Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kingdom of God

Recently on the way to the fitness center, I was having a good time with the Lord. Praying and humming a worship song, I was interrupted by the Great Interruptor as He said, "So, are you going to coast in?"

I just turned 62 years old, and with 40 years of following our Lord, 24 of which have been as a pastor of a local church, I was stunned by the implication of the Lord's gentle rebuke. "Coasting? Coasting? Is that what I'm doing, Lord?" I asked. The dawning realization struck me beyond a gentle rebuke—to not allow the past ministry years carry me for the rest of my life. What God said was a warning...and a promise.

The warning is I can let "coasting" be my default setting in life with God. The promise is that I have the option to "cruise" not coast. Cruising (definition: to travel at a speed providing maximum operating efficiency for a sustained period) fits the advancing nature of the Kingdom of God much more than coasting. God made me and you to live life at "maximum operating efficiency." Jesus called it as having "life, and life abundantly" (John 10:10). It fits because the Kingdom of God, His expanding rule over all created things, starts first with my heart and then moves. It moves ahead. The Kingdom doesn't stall, doesn't idle in the parking lot, and doesn't lose energy. The Kingdom doesn't "coast."

When Jesus told Peter, on his confession, that He would build His Church (Matthew 16:18), the Lord added that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. This implies that the Church is advancing, taking the offensive against the forces of darkness. The Kingdom parables (Matthew 13) of the mustard seed and of the leaven both speak of an expansion, of growth, and of movement. The Kingdom of God is advancing, moving forward...always. Am I (are you) going to try to coast or to cruise, operating at maximum efficiency in it?

I want to be, and stay, at the forefront of Kingdom activity—all the days of my life. I want to see the supernatural workings of God: from supernatural loving to supernatural healing. I want to live in this ever-moving Kingdom. In His interaction with Pilate (John 18:36), Jesus answered, "My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My Kingdom is not of this realm."

Literally, in the Greek language, Jesus said, "My Kingdom is not from here." A not-from-here Kingdom has invaded the earth. That's the Kingdom I want to participate in. Our friend Bill Johnson, in commenting on why Jesus was able to sleep in the front of the boat during the terrible storm on the Sea of Galilee, says, "Jesus could sleep because, in His world, there are no storms."

In His world—the not-from-here Kingdom—that's where I want to live! I want to live out of that Kingdom. I want to see out of that Kingdom, to hear out of that Kingdom, to taste and touch and feel out of that Kingdom. I want to love out of that Kingdom. I want to heal out of that Kingdom. That sounds more like cruising than coasting, don't you think?

It's more important to operate at maximum efficiency in the Kingdom than ever before—that is getting up each day and asking Him to help you be aware of the Kingdom-current of activity going on around us—and jumping in.

Lord, give us grace and sensitivity for Kingdom cruising!

John Wallace
Blood n Fire - Dallas, Texas
Email: jwallace4u@me.com
Website: www.bloodnfiredallas.com

John's Bio: Currently, John and Suzanne are Community Leaders of Blood n Fire Dallas, a community with a vision "to reach, raise up and release the younger generations to advance the Kingdom of God among the poor of the earth." John Wallace was born and raised in Shawnee, Oklahoma. After graduating from Shawnee High School, he attended and received a B.B.A. from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, John and his future bride, Suzanne Martin, met. John then graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX. After graduation John served as a dentist in the U.S. Army for two years. John and Suzanne moved back to Dallas for almost 10 years of private dental practice. From 1981 to 1986 John attended Dallas Theological Seminary, graduating with a Master of Theology degree. He has, subsequently, pastored local churches for the last 24 years. John and Suzanne have 6 children: Jason (wife Alison), Brennan (wife Lisa), and Lindsey (husband Chris), and two grandchildren, Austin Wyatt Wallace and Caleb Sage Wallace.

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