they be given back,” (Luke 6:27-30 TPT).

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty,” (1 Corinthians 1:27 NKJV).

My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV).

Everything in God’s Kingdom is opposite of what you would expect. By the world’s standard, kids should be seen and not heard – out of the way. God calls children our measure of spiritual maturity. If only our hearts could be pure and innocent like theirs! The world promotes those who seem strong and handsome/beautiful. God intentionally chooses those who seem weak and unlikely.

I have taught about God’s upside down Kingdom several times. We even built a set for one of our children’s ministries years ago that hung upside down from the ceiling. We wanted our kids to have a clear picture that life with Jesus does not look like the world. Up is down. Down is up.

However, the older I get the more I realize that this world is upside down. It is a kingdom being ruled by the enemy. He is able to lie and manipulate people into accomplishing his evil agenda. People can be hateful, vindictive, and are celebrated for clawing their way to the “top”.

God’s Kingdom is right-side-up. Everything is just as it should be. In His Kingdom, there is no sickness, pain, or fear. Love, unity, peace, and sacrifice set the tone. Even though we are currently a part of this world, that doesn’t mean we have to succumb to its kingdom. We can live in the reality of the Kingdom of God and actually bring it down to earth. We have the authority as God’s heirs to change this world.

“We ask that your kingdom will come now. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:10 TLB).

You have chosen us to serve our God and formed us into a kingdom of priests who reign on the earth,” (Revelation 5:10 TPT).

If you have given your heart to Jesus, then you have powerful authority to stop the plans of the enemy. The Church has to stand up and take her place. We have gotten too offendable (I know that’s not a word!) and worried about our personal opinions. Too much ground has been stolen by the enemy while we have been arguing with each other.  I say no more.

We have to allow the Holy Spirit to open our eyes so that we can see truth. God’s Kingdom has to become our focus. The cry of my heart everyday should be, “Lord, what are You saying? What do You want to accomplish today? I am here to accomplish Your agenda. Use me.”

I know there is so much going on, but don’t give up. Let’s pray, believe, and partner with God to bring His Kingdom to earth.

Love you,

Tif

 

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