If Only We Had Known What Would Bring Peace!

If only we had known what would bring peace! The approach of the Christian celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus brings to mind the words of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem on His road of destiny. It was a destiny to bring life and peace to all who would believe. He said, ‘if only you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace---but now it is hidden from your eyes.’ A kingdom was coming to bring peace! Jesus knew he was the messiah, the savior, the one who would open the heavens to peace for every man and woman on earth. The people saw him as an awesome man, a prophet, and a rabbi; but did not know him as the one who would bring peace to their hearts. If only they had known!!!

Much of our lives are lived with 20-20 vision as we say ‘if only I had known’. We seek peace in all the wrong places; relationships, entertainment, technology, social media, work activity, and other visible, tangible elements of the culture. We don’t want to say 10 years from now ‘if only I had known what would bring inner peace’.

Christians today, just as the Jews of that day, tend to rely upon the tangible, visible world for their inner reality, believing only what they see. If they see it they believe it. If they don’t see it, they don’t believe it. As leaders in the body of Christ we must communicate the unseen transforming power of grace that brings peace that passes understanding; a stability and tranquility of heart hidden from the visible world.

Jesus knew his death and resurrection would open the heavens to the possibility of PEACE. That peace would be accessible to all who embraced the process of the cross and the power of the resurrection. It created opportunity for people to agree to the process of transformation; a process of old to new, death to life, inner conflict to inner peace. This is the process of the cross, bringing what has been deposited in our spirit at the moment of believing in Jesus Christ, into our soul to the degree it changes how our heart responds to chaotic circumstances in life. It is the supernatural peace of God becoming a natural reality in our hearts.

As we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus this week, we celebrate peace; the kind of peace that stabilizes our very being. As we embrace the process of the cross, the resurrection power of God brings peace to our soul. The Kingdom comes to our hearts. Jesus made it possible. If only we knew we would choose it! But we do know, therefore we choose to make it reality in our hearts.


Are you a ‘resident’ of God’s Kingdom………. or just a ‘citizen’?

re you a ‘resident’ of God’s Kingdom………. or just a ‘citizen’?
Our God is a God that desires to establish His government on earth, but what does it look like? Is it a Christian in every position of authority? Is it a constitution that is a mirror image of the Old Testament law or, maybe, the New Testament law? Or….is it a supreme court of the land occupied only by believers in Jesus? As I travel the world I see more clearly that Christians can be in positions of great influence without governing as Jesus would govern. Christians can even write laws that seem righteous, but merely force modified behavior in the land without modifying hearts in the land. Christians can occupy judicial positions but rule without Godly wisdom.

So, what should we look for as we pray for His government to be established on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:9, 10)? A key is found in Romans 14:17 'For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit'. We also see in Luke 17:20, 21 that Jesus said the ‘kingdom of God is within you.’ While it is good to have believers in positions of authority, how they exert that authority will depend upon their understanding of God’s government in their own hearts. Leaders must understand that God’s government must be established in hearts before it is reflected in nations. When it’s established in us it can then be established through us. We know it’s in us when we habitually experience righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The foundation of this government consists of three essential elements: His righteousness, His grace, and His love. For God to truly govern our hearts on a continual basis we must embrace the concept that we 'are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus’ (2 Cor. 5:21), we are righteous only because of grace, not because we earned it (Eph. 2:8-10), and righteousness and grace are connected by the unconditional love of the Father through Jesus (Rom.10:3). When righteousness, grace and love become established (firmly fixed, settled, permanent) in our soul just as they are established by faith in our spirit, we then live in the operational reality of God’s government. We are literally ‘governed’ by the Father on a daily basis.

Most believers understand they are citizens of the God’s kingdom, i.e. they have a rightful position in the kingdom because of their faith in Jesus. However, for most, that citizenship has not translated to residential living in the kingdom. They occasionally visit the kingdom. They occasionally experience the power of the kingdom. They have an occasional charismatic experience of the kingdom. They even talk the language of the kingdom, but they don’t reside there.

Think of it this way……it’s is like being a citizen of the U.S. but living in Africa. One may have the rights of a U.S. citizen; have the benefits of citizenship and have a passport validating legal status, but they only visit the U.S. occasionally. They don’t live in and occupy their place of citizenship thereby establishing their influence in that country. They reside in Africa!!!!!

For leaders it is paramount that we are not satisfied by knowing about the essentials of righteousness, grace and love, but we actually live them. We must become residents. It starts with us! Only then can His government be truly established in us and through us.

Want to know more about living in God's Kingdom? Check out this post on Kingdom living.


You Are Established in Holiness!

"The purpose of Jesus’ coming to earth, dying on the cross, and rising from the dead was to establish a new way of life for all who would believe."

You are established in holiness! Heb. 10:9 says of Jesus, “Then He said, ‘here I am, I have come to do your will’. He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The writer of Hebrews quotes Jesus as saying He came to do the Father’s will. The will of the Father was to set aside the first covenant of the commandments and its regulations and establish a second covenant. Two very key aspects of the gospel come through this verse; first, a new covenant has been established, and second, we are made holy through this new covenant by the one time sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The purpose of Jesus’ coming to earth, dying on the cross, and rising from the dead was to establish a new way of life for all who would believe. The key word here is establish; which means to settle or firmly fix in place so as to be stable or permanent. Jesus permanently settled the issue of how to be ‘holy’. It is only through His sacrifice. No additional ritualistic sacrifices by you, me, or the clergy will make you more holy, more acceptable, or more righteous in the eyes of the Father. If you have accepted and believe in the risen Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you have His holiness on the inside of you…in your born-again spirit! Therefore your legal position from the Father’s perspective is that of holiness. It is firmly established, firmly fixed, and a settled issue in His eyes. When we pray the Lord’s prayer from Matthew 6:9 ‘your kingdom come, your will be done’ we already know one dimension of His kingdom to be present; the dimension of legal holiness in our spirit through Jesus Christ. It is fixed in place. Not because you earned it, but because Jesus earned it for you and you accepted Him by faith.

Now what??? Why pray ‘your kingdom come, your will be done’? Why bother???!!!! Why not just die and go to heaven? Because He desires that that holiness and righteousness permeate your entire soul and body bringing forth His glory and goodness to the people around you. You are His governmental representative! He wants you to represent the new you(Him)…the holy, righteous you(Him) that reflects His governmental principles. That only happens as that same holiness and righteousness becomes established in your soul and body just as it has already been established in your spirit. He wants you to be transformed from a legal position to an operational reality on behalf of His government. So we pray ‘your kingdom come, your will be done on earth just as it is in heaven’ bringing the fullness of His government for all to see.