But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. (Micah 4:1)
There is a place that has been prepared for us by the Lord himself. It is a place that will not be recognized by those that are caught up in the things of this world or depend on the world for their well-being. This place we seek is a place whose builder and maker is God. It is the mountain of the Lord that Micah 4 speaks of. It is the Kingdom of our God! “...The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Jesus said he went to prepare a place for us there, let us now enter in, rejecting this world let us seek our Lord’s. We cannot live in both kingdoms….we will love the one and hate the other.
Jesus said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” And he prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;” (John 17:16-18, 20) Jesus said we are not of this world any more than he is of this world.
This is not our kingdom any more than it is his. Just as the father sent him into the world so he has sent us. We must crucify the flesh. The body of the flesh that loves the world and the things of the world; it can not receive the things of the Spirit. “…..There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:44) Until we have put to death that body of flesh as Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me:.."(Galatians 2:20) we will not be able to fully comprehend what the Lord said. “…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) Peter said we were, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1 Peter 1:23)
Reading in Mathew the 6th chapter….
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
(Matthew 6:19-24, 31-34)
These are the words of our Lord. It is his instructions on how we are to live our lives if we are to follow him. It should be obvious to us that the Lord did not want us to be wrapped up in the things of the world. John 17:16 he says, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Whether we are willing to live this way or not tells us a lot about our commitment to the Lord and the attitudes of our hearts. Are we willing to follow hard after our Lord at the cost of everything?
We don’t hear the song “I surrender all” sang much any more. Just like the rich young ruler, there is far too much to surrender. Many would much rather hear that God has blessed them with everything they have and therefore he would never ask them to give anything up or trust that when we might lose some of the comforts of this world, it is still God that is in control and directing our lives. Paul warned about our time in 2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.” These are the teachers who are “…..destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” (1 Timothy 6:5)
The true message of the Gospel is preached very little today. People don’t want to hear about dying to self and picking up our cross to follow the Lord. They don’t want to hear that those who truly follow the Lord will care very little for the things of this world. Preachers who are after large crowds can not afford to preach the truth. And by now most don’t even remember what the true Gospel of the Kingdom is. These words of Jesus’ are foreign to most who would call themselves Christians.
But the truth is, if we are to be true followers of Christ, our lives are no longer our own, we have been bought with a price and we are his to do with according to HIS purposes, not ours. (1Cr 6:20, Rom 8:28, Eph 1:5, Eph 1:11)
If the truth be known….most do not trust God to provide for them as he said in Mathew chapter 6. And in the same way they do not trust Him with their spiritual life either.
If we cannot grasp these things now, how will we be able to suffer for the Lord? “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10) How will we be able to trust our lives to him, even if it means death?
Let us look at the parallel between taking care of our physical needs and our spiritual needs.
Jesus said not to worry about money, what we would eat or what we have to wear. He said that was His responsibility. He is able to give to us what is needed according to his purposes, whether it is a job to help support our needs or a raven dropping food to us as He did for Elijah (1Kings 17:4). Our eye….our focus, is to be on the Lord and not on the needs of this world.
In the same way, our “self” righteousness is of no value either. It is not about what we do in our own strength. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that conforms us in to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” This is why it can be said in 1 John 4:17 “…. we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” It is impossible for us to do this in our own strength, but the “Just shall live by faith” and “all things are possible with God”
The Kingdom of God is not what “we” can do for the Lord….it is all about HIM. If he so chooses to take these vessels of clay and use them for his glory, they belong to him to do the works as he pleases…..it is only at his choosing and it will be him that performs the works in us….so no flesh can glory! In the mean time…..we are only to follow hard after him…spending time with him…learning about him…..knowing him…..hearing his voice…..and loving him with everything in us! This is striving to enter into the Sabbath rest of the Lord. Ceasing from our own works and allowing Him to take the reins of our life, bringing us into the very imagine of Christ.
Hebrews the 4th chapter tells us about this rest.
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Hebrews 4:9-11) This is the only “labor” that is required of us!
When Christ was on the cross, paying the price for our sins, He said, “It is finished”….no other sin offering would ever be needed….no other ritual….no other tradition of men and no other works of our flesh would be needed because.….IT IS FINISHED!
The only thing required is our eye is to be single and fixed on him……to fellowship with him….to be in his will…In no other place is there freedom. Complete trust in him as we give him our all. Whether we live…we live unto him….whether we die….we die in him.
Our eye is to be single…..as He brings us to the place where we have but one true desire…and that is to follow hard after thee, O Lord…in Him we have fullness of life…He will complete the work He began in us…..as we seek Him with our whole heart. Our true desire is to be conformed into his very image. Only he can perform this work in us…so no man can boast. It is not our good works, trying to “put off” sins in our own strength. These works done in our flesh is only wood hay and stubble and will be burned up in the fire of God…..for there is NONE good but the father! But if we walk in the spirit as he is in the spirit….seated in Heavenly places with him…..we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Amen! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!
Originally posted on February 28, 2009