A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Jesus is the Answer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus is the Answer. Show all posts

June 1, 2024

How Do We Walk In The Power of Jesus?

As to the question I've proposed in today's title, our culture actually makes it hard to walk in the true essence of Jesus's power. Our culture and the world tell us we should ascend in stature and position as we grow in power. We use terms like, climb the ladder, rise to the top, work one's way up, rise to power, gain [or grow] in power. We have examples throughout history of men who ascended to the pinnacle of world power; Solomon, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Constantine, Napoleon, Vladimir Lenin, Winston Churchill, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, George Soros to name just a few. [NOTE: I acknowledge that there have been women of power throughout history, but for the sake of this post, I will refer to men in the fact that I am comparing them to Jesus, a man]. 

But how did they get their power and what does it consist of? I recently read an article titled Obedience, Power, and Leadership that started me on this journey of understanding how Jesus's power was so radically different than what the world had experienced before His arrival on earth. In my limited expertise and simple understanding, I see the psychology of power like this: power in our cultures is founded in the ability to influence society, even when the people being influenced may attempt to resist those changes [Fiske, 1993; Keltner, Gruenfeld & Anderson, 2003]. Although this article is highly focused on social psychology and the ability of leaders to create conformity and obedience, it showed me that man's view of how to exercise power is far removed from Jesus's.

While the world teaches us we gain power as we ascend to a height of influence, Jesus says we gain power as we descend from the world's definition and become more humble; we seek to become a servant to others, and not their master. While the world leaders throughout history have used their power and influence for personal gain, Jesus had no interest in accumulating wealth or material things. 

Man's purpose on earth is most often focused on what he can gain here, on the physical earth, during his lifespan; what he has to show for his life at the end of it. Jesus, on the other hand, had an eternal perspective. He didn't come to build up a storehouse of treasure on earth. He knew His assignment here was temporary and to be short-lived. He would be returning to Heaven soon, and anything He amassed would be meaningless to His purpose. He didn't seek to climb the mountain of fame and influence to benefit Himself -- although He certainly could have. No, instead He lowered Himself by emptying Himself of all the benefits of His deity, by taking the form of a servant (Philippians 2:7). 

[NOTE: We need to understand that emptying Himself  implies that He did not renounce or diminish His deity, but only temporarily gave up His divine equality with the Father, and His rightful dignity, in order to take on the likeness of men]. Philippians continues to reveal the beautiful part of this Truth in that He humbled Himself [still further] by becoming obedient [to the Father] to the point of death on a cross for us! So how does His humility translate to His power? And if we are to walk in this world like Jesus, what does that look like in relation to our humility and our power? 

If you will recall, Jesus spent a lot of time in solitude with the Father. He often left His disciples to go off by Himself to confer with the Father on how to best complete His assignment. I can only imagine those conversations and the desire of the Lord to proceed with mindfulness and forethought to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit not only the Name of the Messiah/Christ, but also to protect His ultimate purpose: to die for our sins, offering us a way into an eternal and reconciled relationship with God. And because of this attentiveness to His purpose and assignment, Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men [Luke 2:52]. 

So, as always, Jesus is our model. He walked in confident humility, having spent time with the Father, receiving His instructions and being obedient to follow them through. He walked as a servant to others, offering to everyone the word of Life, while also being responsible to do what He had been called by God to do. The same should hold true for us! Spend time with the Father and Son, asking questions, and discerning how best to carry out our purpose, all with a servant's heart for God and our fellow man. Furthermore, we don't overuse the authority Jesus has given us to trample on the Enemy. We don't seek wealth and success for their own sake, knowing they have no value in eternity. And we don't sow our spiritual power into political or military endeavors because eternity is a bigger goal than those transient pursuits.

In the end, walking in the power of Jesus looks nothing like what the world offers. Seeking my personal gain for the short time I'm here on earth is such a waste when compared to my eternal gain by walking in the example of Christ. It won't be easy, because our culture and the world are constantly tempting us to follow them. But my joy and peace can only be found in what Jesus makes available to me. If power truly comes from the ability to influence others in our society, I believe I can best do that by following in Jesus's footsteps of humility, serving others, and being obedient to seek the fulfillment of my purpose on earth. He was given the ability to do signs and wonders to express the power of Heaven over the power of darkness, and Jesus has transferred that divine power to us. We have all we need to influence the world for the Glory of God. Don't quit or give up! Don't think you are incapable! Do what Jesus did ... pray and ask for the strength of Heaven. And above all else, get quiet and meet with the Father. He will lead you into His wisdom, strength, favor and power. Jesus is a testimony of that! 

Ephesians 1:19 ... [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is, in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength...

February 8, 2024

Why The Answer to the Chaos in Society is JESUS!

Everywhere we look, we see evidence of the evil one -- crime on the rise; corruption in government and business; sexual perversion and exploitation; confusion and deception in all spheres of our society, even leading our children to abandon their gender identities. It may all look hopeless and beyond reclamation. But the story of Jesus healing the madmen in the region of Gerasenes gives us hope that even our lost nation can be redeemed.

