It may seem odd to suggest we need to invite God’s reign into our congregations, but please, think about it for a few moments.
The Book of Acts shows us what our faith should really look like when we assemble together for prayer, praise, worship, fellowship and learning about God’s Word and advancing His Kingdom. Do we have the same life, daring and vitality in our congregations? Do we see the life, love and glory of God freely flowing in our midst? Is there any sign of real life confirming the word that is preached or confirming the unity of those we gather together with? Do we only have some religious or denominational form of godliness and refuse to allow, thus denying, the power of God to freely flow amidst us?
Jesus only did that which He saw our Father do. Jesus is our perfect example of how we should conduct ourselves in the world. If we are not doing the same things Jesus Christ did, then we are not following His example. Jesus Christ showed us the will of our Father in the way He lived and taught.
What did Jesus Christ do? He preached that the kingdom of God is at hand. He healed, delivered and set free every person who came to Him. No one who came to Him was sent home in the same condition in which he/she originally arrived in. Everyone who came to Him was saved, healed, delivered and set free; EVERYONE who came to Him. If we are not doing the same things our Lord Jesus Christ did as our perfect example, and getting the same results, then we must ask ourselves, “Are we as individuals, and local congregations, submitted to the rule and reign of God in our lives just as Jesus Christ was?”
When Moses went up to meet with the Lord God Almighty while the congregation waited, what happened that caused Moses to have to veil his face? He walked into the glory of God and God’s glory so saturated Moses’ face that he had to cover it with a veil when he came out to talk to the Hebrews. When we assemble as a congregation we have our Lord Jesus Christ’s Word that, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them.” (Matthew18:20)
Since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and our Lord does not change (Malachi 3:6), why is it when we gather to be with God and enter into His presence we do not have the same experience that Moses did, or that those who came to Jesus Christ did? Could it be that like the Hebrews we prefer someone else to spend the time face to face with God while we relegate ourselves to following whatever the “man of God” tells us God said? Could it be that the open display of the power of God is just as unwelcomed today in our congregations as it was in Jesus day by the religious order, and for the same religious reasons?
When God our Father’s kingdom truly comes into our lives, the results of His rule and reign will be the same as it has always been because our Father is the same as He has always been. To accept anything less is to accept a religiously derived substitute; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.
Will we be like the Israelites and insist upon a “Moses” to enter God’s terrible, awesome and holy presence on our behalf? Will we be like the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes who held on to their man-made traditions as though their traditions were more true and more important than the Word and the power of God? Will we possibly consider pressing in continuously as a congregation to understand the unity, holiness, grace and love of God to the point that our spiritual blinders are finally removed and we finally behold Him face to face?
Do you remember the Aaronic Blessing that was to be spoken over the people?
24 The LORD bless you, and keep you:
25 The LORD make his face shine on you, and be gracious to you:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance on you, and give you peace.
27 And they shall put my name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.
The LORD make (cause) His face (presence, light, glory, favor) shine on you (illuminate you) is part of the blessing, and is stated in a similar way two verses later. The LORD lift up His countenance (presence, light, glory; same word as ‘face’) on you. ‘Lift up...on’ expressed the idea of God picking up His presence, light and glory and placing it upon the people of the congregation.
Bottom line, do we want God to cause His glory, light and favor to illuminate us, causing our faces to physically radiate the light, presence and glory of God even after we’ve come away from the tent of meeting (the assembly of the congregation gathered together to meet face to face with God) so that people will plainly see the result of being in God’s presence? Do we truly desire in our hearts to allow Holy Spirit cause us to move in the same way our Lord Jesus Christ did while He walked this earth as the Son of Man? If we do, then we will stop piddling around in our religious ways and playing church, and we will start seeking the absolute rule and reign of our Father who is presently in our midst every time we gather together to honor Him.
Once we allow God’s rule and reign to be fully established in our congregation it will be impossible for the kingdom of darkness to stand before us; our faces actually glowing from exposure to the glory of God, and our hearts ministering to all who come to us the same way our Lord Jesus Christ did.
Scripture is given in the American King James Version.
- Jesus' Model Prayer - Introduction and Hub Page
- Your Kingdom Come: Inviting God’s reign into your neighborhood
- Your Kingdom Come - Giving God Dominion in Your Family
- Your Kingdom Come: Welcoming the reign of God in our lives pt. 1
- Your Kingdom Come - Welcoming the reign of God in our lives pt. 2 (the path from servant-hood to son-ship)
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