As Christians, all too often we tend to bring the world’s definitions and experiences into our thoughts of the Kingdom of God. But when we do that, we can find ourselves operating by the world’s ways – while expecting God’s results.
One of the most interesting things about Jesus’ teaching is the fact that He often compared the world’s focus with the focus of the King and His Kingdom. What strikes us is how very different God’s view is from the world’s view – and how diametrically opposed the world’s approach is, to God’s approach.
The problem lies in the fact that we have all been conditioned to act and react in accord with the world’s point of view. Our default mode is to do things the world’s way and expect results (in the Kingdom) according to how things get done in the world.
Jesus came to tell us a better way. He came to show us that better way. And He came to get us in “on the ground floor” of how things work in the Kingdom of God.
The very essence of true Christian living is doing things God’s way, in accord with God’s viewpoint, and having the faith to trust that God is doing what only God can do. Even if we cannot see it happening. Even if we never see it happening.
Not surprisingly, God’s definition of success is also very different from the world’s.
The world tells us to follow our hearts. Chase our dreams – with dogged determination.
And if we will work hard enough, and long enough, and “refuse to lose,” we will get the positive results that we are seeking. Get a purpose… and pursue it with passion – and we will reap all the rewards of our perseverance.
But… God tells us that our hearts will deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9). Our dreams are almost always self-centered. And all our efforts can only produce human results.
As Christ-followers, we are actually called to get “a hold” on God’s Heart. Define our dreams by His purpose for us. And live our lives as an expression of our trust in Him. All the rest is up to God. It is HIS work that defines success. And He is the One solely responsible for the results He desires.
This is such a hard lesson for us. We want to see immediate results to our efforts – and if we cannot measure our successes, we can so easily get discouraged, disappointed, and defeated in our relationship with God.
Last time I checked… discouragement, disappointment, and defeat are NOT fruits of the Spirit! They are direct indicators that we have shifted our focus from God’s way, back to the world’s way – and that we are expecting God to respond, by honoring our desires and efforts.
We all know this… the Kingdom of God is built on faithfulness. Our faithful trust in God. God’s faithfulness to respond to our trust.
But that does not mean we will see immediate… or even miraculous results.
It means we are called to do our part… and trust that God is doing His. In His way. In His timing.
His part is what brings the results. The successes. And His results and successes are measured by eternal standards.
Results and successes we may never know about until we get to the other side…