At our age, Betty and I have said “goodbye” to many friends. But we haven’t really “lost” them. We know where they are. They just moved – one last breath here and the next breath in heaven. We are going to spend eternity together, just as we will with our daughter Robin, who is there right now. Heaven is a fact.
At the same time, we’ve been left here for a reason. The church needs to hear this. It’s really important because I think the enemy has kept too many from hearing it. I think Jesus found it challenging to get through to His own disciples because even before the ascension they were still wanting to know if he was going to take control of everything. He said, “That’s not for you or anybody to know.” In other words, He was saying, “Don’t get hung up on that. You are to be witnesses as ambassadors because we are in Christ and He is in us as believers.”
Then in the book of Acts and the letters of Paul and the other apostles, a theme emerged. They declared that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The kingdom is here. It’s in you. There is a kingdom to come, but there is also kingdom that has come. Jesus announced, “It’s here! I’m here, and I am king. This is our creation. This is our world.”
This planet does not belong to the spirit of the world. It does not belong to the enemy, the deceiver and the father of lies. It belongs to God and His family. God left us here to oversee His creation. That’s why we are here. We’re to be examples of His radical love that indwells us - Christ, the hope of glory. We were not left here just to anticipate getting out of here. We’ve been left here to get Him in here, the reality of who He is – the living Lord. The Lord Jesus sent one just like Himself to live in us. He is daily making intercession for us at the right hand of the Father. I personally believe He weeps with us and rejoices with us. I believe He is praying for us the way we are to pray for one another.
Think about the model prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven…” The only way God’s will can be done “in earth, as it is in heaven” is that we recognize His kingdom has come. It’s in us. Now oversee His creation. Don’t hand anything off to the world – education, family issues, politics, entertainment, business, anything.
The enemy is a master manipulator. He is crafty. The Lord is your shepherd who leads you to green pastures, not a religious or political system. So trust God. He is your provider. He’s the only one who can deal with the storms and calm the waters. He’s the one who can prepare a table before you in the midst of the accusers and the liars and the devils and murderers. He’s the only one who can anoint your head with oil so that your cup runs over. This happens when we yield our lives fully to Him and become good stewards of the garden of God, which is everything on this earth. It begins with our life and extends outward to our family, all those around us, and to the ends of the earth.
We are to make disciples of the nations, not just a few people in a church. We’re supposed to impact everything on the planet with the weight of God’s kingdom, character and truth. God’s creation clearly reveals Him, so we are without excuse (Rom. 1:20). We are here as stewards. He has entrusted His creation to us, and we have not fully embraced this responsibility.
Throughout history, there have been pharaohs, emperors, presidents, prime ministers, kings, and dictators who have promised to provide for our needs and oversee our lives. Too many times, the church has bought into that lie. We’ve actually handed off our responsibility to love our neighbors as ourselves. This must cease. Too many people are left waiting for heaven, building their own kingdoms on earth, living in defeat and judging those outside the shadow and shelter of our heavenly Father.
Some people might label this “political” and try to separate it from the church, but this is the Word of God! This earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, and heaven and earth are to declare His glory. When believers understand this, they won’t try to organize another political party or religious denomination. We don’t need to organize anything else. He already gave us the only thing that can bring the will of heaven and the will of God to planet earth – that’s the blood-bought, born-again, baptized-into-Christ body of believers.
I pray you will recognize that you have been left here for a purpose. We can boil the sum total of what He wants us to hear into these words: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Father, I pray You will take the words I’ve shared and every seed that came from You, and I ask You to make it take deep root and bear much fruit, in Jesus’ name.