It's hard for us to grasp the privilege that we have as people sitting on this side of the New Testament. The Jews of the Old Testament had to walk many miles to sacrifice their animals at the Temple. They lived under the law. They heard much doom and gloom from their prophets. And, then they waited. For over 400 years before they heard another word.
Can you imagine the wait? Our entire history as Americans is only a bit more than 400 years.
He taught them a new way to walk; so new and so different that the Gospels tell us over and over again how the crowds were in awe and amazed.
He shocked them again when he told them, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."
This statement alone changes everything for us.
Jesus' death and resurrection redeemed what Satan received when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Their decision promoted Satan to Ruler of the World. But, Jesus' defeated Satan and rendered him inoperative with the cross and his resurrection. One day, all sin, Satan and death will be destroyed, but for now, the reality is that we have the kingdom within us which carries heavenly weapons, authority of Jesus' name and power of the Holy Spirt to destroy what has been stolen from us through the fall.
So, I wonder. How much do we live out of this truth?
I look around, at my own life first, and then the lives of those who follow Christ around me, and I see more defeat than victory.
I see more doubt than faith.
I see us more complacency and worry about the world than I see trust in God's character and his provision.
What do you think would happen if we took 40 days and decided to focus, meditate and practice living the reality that the kingdom of God is within us?
Are you up for the challenge? I am going to take this challenge.... come along with me and let's see what happens.