It's such an appropriate story in the Bible because their story has been repeated in so many lives throughout history. And God inspired the writers of the Bible to give multiple accounts of this same narrative. Matthew, Mark and Luke all write about the chaos that Satan caused in these men's lives and in their communities. Matthew writes that these two men were extremely fierce and violent; everyone did what they could to avoid them. Mark and Luke apparently focus on the most disturbed of the two, choosing to concentrate on the behavior of just one of the men. Mark writes that he was always shrieking and screaming, and beating, bruising, and cutting himself with stones. Luke 's account calls him "possessed by demons". 

All three of the portrayals speak of his separation from the society of the region, and being bound in chains and fetters to protect himself and the citizens. But the demons were so strong in him that he could not be held, wrenching his chains apart and breaking them in pieces. The local citizens were terribly frightened of him, for the demons drove him to live in the tombs with the dead.

How many of our own citizens in this, the 21st Century, are living in the same chaos - homeless; disassociated from structured society; lost in immorality; deceived by ungodly influence in order to cause destruction, violence, wickedness, and death? We can no longer turn and look away. And sheltering inside our church buildings in an attempt to ignore the spiritual upheaval all around us is no way to advance the Kingdom of God against the dark kingdom of the Enemy. We, as the Ekklesia and citizens of the Kingdom on earth, must join in our spiritual power and authority to fight against the chaos and invite Jesus into a personal encounter with these lost souls.

Again, I will say that the chronicle of the Madman of Gerasenes is the perfect image of what it means to say that Jesus is the answer. This man entered into agreement with Satan about who he was, resulting in a life of torment and separation from the One who created him. And his community and fellow countrymen didn't know how to help him. Instead they shunned him and left him in his misery and isolation. Truth be known, I doubt they could've helped him, even if they wanted to. They had no knowledge of the healing power of Heaven, which is what it was going to take to free this man from the demonic prison that bound his soul and spirit.

But when the madman saw Jesus, a terrible cry escaped him, and he fell at Jesus's feet; the demons that possessed him instantly recognizing who He was. They presented a challenge to Jesus: What business do you have with us? What do we have in common? Please, don't torment us! The demons wanted to be left alone to continue their torment of the madman. But because they discerned the power of Jesus to destroy them, they asked to be allowed to leave the man and go into the herd of swine. Jesus set the man free with one word to the demons: Go! Nothing in the world could accomplish what Jesus did with that one command. And now -- just as then -- the tormented man was bound in a spiritual prison. Our society wants to solve the chaos in men's lives by building more prisons, or signing them up for rehab, or building homeless camps. But none of that has seemed to work. Prayer alone has not accomplished ridding out society of the chaos. The only answer is a real encounter with Jesus!

But what is sad to me is that our institutionalized church, in the form of "religion", is not united in believing that the marginalized in our society are capable of having -- or even want --  such an encounter. Or when they hear the testimonies of those who have, they either doubt it, belittle the experience, define it as deception, or fear it because it happens in the supernatural. Their minds cannot reconcile the radical transformation of a person from Lost to Redeemed by the power and grace of Christ. It's understandable from the secular segments of our society; but from the Church? Do they not believe the accounts in the Bible of exactly those kinds of transformation? What about Saul being radically transformed to Paul? Mary Magdalene, from a promiscuous lifestyle, to an obedient follower of Christ? Moses, from a privileged son of Egypt, to a bold leader of God's chosen people? There are so many stories in the Bible of people whose lives were radically changed, and their minds renewed, to the possibilities of God's power and grace in their life.

So, it is up to us [the true Believers who have experienced God's ability to redeem us] to do what Jesus instructed the radically transformed madman to do so long ago ... "Go home to your own family and relatives and friends, and bring back word to them of all that the Lord has done for you, and how He has had sympathy and mercy for you". So we must leave our place of comfort and go and proclaim to all of Society what Jesus has done for us. Our transformation may not be as radical as the madman from Gerasenes, but we cannot deny that we are changed, all to varying degrees. 

I can testify to the truth of how an encounter with Christ, the Messiah, can bring both His Power and Peace to a life lived in chaos. I have witnessed it through the encounters with Christ that I have seen in our ministry ... lives changed from promiscuity and bestiality to Redeemed; from addictions to drugs, alcohol and porn to Redeemed; from failed marriages to walking in unity with Christ; from defeated identities to knowing their purpose for the Kingdom. And the answer for each of these lives [in bondage to Satan] was the same ... discovering their true identity in Christ and submitting to His plan for them. 

If we, the Kingdom citizens on earth, continue to remain silent, then Society, our Culture, and our Nation will limp along until the deterioration becomes complete. Satan is playing his game; we must play our strategy as well. We can no longer afford to retreat or take shelter from the chaos. The eternal lives of so many lost souls depend on our testimonies and our spiritual power and authority -- partnering with Jesus -- to effect radical transformations and take back territory from Satan's kingdom of darkness. Yes, the chaos and lawlessness is at a crisis point, but we know the answer! Let us stand in our identity. Tell Chaos, "Go"! And then Go and share what Jesus has done for you and can do for everyone!

#societalchaos #jesusistheanswer #jesusradicallytransformslives #madmanofGerasenes #Matthew8 #Mark5 #Luke8 #fromlosttoredeemed #kingdomcitizensonearth #kingdomofGod #thegraceandpowerofJesus

Ephesians 3:20-21       Now to Him (who is able to carry out His purpose) and to do superabundantly more than we dare ask or think (infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams), according to His power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.