But I will also tell you this ... that in order to receive your assignment, I believe you must renew your mind to understand that the Kingdom of God is exclusive. By that, I mean nothing can come before the Kingdom of God in your life. It must be your priority over everything this world can give you. And that includes your family, the religious Church, and the marketplace. And here's a truth that is hard for many Christians to accept: The Kingdom will cost you something! Salvation is free; it doesn't cost us a thing. The price was paid by Jesus on the Cross. But walking in the Kingdom is costly. You will have to cut the cord to this world to inherit the Kingdom!
In fact, Jesus was pretty clear about that when people [who came to hear Him preach on the Kingdom] proclaimed they were ready to follow Him. In Luke 9:57-62, Jesus doesn't hold back when telling them what it will cost them: As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another He said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Jesus makes it clear that Kingdom living will cost you the comforts of this life [including everything from a place to sleep, to a home, itself]. He makes it clear that the Kingdom of God must come before your family -- you must be willing to have an exclusive relationship with Jesus and God the Father, which means being willing to cut all ties to other relationships; including all family members, both the living and the dead. And He shows us that if any part of us longs for that "old life" with its human/family attachments, we are not prepared to serve the Kingdom and will not be given Kingdom assignments. Just as for the men in the Bible, I believe that cost is too high for many Christians.
I've learned that Kingdom Living has nothing to do with my personal priorities -- and everything to do with God's Kingdom taking precedence in my life. Once I was able to recognize that the Kingdom of God [and all it encompasses] was to be my primary objective in serving the Lord -- and I was obedient to say, "Yes, Lord"! -- my assignments have become clear. It began with a dream [or vision] that Mark had from God, telling him to sanctify ourselves and our property to His purpose. And without an iota of doubt, I was ready to obey. Mark was given very specific instructions as to what that sanctification process was to look like, and although we did not yet know to what "purpose" we were being called, the Lord led us to specific people (Dr. Charles Kraft and Barbara Bucklin) who spoke into us and activated our assignment to participate with Jesus and Holy Spirit in an Inner Healing Ministry, and then to teach others as we also preached the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Because I can now see my assignments so clearly, I am careful to guard them. You see, the Enemy would like nothing better than to distract us from our Kingdom mission. And I will tell you that as Mark and I have continued to pursue Kingdom, the spiritual warfare has escalated. The devil does not want us to educate and equip others to seek the Kingdom first! Since receiving our assignment as Kingdom ambassadors and Inner Healing Ministers ten years ago, Mark and I have experienced increased spiritual attacks. And when I decide to hammer home the Kingdom message in successive posts, the Enemy lets me know he notices it. Therefore, it is important that, not only do I keep my spiritual armor on, but that Mark and I recognize it is inevitable that our Kingdom assignment will come into conflict with the worldview and ideologies that control the political, economic and social systems of this world.
Therefore, it is important we understand that the purpose of a Kingdom worldview is to focus people's hearts and minds on a system from God's perspective. Therefore, everything of this world will be challenged, and since satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), he's never happy when we point people [especially Christians] away from religion and towards Kingdom. He knows we can actually change the culture, not only of the Church, but of all mankind in general! So I've learned that it is important to be effective in my prayer life; to have powerful intercessors praying for us; and to recognize that spiritual warfare is now at a higher level. And I don't have to tell you that the warfare is raging now like never before.
All that being said, I also know that my Kingdom message must be centered on Jesus; my ministry and assignment must reflect His love and the principles He taught in His ministry. If we seek first His Kingdom, and focus on Jesus being the center of our lives and ministries, then He will lead us to do the things [in our assignments] that will glorify God and bless the lives of those we come in contact with. We will reflect His righteousness in the words we say, in our actions, and how we walk out our Kingdom lifestyle.
I have also learned that my Kingdom assignment not only effects me, but my husband, so I am extremely blessed that we are on the same page. In fact, I am seeing God bringing couples into covenant partnerships as they receive their "team" assignments. And as you come into a mutual alignment with the Father, I have learned that it is important to stay "mission-focused". It can be easy for one or the other of you to get pulled into other obligations to serve the Lord [out of a desire to be obedient] by serving the needs of others. But it is important to be able to discern if every new opportunity aligns with your original assignment. If not, as hard as it may be, there will be times you just need to say "No". Time taken away from your primary assignment can result in a failure to fulfill or carry out God's plans. And that will lead to a dissatisfied spirit and frustration.
To take it to the next step, I just want to make this comment, as well: After ten years of meeting with countless people and listening to the counsel of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in each session, we have learned that we sometimes have to say "no" to those who come seeking freedom. That may sound un-Christlike, but let me explain. Some people just want a "magic pill"... i.e., "Just make all my pain go away. I don't really want what you're telling me about Jesus and how the devil or some demonic spirit wants to keep me from pursuing my purpose. Just tell me some prayer to say that will make me happy and I'll be on my way". But if they don't want Jesus, then we're not the ministry for them. Or if they just want to be right in the troubles of their marriage, or keep their sins, or live life according to their rules, then we just try to [lovingly] tell them to come back when they've figured out nothing is working and they're truly desperate for their freedom -- because Jesus is the only way!
I think one of the most important things I have learned is how vital it is to have people in my life who understand and partner with Mark and I in our Kingdom assignment. I believe it is important to be connected to a body of believers that walks in a Biblical model of discipleship. If you are blessed to belong to a Church that actively equips and releases the saints for the work of the Kingdom ministry, then count yourself fortunate, and take advantage of that connection. Sadly, I do not believe many Churches can meet that criteria. Therefore, it has been important for Mark and I to be connected to small Home Church groups who share in this ministry assignment and are willing to run the Kingdom marathon with us.
Finally, one of the most important things I've learned about accepting my Kingdom assignment is the need to find a balance between my work for the Kingdom and a time of rest and restoration. It is important to do things that strengthen me spiritually, such as prayer time, Bible study, community with like-minded Believers. But I also need to have some "me time" to do the things that feed my soul (reading, writing, music). It is essential that Mark and I spend time together apart from our ministry to get revived and just enjoy the simple things Jesus has created. It is equally important that we have down time with friends who understand our hearts as well as make us laugh. We are there to support each other in our Kingdom assignments and adventures. Jesus called His disciples His friends, so even though the Bible doesn't focus on it, I believe there were times they laughed and sang and enjoyed life as they traveled the countryside preaching the Good News of the Kingdom. I think that is one of the things I enjoy the most about how the series The Chosen" portrays Jesus's ministry. We must do the same. Remember, relationship is the key to God's heart!
In summary, my journey in my Kingdom assignment is far from complete, and the Lord is unfolding new layers and revelation each day. I know that my citizenship in the Kingdom is more important than my citizenship in the world. I know my assignment and I am dedicated to fulfilling it. I know that accepting my Kingdom assignment will paint a target on my back -- and satan, the world system, and even the religious will be aiming for me. But I know who I am in the Kingdom, and I know the purpose of my assignment, and I will not waver. It is a privilege to be called to serve the Kingdom of my Lord, and He will be my strength and my refuge. I will be victorious in my assignment!
1 John 2:27 But the wonderful anointing you have received from God is so much greater than their deception and now lives in you. There’s no need for anyone to keep teaching you [the false doctrines of men]. His anointing teaches you all that you need to know, for it will lead you into truth, not a counterfeit. So just as the anointing has taught you, remain in Him.