I am a firm believer we as Christians must never take Scripture verses out of context to support a “belief” or “theology” we have heard or developed. We must allow God’s Word to stand alone and reveal His will in our lives. We must agree to God’s Word being our standard in life and in faith, even when it does not make sense, does not appear to fit our circumstances, and especially when it does not support our belief. We must allow His Word to establish truth in our lives rather than making His Word line up with our own truths.
In the last few blogs I have been speaking of the results of “knowing” and “believing” in God. When we know God, we know He hears us. When we know God we walk by faith and not by sight. When we believe God we will see His will done on earth as it is in heaven. “Knowing” someone means we have information about them and are certain of the things we have encountered with them. There is a depth in “knowing” because we identify characteristics and recognize differences between people we know and people we do not know.
Knowing God is essential to our growing in God. I have made the point in previous blogs that there is no end to “knowing” God. It is a continual, exhilarating, emerging, and developing relationship which gets deeper and more intimate as we spend time with Him. As we grow in our knowledge of God, we grow in our intimacy with Him, and we learn more of His Kingdom. Our expectations are enlarged as we saturate ourselves in God’s knowledge and realize the potential to be released on earth through His Spirit.
We discover what we know in the Kingdom of God is always greater in substance than what we know in the kingdom of earth. In order to SEE His will done in our lives here on earth as it is in heaven we must understand that what we “know” in the natural has already been seen, but what we “know” in the spiritual is about to be seen. (Read “Do We Walk by Faith or by Sight” blog for more on “knowing”) The point is we know something exists in the natural because we see evidence. As believers in Jesus Christ, we know something exists in the spiritual because of the evidence of things not seen. It is the evidence of what we “know” which causes us to experience something, whether spiritually or naturally. “Knowing” something in the heavenly realm allows us by faith to grab hold of that TRUTH, and when truth is activated, it establishes God’s will in our lives here on earth. This IS the process for heaven to arrive on earth as His will is done and His power flows through us.
Let me give a practical example of this greater substance in the kingdom of God in regards to personal finances. In our family I am the one who pays the bills, does taxes, and oversees financial matters. At any point in time I know exactly how much money we have by simply looking on our computer program. I know how much money comes in and goes out because I “see” it. However, what I know in Kingdom finances is greater in substance than what I can “see” on my computer screen or on my bank statement. I know what the Word says. If we do not labor, neither shall we eat. (2 Thess. 3:10) If we sow, we will reap. (Galatians 6:7) If we bring all the tithe into the storehouse so there is food in His house and if we try Him in this, He will open the windows of heaven and POUR out such blessing there will not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10) I KNOW these things though I might not “see” them in my bank account. When I take hold of these Kingdom truths by faith, this substance of things hoped for and evidence of unseen things, I experience it by establishing His Word and will in my life and in our financial situation. How much greater in substance is the truth of Kingdom finances than the facts I see in my computer program and bank account. The result is I am not discouraged or worried about our finances because I know who my Provider is and I trust Him completely.
Notice we still have a part in seeing His will established according to Scripture. We must work, be good stewards, sow, and tithe. We do not sit back and “watch” God do it for us. He has chosen to engage with us to accomplish His will on earth leaving us Holy Spirit to teach and help us. What an incredible, relational God we serve.
Another example of this greater substance in the Kingdom of God relates to the healing of our bodies. Our children and I were in a serious automobile collision and doctors concluded after several years of treatment I would need to learn to live with the pain. A neurosurgeon said he could do surgery but it was risky, would cause immobility and make little difference to my quality of life. The physical torment during that time period was excruciating and the emotional trauma increased as doctors gave no hope of recovery, in fact, telling me I would eventually end up in a wheelchair. I was unproductive, miserable, full of fear, and in a very dark place. Those were all things I could see and feel as part of my natural world. Though I believed God could heal by body, I was not experiencing evidence of this healing nor were doctors giving me any good news.
But the Kingdom of God truth was of greater substance than what my body and mind were telling me. My husband believed God and continuously spoke only words of life, hope, and healing. He along with our children and friends “knew” the substance of heaven was much greater than what I was going through. God’s Word says: Through Christ all things are possible. (Mark 9:23) He is the God who heals. (Exodus 15:26) If we keep sound wisdom and discretion, not letting them depart from us they will be life to our souls (body, mind, emotions) and grace to our necks. (I took this literally) (Proverbs 3:21-22) If we are not wise in our own eyes and if we fear the Lord, departing from evil, this will be health to our flesh and strength to our bones. (Proverbs 3:7-8) Again, I took this literally and still do on a daily basis. He tells us by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
I received these truths into every part of my being and rejected anyone else’s understanding and rationalization of these truths. I took God at His Word, as did my family and friends. I came to understand the difference between suffering for the sake of the Gospel and suffering just for the sake of suffering. The first is an honor and the second is not acceptable. I was convinced and fully persuaded by the Word of God Satan had come to steal everything from me, to destroy my life, and to kill me. (John 10:10)
As we were exercising our faith the Lord gave me a Rhema (a NOW) word one day several years into this trial from 1 Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace Who has called you to His own eternal glory in Christ Jesus will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish, and ground you securely and strengthen and settle you.” As I read this verse the Spirit of God rose up in me and I grabbed hold of that truth, which then became active and God’s will was established on earth in my life. Previous to verse ten, Peter is talking about the enemy prowling around seeking whom he may devour. Therefore we are to be self-controlled, alert, and remember brothers and sisters all around the world are sharing in the same sufferings. I had always thought this meant only in regard to persecution for being a Christian, but in context, this speaks of the enemy seeking to devour. This gave me the hope and faith to believe my physical suffering was for a little while and I would be strengthened and settled in this lifetime. And it was for a while longer, in fact, about two years longer, but His Word is true, and today I am strengthened, established, secure and complete in Jesus. YET, I still must stand on His Word daily. Satan continues to prowl, trials still come, and I still need to know God more every day of my life. I like to tell people, there are no time outs as Christians. Satan does not take breaks, nor can we. Our rest is found in Christ alone and we have the great privilege of resting in God WHILE we remain sober and alert. (1 Peter 5:8)
Kingdom of God Always has Greater Substance
My prayer is we would remember what we know in the Kingdom of God is always greater in substance than what we know in the kingdom of earth. I pray this would inspire us to seek His Kingdom and remain unmoved by present circumstances. I pray we would seek like-minded people who will stand with us in prayer and faith, unwilling to accept what Satan tries to implant in our lives as he seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. I pray we desire to know Him as much as He desires to be known by us. His Word declares seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33) As we seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, we are guaranteed to discover greater substance and we will walk in His Kingdom while on earth.