Sunday, April 6, 2008

Seeking first the Kingdom

Jesus was a wild man.

I'm so happy to follow Him today, but sometimes-- often-- I wish I could have been among the ones who followed Him and knew every expression on His face, the sound of His voice, His weird personal quirks...then I think of how they died and I realize it is very good to be content...

I'm thinking about a lot of stuff, but one of them is the most amazing way the Bible relates to itself over and over, like one massive teaching. I've been thinking about Hannah for a few weeks and this afternoon had a fantastic conversation with my old friend Kenny (Peavy) and I was convicted and inspired. Tonight, I sat and studied for one teaching on (don't laugh, you seminarians) The Kingdom of God, and for hours have been going back and forth between the story of dear Hannah and her faithfulness in prayer and Jesus's constant direction in a thousand ways to seek first the Kingdom-- and then left a million bread crumbs to it, leaving it as mysterious as it ever was, and yet somehow...simple. It's inside you. It's at hand. It's near.

"The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation," Jesus said," nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20, 21).

Hm.

The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them, so technically speaking they did not have the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit yet...so what was Jesus referring to? Was he referring to their devotion to Him? Another translation reads "the kingdom of God is among you" and this would make sense, too, because it relates to the power that comes when we walk in agreement together and the beautiful way the bible over and over again tells us that He delights in our unity-- that He inhabits the praises of His people, that when two or more of us are gathered, He is there, etc.

Anyway, there's more. So much more. Jesus goes on to talk about not trying to pin HIM down either ("Men will tell you 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first He must suffer many things...").

But it's late and I must off to bed.

And I am recommitting myself to praying FIRST for His kingdom.

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