Monday, November 16, 2009

A Higher Calling: Quest for the Kingdom of God!

Jesus clearly said, "No man can come to Me, except the Father who has sent me draw him..."(John 6:44). Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The Christian calling includes recognizing Jesus is the only way to the Father, learning all about Him as the Incarnate Word of God and walking in that light as a way of life, following Jesus by the lead of the Holy Spirit, the power and influence of God (Romans 8:14, 1 John 2:6).

Jesus instructs us to "Repent and believe the good news" (Mark 1:15). What good news? The gospel of the Kingdom of God. Repent of what? Repent of breaking any of the holy commandments, whether in attitude or action, word or works, in the letter or the spirit of the Law (Matt. 5:17-20, 1 John 3:4).

Jesus didn't just say to believe the good news, He calls upon us to repent: to have a change of heart, a renewing of the mind; to experience a new attitude and go in a different direction, confessing and forsaking those thoughts and ways that aren't in peace and harmony with God's Word and Will (Isa. 55:7-9, 2 Cor. 10:5).

We're to have an attitude of gratitude for the Passover Lamb of God's ultimate sacrifice for us, by living out our lives in loving obedience, living sacrifices, receiving the pardon and the power to go and increasingly sin no more (to the degree we exercise the Holy Spirit and receive help from the Throne of Grace), knowing we must overcome sin through Christ, not be overcome by it, unlike those rebels who preach the dangerous religious lie that overcoming isn't important (2 Pet. 1:9, 1 John 2:4, Rev. 2:26).

This holy process is called conversion (Heb. 8:10). God will add the finishing touch at the resurrection to divine perfection. Those presently partaking of the divine nature are God-beings in the making! (2 Pet. 1:4).

Around 15 a girl I knew had stopped using drugs and sleeping around and classmates were mocking her as a "Jesus freak." I was impressed and admired how she wasn't ashamed to carry her Bible to school.

Soon I began attending Bible studies with her group -- formerly the Forever Family but later changed to the Church of Bible Understanding to distance it from any association with the nefarious Charles Manson. It was there that I first accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I now recognize they're a cult, but I'm confident God permitted that experience to insure my familiarity with His Word, which is what caused me to separate from them later.

I backslid into the teenage wasteland but had hope God would ultimately straighten me out, especially after once praying, "The harder I try, the more I fall on my face." Then Isaiah 45:1-2 glistened before me, God emphasizing that He would go before me, and that He would break my bonds. I was given a quiet confidence and calm assurance that God has the ability to set us free; that God is stronger than our weaknesses. After all, "in the LORD have I righteousness and strength" (Isa. 45:6).

Around 17, after flirting with the foreign gods of Hinduism, I was miraculously called out of that deception by our Great Creator God, the God of the Bible, the God of Israel who didn't let Christ die in vain as my Savior.

Later, unexpectedly, I was given a vision, a sneak preview of God's Kingdom where I saw myself as a brilliant Spirit-being teaching two humans. Only after reading literature from the Worldwide Church of God and getting baptized at 19, did I see they confirmed what I saw to be true: the Kingdom is God's Family and we're to become divine Priest-Kings ruling with but under Christ; the Kingdom of God-Beings are to rule Earth from Jerusalem!

Truly this spiritual journey is the adventure of a lifetime! It's a daily quest for God's Kingdom and righteousness, living and learning, so help us God.

David Ben-Ariel is a Christian-Zionist writer in Ohio and author of Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall. With a focus on the Middle East and Jerusalem, his analytical articles help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Visit the Beyond Babylon blog.