Posted: 12/03/2009 at 3:50pm
Laying Hold of the Kingdom
By Ron McGatlin
Across the world spiritual eyes are opening as religious scales are falling off and the kingdom of God is beginning to be clearly seen by many for the first time. A fresh surging flow of God’s pure love is releasing forgiveness, purity, and true holiness, consuming religious strife and debate and opening the door for pure wisdom from above enlightening our souls and driving our inner motives of life.
Eyes are opening to see that the kingdom of heaven has been at hand, right there beside us waiting for us to reach out and lay hold of it. All the attributes of Christ and Father God have been awaiting our response of grasping the full provision of the place in this life prepared for us by our Lord, Savior, and King Christ Jesus.
John 14:3: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Living in the kingdom of God/heaven now and forever is the rightful inheritance of the sons of God, the purified holy Bride of Christ. However, the at-hand kingdom is not available now in this life to those who will not lay hold of it. The at-hand kingdom is only in hand when we reach out and grasp it with our whole hearts. We will not reach out and grasp what we cannot see or what we do not believe is within our reach.
Spiritual Blind Spots
I believe that Jesus spoke with love when he firmly addressed religious leaders in the first century as “blind guides” (Mat 23:16-24). These leaders knew the Old Testament word and had the highest imaginable level of commitment to the study and at least the appearance of obedience to the written word. Yet, they were spiritually blind to the King and His kingdom that was at hand before them.
The Pharisees were the top of the religious order of the Jewish religion of their day. Yet most of them were blinded to the kingdom of God potential in the Messiah when He came to them. It appears that they were so consumed in their religious study of minute details and precise religious traditional activities that they could not see the greater picture of the King and His kingdom coming forth into the world before them.
Many religious church-system leaders and theologians are today facing the same dilemma. These leaders of today have a similar devotion to the Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments. They may also have a very strong belief in the traditional religious church-system activities, traditions, and rituals. It is my perspective that they also may firmly believe in personal redemption through the cross and shed blood of Jesus and the gifts of the Holy Spirit along with other sound doctrines. Yet they can have blind spots regarding the potential of Christ Jesus standing before them today in His “Body” manifesting the kingdom of God lifestyle now in this life. They may have understanding of Jesus as savior providing redemption and assurance of heaven along with an expectance of a bodily return and yet be blinded to the kingdom of God in Christ Jesus now in this life by the Holy Spirit.
Some of the traditional religious beliefs regarding the kingdom as to what it is and when it is and more are now being recognized as incomplete or false doctrines that were created from the minds of men intellectually interpreting the Bible without the revelation of the Spirit. Through the religious church systems, the enemy has created blind spots in the minds of people in an attempt to prevent them from receiving the word of the kingdom of God lifestyle now in this life (Mat 23:16).
As a result false or greatly watered-down religious views of kingdom are preached from many pulpits today. Sometimes false kingdom views are preached by men with mixed motives and sometimes by well meaning sincere preachers. However, in either case it is preached from blindness to the true reality of the potential for kingdom living available now in this life as Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit lives in His temple of His people on earth.
God’s Love Rules the Kingdom
Love is the most significant characteristic of the kingdom of God and the most potent tool in breaking through religious walls to dissolve blind spots. The first and greatest evidence of being baptized in the Spirit of God is love. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Righteousness, peace, and joy flow from love by the Spirit of God.
Love, God’s love, draws the kingdom together and causes it to work in perfect order. There is no greater law, principle, concept, or force in the kingdom than love. All other rules, principles, and concepts work by love. Faith is the second greatest principle or force, and it only works properly by love (Gal 5:6). In the kingdom faith, wisdom, and power work through love. Love is the strongest motivational force known to man. Fear is a powerful motivational force, but love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
Religious and secular people fear the kingdom of God in man will take over control of their independent self-centered systems of life by force. They see the kingdom of God in people as a potential militant political threat to their lifestyles. Most if not all have no clue that they are being driven by a principality of evil spirits inflaming their emotions to violently attack the kingdom of God people. They have no concept of the love and blessed life they could have in the kingdom of God.
Spirits of darkness gather closely around but outside the manifesting kingdom of God, attacking any who seek to enter by inflaming religious and secular people against them, while at the same time seeking out any possible flaw to exploit and use to destroy those seeking to walk in the kingdom of God lifestyle. The enemy knows that wherever and whenever the kingdom of God from heaven reigns, his rule and dirty work can no longer function. Therefore, he focuses his most cunning and vicious work against those seeking to enter the kingdom of God walk or lifestyle.
Mat 23:13: "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
Mat 11:12: "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”
Whenever and wherever the perfect love of God rules, the enemy will always flee. The presence of the pure, holy love of God is the most effective force for deliverance and healing for tormented people. Love is the source of power to break through religious and demonic strongholds that are seeking to prevent God’s people from taking hold of the kingdom of God lifestyle now. Walking in the kingdom of God lifestyle, we have complete authority over the enemy. The only license the enemy has is that given to him by mankind. The only power he has is cunning deception.
As spiritual eyes are opening to the light of the at-hand kingdom of God, darkness is fleeing, and the glorious brightness of the King of kings is filling hearts and lives with righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Rom 14:17: for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Edited by Moderator on 12/04/2009 at 5:13am