Living From A Kingdom Perspective
There’s an interesting verse in Micah 4:9. It says the following: “Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king among you? Has your counselor perished, that pains have taken you like a woman in labor?” (Amplified Bible, italics mine). I’m sure if the Body of Christ was asked this question today, we would give the right answer. “Yes, there is a King among us, Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.” So why, then is the church not making more of an impact on the world?
Perhaps it’s because we’ve lacked a kingdom perspective. In the Scriptures, Joseph, Daniel, and Esther, to name a few, were chosen, taken out and raised up to represent the Kingdom of God before the kingdoms of this world.
As born-again believers, we too have been brought out, trained up and sent back with the good news and demonstration of God’s kingdom. “… you are a chosen people, set aside to be a royal order of priests, a holy nation, God’s own; so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light.” 1 Peter 2:9 The Voice. “The reason the Son of God was revealed was to undo and destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 TPT). We as His church are to be the enforcers of the victory Jesus won over satan and his minions when He rose from the dead.
“Jesus replied, “While you were ministering, I watched Satan topple until he fell suddenly from heaven like lightning to the ground. Now you understand that I have imparted to you my authority to trample over his kingdom. You will trample upon every demon before you and overcome every power Satan possesses. Absolutely nothing will harm you as you walk in this authority.” (Luke 10:18-19).
“Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were his!” (Colossians 2:15 TPT). Sometimes I think we as Christians, myself included, act as if we’re satan’s prisoner rather than him being under our feet.
“So don’t ever be afraid, dearest friends! Your loving Father joyously gives you his kingdom with all its promises!” (Luke 12:32 TPT). Another translation says that it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom (MEV).
“Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakable kingdom we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart…” (Hebrews 12:28 TPT). The kingdoms of the earth are extremely volatile. But the kingdom we belong to – the Kingdom of God, is unshakable. It is God’s desire to see His will be done on the earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).
“For he has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins.” (Colossians 1:13 TLB).
After reading over these verses, my heart is singing. As believers, we need to remember who we are in Jesus. We are not victims but victors. Let us rise up as citizens of God’s kingdom and do what He has appointed us to do.
There are two aspects of writing I do not like. They both involve description. One is the physical description of people. The other is the description of scene.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF PEOPLE
It is important for the reader to have a mental picture of what the characters in the novel look like. Are they tall or short, heavy-set or thin? Do they have long faces, or round cherubic ones? What color are their eyes? Do they have a short, stubby nose or a long patrician one?
There are any number of characters in a work of fiction, most of which will require a physical description. What I find challenging is making each one distinct. It takes a lot of thought. Does their physical description match what their character is like? Or do they look like an angel but act like the devil?
DESCRIPTION OF THE SCENE
I remember reading books that went to great length to describe the scene. I usually read one or two lines and skipped over the rest. So, the test is to make the reader acutely aware of the scene the character is moving in, but not to bore. It’s a fine line.
How is the character experiencing the scene? What does he/she see, hear, touch, taste, and feel? If I write that a stiff breeze blew from the west, what does that breeze feel like on my character’s skin? If I write that a plane flew overhead, did the sound hurt the character’s ears, irritate or interest? If I write that a river sparkled in the distance, does the character want to go and see it up close, jump in for a swim, or just view it from afar?
Physical and scene description are extremely important for the reader to “see” what the character looks like and where the action is taking place. I think I don’t like writing them because, although necessary, they don’t move the story along.
However, no matter whether I like writing them or not, these are two skills that I must continually develop to improve as an author.
In Jesus, we have the victory! As born-again believers, we’re on the winning side. Our God always wins. He never loses a battle. Today, here are some verses to encourage you.
“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”
“He will swallow up death in victory; And the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; And the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: For the Lord hath spoken it.”
1 Corinthians 15:54
“And when that which is mortal puts on immortality, and what now decays is exchanged for what will never decay, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says: Death is swallowed up by a triumphant victory! So death, tell me, where is your victory? Tell me death, where is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15: 56 – 57
“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 2:14
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ.”
“Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were his!”
1 John 5:4
“You see, every child of God overcomes the world, for our faith is the victorious power that triumphs over the world.”
“They will go to war against the Lamb but the Lamb will defeat them, proof that he is Lord over all lords, King over all kings, and those with him will be the called, chosen, and faithful.”
Praise the Lord! As believers, we will be with Jesus when He defeats the last of His enemies. We are the called, chosen, and faithful. We have every reason to rejoice!
The Dominion Directive
“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.” 1 John 5:4, NLT.
Way back in Genesis, God said, “Let us make a man – someone like ourselves, to be the master of all life upon the earth and in the skies and in the seas.” Genesis 1:26 TLB. The King James Version says it this way, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
Notice that God expected Adam to have dominion over the earth. To have dominion is “to rule, govern, subdue, or manage”. Adam was to exert stewardship and ownership. This has always been God’s plan.
Before Adam sinned, he had vital communication with God and received revelation from God. When he sinned, however, that link was broken and Adam had to operate on information – things he perceived from his five senses.
