That was the challenge levelled at historian Tom Holland on The...
Are we missing something?
So I repeat my earlier question: What is our role in the Kingdom of God? How are we conformed to or transformed into his image? How is Christ formed in us? How do we attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ?
It’s this word again, intimacy. God doesn’t force Himself upon us. The Holy Spirit is gentle and unassuming. He doesn’t go to work without our permission. Now you may say, surely I gave him permission when I let Jesus into my heart at conversion? Yes, though in reality what you did is give the Holy Spirit permission to live within you, not Jesus himself, as he’s currently sitting with the Father in Heaven. The Holy Spirit will be prodding you and whispering to you, but he will only do so to the extent that you allow him. It’s a two-way process and that’s where intimacy comes in.
When you marry someone you enter a contract with them and they live in your house, your bed and your heart. But it isn’t meant to end there. You develop a relationship with them, deepening over time, with physical and emotional intimacy. Out of that relationship comes purpose, unity, love and joy. On the other hand you may decide that marriage is just about the convenience of having someone else in your life, to earn money to keep you, to cook for you, to bring up your kids, to take you on nice holidays. It is possible to fulfil all of these without intimacy, but rather just acting out the marriage “in the law rather than in the spirit”. We are in danger of treating God in the same way.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Revelation 3:20)
Jesus is already in the building (in the form of the Holy Spirit) and is knocking away. The next stage is up to us to open that door and let him in and build a relationship with him. The Holy Spirit is there in your heart, bursting to show you what a great team you and he are and what you can really do together … if only you let him. He can show you what your role is in the Kingdom of God, which the following Scriptures tell us:
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:1-2)
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. (Luke 10:19)
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
There is a personal responsibility implied here. We are asked to exercise faith and authority. By doing so we can drive out demons, cure diseases, trample on snakes, even move mountains. It seems that we are not just to reflect Jesus in our behaviour and how we deal with others, but also do as he did … in his authority.
Can you really grasp this? We have been given power and authority to perform miracles and do what Jesus did. Whereas he would have done so in the authority of his Father, we can now do the same in the authority of Jesus.
More next week …
This is an extract from the book, Livin’ the Life, available for £10 at https://www.sppublishing.com/livin-the-life-151-p.asp