Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth

A couple of weeks ago, our small group assignment was to create a collage of words and pictures of what we think it would look like to bring the kingdom of Heaven to Earth. We were given magazines, poster boards, scissors, glue and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Simple enough.

I finished my work of art rather quickly and was proud of the results considering I had to use magazines like Cosmo, Style, Essence and other "worldly" mags. I realized it wouldn't be easy to find images or phrases that represents the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth. Those magazines teach women 99 ways to please your man sexually...outside the covenant of marriage. They teach you make up and hair tricks to make us feel beautiful on the outside...yet broken and wounded on the inside. They teach us that being stick thin is to be idolized when the word of God tells us that we are not to bow before any idol.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me." Exodus 20:1-3. A simple concept that has escaped the mind of the masses. Though people aren't praying to golden calves, they are obsessed with the "treasures" of the world. Sex, money, fame, careers, the quest for love, name it, someone is freaking out about it right now. We spend more time worrying about our outer appearance than we do about our inner appearance.

If God were to show up right now and ask to take a look at your heart, would He find something to be proud of? Would He be pleased with the state of your heart and mind? Would He dwell there?

How do we bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth? Change. We change our hearts by letting the Holy Spirit dwell in us. We change our perspective on the world by allowing God to break our hearts for what breaks His. We change the way we see people, the way we see life, the way we operate in the world filled with sin and despair. We change...and we allow our transformation to be the light of Jesus that people see.

We change. We stop running from God's truth and surrender to His will. Yeah that's the tricky part. Surrendering to God's will means we will have to let go of the pleasures of the world. We would have to stop having sex, stop polluting our ears and eyes with lustful and degrading music and film. We would have to start loving others even when they sin against us. We would have to step out of our comfort zone and stand up for Jesus even when others refuse to listen. We have to pray and discern matters instead of flying by the seat of our pants. We realize that God sees us a beautiful and holy and that we don't have to give ourselves away to be loved. We have to stop searching for the one and allow God to shine us up and present us to the one He has waiting for us. We have to learn to put all of our hopes, dreams, fears, and sorrows in His hands and not try to do life on our own. We have to read His love letter to us. We have to shed our old lives, die to ourselves, and follow our Savior.

Have I lost you yet? We have to change. To bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth means we have to change the way we do things now. The world can no longer be our measuring stick for progress...our Father in Heaven is the standard.

Change comes with time but God is patient. Change doesn't happen over night but at some point, you have to make that first leap towards Him. Trust me, He will catch you.

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