Bible Ballistics: Thy Kingdom? Thy Will? Vol. 6#08
Living in a ‘Selfie’ world can present challenges to our life and perspective. When everything around us is focused on ‘self’, how do we maintain a balanced and biblical life and perspective? That’s the question that I would like us to consider today. With so much going on around us, with the foundations of our very culture being shaken, with the world steeped in chaos and uncertainty, what is our place? How are we to live and order our lives in order to affect the world for Jesus? Paul told the Galatians, we are to have one ‘focus’ and it’s NOT ‘self’:
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14
When we belong to Jesus, we are to have our focus on the cross of Jesus Christ—Jesus, crucified, buried and raised for the atonement of MY sin!!! The atoning, sacrificial blood that Jesus shed for sin; that he shed for all who will repent of their ‘self sin’ (better known as pride), believe in and accept His sacrifice for their own sin. Is there anything else that is of eternal import?
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26
A great ‘selfie’ shot won’t impress God or get you into heaven. Only Jesus has or can provide salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of God. He made this implicitly clear in His earthly ministry, as well as through the ministry of the apostles and writers of the New Testament. We must be “born from above”.
John 3:3 & 8, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God… ..8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
Being ‘born again’ by the Spirit of God—the supernatural work of God, which gives us new life in Jesus! That life which is totally of GOD not of/from ‘self’!
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
A supernatural work of God–
not of blood=your genealogy—
not of the will of the flesh=hard work (of any kind)
not of the will of man=NO one can do it FOR you!!!
It’s a work, which only God can do in us:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
It is this birth through which we are ‘born from above’; the birth that does the work that we may be ‘born of the spirit’, the birth that imparts to us ‘eternal life’ both now and with God in all eternity! And Jesus didn’t stop there:
“And he said unto them,
Ye are from beneath;
I am from above:
ye are of this world;
I am not of this world….
42 Jesus said unto them,
If God were your Father,
ye would love me:
for I proceeded forth and came from God;
neither came I of myself,
but he sent me.
43 Why do ye not understand my speech?
even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil,
and the lusts of your father ye will do.
He was a murderer from the beginning,
and abode not in the truth,
because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie,
he speaketh of his own:
for he is a liar,
and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth,
ye believe me not.” John 8:23 & 42-45
It the difference between night and day; between truth and lie; between good and evil; between LIFE and DEATH!!! The choice is yours to make! But as believers in Jesus we are called to live our ‘choice’ before the world. And we can only do that because God has done the work in us, and He empowers us to live for righteousness.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Philippians 1:6
He started the work—He will complete it!!!
“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove (display to the world)
what is that good,
will of God.” Romans 12:2
We are to allow His work to flourish through us!
When our focus is changed from ‘self’ to God we are enabled to understand what Jesus meant as He taught us how to live and how to pray, to live for Him:
“After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13
Kind of flies in the face of much of what we see and hear around us today—even spiritual advice (so-called) has turned the focus on ‘self’. Many teach and call followers of Jesus to just ‘name it and claim it’; to ‘speak positively’; to ‘demand of God’; and to do any number of presumptuous things to manipulate God! Yes, I said ‘manipulate God’! Jesus instructed us to pray for ‘Thy will’ to be done; for ‘Thy kingdom’ to come, and yet we have turned this all around into a ‘selfie’ culture which says, “my will” be done, and please God, put your stamp of approval on it! “My kingdom” come, and God please won’t you put your stamp of approval on it! Excuse me? Why ‘on earth’ would we be so distracted and deceived as to put ourselves in “God’s” place? I pray that we would never do that deliberately, but we have often allowed ourselves to be fooled into thinking and behaving as if ‘we are now God’!!!
How does this happen? It can happen when we allow our eyes to be taken off of the Cross and our Redeemer!!! It can happen when we become so consumed with “selfies” that we forget that it’s not about ME, but it’s about HIM!!! It should be about who we were and who we have become in Jesus. So whose image does the world see in me? Do they see Jesus, or do they see me? What fruit am I bearing for my precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and His Father, The Lord God Almighty? The fruit comes from the nature of the tree, not the fruit itself. Jesus makes this so clear in Matthew 7:20-27:
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
So, what will you do? Will you truly seek to do “God’s will”? Will you truly seek the increase of “God’s Kingdom”, or your own? Will you pursue the selfie life, or the “selfless” servant life that Jesus lived and calls us to? The choice is yours!
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8-9
“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.” Galatians 2:20
Thine or Mine??? One or the other—it can’t be both!