The kingdom of God can sometimes seem as just a concept, thought, notion or ideal. At least as I study it to understand and be challenged, it can seem fairly exterior and appliqué: enter the Holy Spirit…
Earlier last year I got into it with a well-known personality over a book and ministry. It has been my frustration to see a specter rising offering truth and encouragement only to find it is more words and merely a change of wallpaper and carpet than the actual shift it purports itself to be… (No specifics)
A friend encouraged me to challenge brother X based on a litany of scripture and the fact few others had attempted to do so and “stick with it.” Therefore, I bore down and pursued the issue and brother X. It went back and forth and as is so common in circles of belief the dialog broke down and extreme attempts to keep the issue on the front burner utterly failed.
Does this mean I was wrong or that he was wrong? Could be, maybe not? I don’t think that is the answer needed.
Just recently, two fellows I know, both professed believers, got into it with each other and then brought me into awareness of their activity. I watched blow-by-blow as the talk went back and forth and the emotive language increased on one side and sarcasm volleyed back on the other. Both had valid points, both I feel made mistakes, both did not understand nor have a full appreciation for the other.
As I got to thinking about it and as I attempted to encourage both to look at things differently, I was given an understanding in my own world and my own shortcomings… Wow what a clarion moment!
I asked both about if someone else, a non-believer, were to take a look at the “dialog” flying back and forth between them. What if it was all this person was to consider as a representation of what believing might mean? And if so what impact would it have on them: would they be more or less likely to “believe” given this exposure between these two brothers?
I concluded to these two that such a representation likely bode poorly as far as impact. That’s when the curtain went up and I got hit with a ton of bricks. I felt like God was showing me that in my struggle with brother X was an exact copy (in essence) of what these two other brothers were doing.
Yes, I had solid points to contend about. Yes, this brother I mentioned is off too: but aren’t we all at one level or another? Yes, I should be able in an ideal world to go to him and contend… However, if God was not bringing us together what I was doing was contrived (building in my own strength). I could not say that if this brother didn’t agree with me that he was either being irreconcilable or breaking fellowship. We’d never had a tight relationship or connection prior to the confrontation.
Kingdom as a now-reality can’t be expected in a reciprocative way between any two groups of believers. We should be so connected to God that this might be a reality. But we can’t at this late date expect that it would be so. This was the mistake I made.
Secondly, unless God brings people together in relationship; admonishment, confrontation, exhortation and whatever else may not be possible even though both are followers of Christ and both desire to do the right thing.
I don’t know how God will bring His kingdom into connectivity between people, groups given all the obstacles between them. However, if His kingdom is a now reality, He will have to perform it or whatever it is will be nothing different than has been seen in the whole of “ecclesiastical history.”
When we say “kingdom of God” God needs to make it real in any practical sense between folks. Yes, it, as a now-reality is for fact. However, if we beat people over the head about stuff God has not made real to them in their inner person we only confuse the issue and make it more difficult to ever come to fruition.
I need to pray more about practical connections and say less directly to folks. What calls itself church seeks to force compliance or recognition of various details, some of which are totally valid. However, this is not God’s way. God’s is the symphony conductor and we are just pieces in the orchestra. I can’t tell the woodwind section then need to get with it, even though true. God must reveal it and make it real or it is merely human device working toward an ideal that will always turnout stilted.
God help us to rest in Him. God help us to know and make known His truth THROUGH our lives. God help us to share through mediums that offer people enough information to challenge them but not so much that a movement needs to be founded to push that matter. God help us to build relationships that can be dynamically infused by what He is doing.