But through the death and resurrection of Jesus, humankind can be reconnected to God. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we are born of God and created to do good works in Him (Ephesians 2:10).
In Mark 9:23, Jesus said to the father of the demon-possessed boy, “…What do you mean ‘if’? If you are able to believe, all things are possible to the believer” (TPT). And how do we believe? We believe with our heart, not our head. The mind only believes what it determines through the senses. Through our hearts, or spirit, we feed off the Word of God. Sometimes when we speak God’s Word, our mind can’t fathom it because to our head it’s impossible. This happened to Martha in the New Testament.
She came up to Jesus and basically said to Him that if He had been there earlier, her brother would not have died. How did Jesus answer her? He said that her brother would rise again (John 11:23).
It didn’t occur to Martha that Jesus planned to raise Lazarus right then and there. She thought Jesus was talking about the Last Day Resurrection. Martha looked at the situation in the natural. Jesus didn’t. “Martha,” Jesus said, “You don’t have to wait until then. I am the Resurrection, and I am Life Eternal” (John 11:25 TPT). Jesus said the same thing to Martha that God said to Moses in the Old Testament. He is the great I AM. He transcends time and space.
God has given us everything we need to live in victory in this life. Peter described it this way, “Everything we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him…” (2 Peter 1:3 TPT).
As believers, we are citizens of the Kingdom of God. As Kingdom citizens, we are to manifest God’s will in this earth and draw people everywhere to be saved. We are to fulfill the dominion directive!
Organic Versus Structured
It is an interesting exercise for a writer to consider how they write. For example, I write Christian romance novels. How do I develop the plot, characters, setting, time, and all the other elements that go into my novels?
I’ve been thinking about this recently. A word that keeps coming into my mind is ‘organic’ – that I write organically. So, I looked up the word and some sentence examples to gain a better understanding of its definition. One of the definitions Lexico.com provides for organic is, “denoting a relation between elements of something such as they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole” (Lexico.com is a new collaboration between Dictionary.com and Oxford University Press (OUP).
Here are two examples of the word used in a sentence:
My next step was to look up what I consider to be the opposite of organic and that is
‘structured’. As a transitive verb, Lexico.com defines structure as, “construct or arrange according to a plan.”
When I sit down to write a novel, I do have an overall plan. But the parts within that plan are flexible. For example, in a way that is difficult to explain, my characters sometimes go off in directions that I did not anticipate when I developed the structure. Rather than stick rigidly to the structure, I allow the character to go where he/she wants to go. Sometimes this is inconvenient, as it means rearranging other aspects of the book. But I believe it is important to give the character free rein.
In “Seventy Times Seven,” the character Maria was to play a secondary role to the main character, Merisela. However, Maria took on a life of her own and played a much more important part in the book than originally designed. I believe that letting Maria be Maria ultimately enhanced the part of Merisela.
Am I saying that it is better to write organically rather than structurally? No. What I am saying is that I am a writer who writes organically. Ultimately, it is the reader who will decide whether they like an organic writer. They will vote yay or nay with their pocket books.
God of the Breakthrough
If you’re in a valley right now, you don’t have to remain there. In Hosea 2:15, God says,
“There I will give back her vineyards to her and transform her Valley of Troubles into a Door of Hope. She will respond to me there, singing with joy as in days long ago in her youth after I had freed her from captivity in Egypt.” (TLB)
God wants to transform your valley of troubles into a door of hope. David is a good example of this. David fought Goliath in a valley – the Valley of Elah. When David arrived in that valley and heard the giant’s threats and blasphemy against the God of Israel, faith rose up inside him and he said, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel…” (1 Samuel 17:45 NIV).
In the valley, the enemy will try to intimidate you. You can hide in fear or shout God’s promises.
When the enemy says, “You’ll never get well,” shout back that you will live and not die and declare the works of the Lord (Psalm 118:17).
When he says that you will never get out of debt, shout back that you will lend and not borrow (Deuteronomy 28:12) and God is pouring out a blessing beyond all that you can ask or imagine. (Malachi 3:10).
When he shouts that your children will never come to know the Saviour, shout back, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15) and “My children will be mighty in the land.” (Psalm 112:2).
What I’m going to write next is so important. When you’re in the valley, you must speak God’s Words of faith, life, and victory. It’s interesting to note that twenty years after David defeated Goliath, he was in another valley again, the Valley of Rephaim, which means “giants”. But David had been through valleys before and because God was with David and his army, a great victory was won that day.
The Scripture says that after that victory, David re-named the valley ‘Baal Perazim’, which means ‘God of the breakthrough’.
“So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The LORD did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”).” (2 Samuel 5: 20 NLT).
My dear friend, do not be discouraged. We serve a God who turns valleys of trouble into doors of hope – who changes vales of giants into ones of breakthrough.
In closing, I just want to remind you that in Psalm 23:4, David wrote, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil…” (NKJV). He knew God would bring him through the valley and not leave him there. God is no respecter of persons. If He did it for David, He will do it for you!
In this Blog, I want to share with you some of the things I've learned from many years of following Jesus.