We are not in a cosmic battle of which there are two equal and opposing forces. There is one Victorious One—the Lamb, slain before the foundation of the earth. While we may experience battling opposition, resistance, and/or persecution, the outcome of the battle is not in question. We exist in the time spectrum— limited in knowledge and comprehension, but graced with ever-increasing revelation as to the nature of the Beginning and the End. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now we know in part, then shall we know fully, even as we have been fully known.” However, we do not lie dormant, powerless, and in waiting. Until we experience that timeless dimension in it’s full manifestation, we have the wondrous opportunity to recognize God’s presence is “at work” everywhere in the world, and our partnership with His presence releases the manifestation of Heaven on this earth. This, we do with an understanding that “of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.” Salvation is not some far-reaching destination which can only be tasted of through the death of our mortal members. This is eternal life: to know Him. Today is the day of salvation! Through Jesus Christ, I overcame death just by waking up this morning.
Often times in adversity the glass begins to look half empty. The reality is, the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven is largely overlooked. Media employs fear as a form of entertainment and this costly endeavor paralyzes believers. If any believer ever had a “right” to give his circumstances the final say on his reality, it would’ve been Paul. Here is a man who had far greater labors than most of us ever see which included, but were not limited to, imprisonments, beatings, stoning, shipwrecks, being lost at sea, lack of nourishment, water, etc. Yet, Paul didn’t allow his circumstances to define his reality. He lived from the victory of Jesus, not trying to obtain victory, and while seated in a physical prison he wrote that God had, “placed Jesus Christ at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given.” While his world was falling apart, he proclaimed Jesus Christ as the Person in whom “all things hold together.” Paul wasn’t living in denial. His mind had so been renewed that his thoughts became those of a greater reality— one where he, too, was “seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus.” He no longer considered this physical world to be the most powerful revelation of what is true.
In the same way, Jesus never calmed a furious storm by denying it’s existence. While the disciples were fearing for their lives, Jesus was completely at rest in a greater dimension of truth. He didn’t even wake up on his own. When the disciples woke him, rather than allowing the situation to tell Him what to think, He released what was inside of Him (the Kingdom — which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit) and transformed the culture around Him.
Jesus responded to the disciples’ fear by saying, “Have you still no faith?” Scripturally, we are commissioned to see Heaven manifested on earth through us, by faith. When Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13, He teaches them to pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” This is the will of God. The process through which His will comes to pass is partnership. God wouldn’t have us pray for something we could get another way. Yes, Jesus has overcome the enemy and the end will prove His complete victory. But we have a role. In Mark 16:17-20 it says, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Perhaps the reason the world seems so dim and grim to many believers is because they’ve yet to lay their hands on a sick person and see them recover.
Demonstrations of the power of God are entirely necessary in the life of a believer. In fact, Jesus said, “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me.” Romans 8:19-20 says, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.” Note, that verse refers to all of creation and is not limited to humanity. What if storms and earthquakes and natural disasters are longing for the glory of the sons of God to be revealed in the earth in the same way Jesus was through calming the storms of his day? After all, all of creation has hidden within it the mysteries of the nature of God and continually sings His praise. It too was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of the enemy. Creation was destined to be under the dominion of the sons of God. Are we not, now, the adopted sons of God— an entirely new species— grafted into His family with His DNA pumping through our veins?
The problem with blaming God for the evil we see present in the world is that we essentially want God to override free will, which He will never do, because He is Love. God is in charge but He is not in control. We’ve seen this since the beginning of time as we know it. He planted two trees in the garden, because there cannot be love without choice/option. Love always involves risk. He risked the possibility of us choosing evil. Jesus was willingly crucified from the foundation of the earth. Fully God and fully man, He chose to live out of His humanity in submission to the Holy Spirit so that he could not only overcome death, hell and the grave, but demonstrate the same kind of life all sons of God are purposed to live on the earth.
The moment we excuse ourselves from responsibility and put blame on God for the evil we see around us, we’ve stepped out of sonship and into orphanhood. A son knows his position in the family business— and we, as children of God, are in the business of making earth look like heaven. We must understand our powerful role in the manifestation of Christ’s victory and labor from a renewed mind, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to do the greater works which Jesus promised us we would do. What if Cessastionism was born out of the same spirit the orphan-minded elder brother was operating in, when he failed to recognize his true identity and the necessity of his role in the family? There is a real enemy in this world who’s only all-encompassing agenda is to “steal, kill, and destroy.” Jesus put on flesh, stripped him of all power and authority, and then commissioned us, under His authority and empowered by His spirit to make earth look like heaven. You can tell how much a person trusts you by what they entrust you with, and He has entrusted us with Himself.
Jesus is the definitive revelation of God. He is the perfect demonstration of God’s nature. Jesus is the kind of God, God is; unwaveringly, unquestioningly good. I can no longer live in the comfort of a powerless life under the illusion of faith— without signs and wonders validating who I say I am. Jesus drew the same line in the sand. The Kingdom of Heaven is advancing. Believing so empowers us to experientially come into the knowledge of this truth through signs, wonders, and manifestations of Heaven.