By Jacob Dunbar
For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Corinthians 8:5-6)
If anything, the history of planet earth has demonstrated that mankind is unfit to rule in ourselves. We are fully incapable of ruling our own lives let alone ruling over others. Wars, sin, sickness, tyranny, oppression, famine and many other things demonstrate what the kingdoms of men produce. The kingdoms of this world that we are born into fall into a very similar pattern.
They consist of a hierarchical, totem pole king of the mountain mentality of elevating one person above another or man’s wisdom as the ultimate salvation. We all try hard and do our best to climb the ladder of the various systems of the world and worship the success and innovations of those who seemingly make it to the top. We “worship the works of our hands.”
In these worldly systems, man made standards of merit and performance are the judge of who gets to rule over whom. Throughout history, these “standards” have have included socio-economic standing, skin color, sex, and performance in things that the elite or majority of people deem to be valuable. This has led to the severe oppression of millions of people throughout history simply because they were born poor, of a particular skin color, born a woman, or their gifts and talents aren’t what culture deems “valuable.” We can see that as the Kindgom of God advances throughout the earth, many of these strongholds are being broken, and as the Kindgom of God is fully established on the earth as it is in heaven, ALL of these strongholds and ALL strongholds will be broken in Jesus name!
The Kingdom of God is amazing! Every religion and system of the world is about making it to the top of the ladder and climbing to heaven using our self-effort and performance. Even denominations of the Christian religion teach that we need to do our best for God and sacrifice ourselves to God to earn HIs affection and our right standing with Him. Simply put, this is man’s attempt to build a tower to heaven. This is what brings confusion and division, jealousy, competition and every evil thing.
Philippians chapter Two outlines the gospel perfectly. The Kingdom of God is the opposite of those of men. The magnificent God and creator of the universe has never been looking for servants, but for Son’s and daughters, and for a bride for His Son Jesus. He is looking for lovers! He does not impose His will on us but instead gives us all of Himself and pours out His love on us freely. Read this passage of Philippians 2 in that light…
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:3-7)
This is what God did with mankind! He made himself completely naked and vulnerable and gave Himself fully to us knowing fully that many would reject Him as He truly is.
Mankind can be entitled and think that God owes us something based on our performance. We would never think that anyone owes us a relationship or their presence, yet we think this of God. He owes us absolutely nothing but He has given us all of Himself! We cannot earn Him or relationship with Him but only come to Him through Jesus Christ. We only have to receive who He really is.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:10-11)
Everything in the Kingdom of God comes freely with no strings attached! We are only required to receive them by faith. His love and goodness are far greater than we could ever imagine. When in doubt in the goodness of God, look to Jesus! Who would not willingly want to come into the Kingdom of God with such a loving and humble King like Jesus? This is why the next verses in Philippians 2 say...
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
God’s plan has never been to dominate the world or take over people by force. He is not controlling or domineering in any way. His Kingdom will prevail and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas but just as Jesus does not and did not look like people expected, neither will His Kingdom on earth advance nor does it look like or will it look like people expect. God is tender and compassionate, slow to anger and full of steadfast unending love (Psalm 145:8). People will willingly come into the kingdom as they see who God really is. It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). God does not force anyone out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of His beloved Son, but instead we all have a choice to receive Jesus Christ as our savior, king and Lord. Jesus offers the invitation tenderly and lovingly,
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The devil comes as an angel of light. He comes with rules and regulations, with control and domination, through various dogmatic religious teachings.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, (Isaiah 29:13)
Thus you nullify the word of God by the tradition you have handed down. And you do so in many such matters.” (Mark 7:13)
The devil tries to bring confusion and a cloud to cover our eyes so that we cannot see the magnificence of our God, so that we cannot see the light of the glory of the gospel in the face of Jesus Christ. Satan is the father of lies and does everything to try and cover up the height and depth and the width and breadth of our Father God’s love for mankind!
But when people are awakened to who God really is and truly have a revelation of Jesus Christ and what He did at Calvary, the only response is to fall deeply in love with Him and thus submit to His love! His Kingdom and majesty are so far above the kingdoms of this world that no one will want to stay in the “tyranny of darkness” that is destined for total obliteration. God will not force Himself on anyone but instead trusts in who He is and knows that when people catch even a glimpse of His love and majesty, everything else pales in comparison. This is why Psalm 110:3 says,
Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments.
The Psalmist saw that people would wear Christ as their Holy garments and offer themselves willingly to God. All we are called to do is say yes to the love of God. God takes so much pleasure and delight in pouring His love into us! His love is 100% unconditional. In a world that gives to get, that has expectations and strings attached to everything, God’s love has no strings attached and He places NO expectations on us. He only asks us to rest and receive HIs love. He asks us to trust in his goodness and grace in a world that tries to convey Him as cruel, angry, dictatorial and graceless.
This world is now full of pain and suffering but Christ has overcome the world and is seated at the right hand of the Father and is just waiting to pour out the Holy Spirit on those who say yes. It pleases the Father to pour out His love and grace on us! It pleases the Father to Give His children the Kingdom!