It’s my birthday and another year has quickly passed. With that, comes my annual amazement at the new revelation that seems daily to unfold in my life. Seriously, each day as I look into God’s Word, it’s as if I had never read this book before. How can this continue year after year? I find that I can hardly move forward in my habitual morning devotions with any rhythm or volume covered, without the unfolding of some obvious but seemingly unknown “aha”!
Could it be that I have read His Word now almost 40 years and missed so much? Or, is this Book alive, its Author daily beside (or inside) me, as I read this God inspired text? Possibly my youthful ambitions and cultural bias have blinded me to this point, and the Word only now seems brand new every day? Yet it’s not exactly new, as much of this has entered my mind at times, but I have resisted because it did not fit the mold cast by those until now speaking into my life. Wow, even as I write I think again of the danger of allowing anyone to speak into my life with a louder voice than His own!
This morning, Luke 17:20 vibrated through my spirit as I read, “The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation,” though so much of what we do in our religious life is about watching and waiting for His kingdom! Worshiping at times, we use language that implies that church is a place where you go and await His arrival, or leave with the excitement that “God showed up.”
“…nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the Kingdom of God is within you.” Lk 17:21
“Don’t’ you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” I Cor. 3:16 (NIV). This is more than me simply splitting biblical hairs, for living oblivious to this reality as a believer robs a person of precious Kingdom moments, in an all too brief life; moments so desperate of witness for the sake of those around us.
Yet, until our lives are sufficiently surrendered (which is what may finally be occurring in my own), we live life apart from the reality of the kingdom, both within and around us. Again, I quote Oswald Chambers, “The Sermon on the Mount is not an ideal, it is a statement of what will happen in me when Jesus Christ has altered my disposition and put in a disposition like his own.” “Poor in Spirit” is not a goal achieved or a gift received; it is a work in progress that time, alone with Him affords.
Could this battered frame be nearing the finish line or am I too, just beginning to know life in Christ, as was the case with Abraham as he approached 100?
Either way, Life is good.