07 MAR 28 Kingdom and Power v.1
Kingdom and Power
2 Tim 1.5-7:
“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (sound mind KJV, NKJV; discipline NIV)
Summarize last week:
Dallas Willard has concept of “golden triangle” of disciple.
Power without love has no appropriate object
Power without self-control is totalitarianism
Love without power is a vapor
Love without self-control is lust
Self-control without power is middle management
Self-control without love is legalism
Power comes from Faith
Self-control comes from discipline
Love comes from the heart
- Use your words to diagnose what is in your heart
- Listen to your own words
- Ask others what you say
- Ask God
- Prescribe spiritual disciplines
- Tie up what you learn about yourself to what you learn about God
Spirit of Power, love, and self-control
Power (dunamis) is the ability to get things done.
Natural power: Physical strength, intellectual ability, moral persuasion, emotional manipulation, etc.
Spiritual power: based on our faith.
Mk. 11.22-24: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.”
Natural Reality vs. Heavenly Reality
Jn. 2.1-10: Natural reality of no wine/water. Heavenly reality of 120-180 gallons of awesome wine. (600 to 900 bottles). As believers we have access to that heavenly reality. “Greater works” Jn. 14.12-14. 1 Jn. 4.17 “As he is so also are we in this world” (NLT is very different).
Work vs. Faith
Mk. 6.30-44: Jesus tells the disciples to feed the thousands of people.
Natural reality or heavenly reality?
Jesus believed his disciples should be able to control the wind, control the sea, cast out demons, heal the sick, and feed 20,000 people with a handful of food.
Either Jesus was insane or we who live lives constrained by the natural reality are missing something. Either Jesus was a madman, or there’s something more to Christianity than just avoiding hell.
Heavenly reality has another name: Kingdom of God.
Mt. 6.7-13: Lord’s Prayer. Notice:
- V.7: don’t heap up empty phrases: what we say should be filled with belief and power
- There is no pleading with God, no bargaining. “God as your son I have legal access to what I need and I’m calling it in.”
- V. 10: Your kingdom Come, Your will be done – where? On earth as it is in heaven. In the Lord’s prayer we are calling heaven’s reality to invade the natural world.
A great misunderstanding of the Kingdom is that it is somewhere in the future: end of time. Rev. 11.15 At some point there will be no distinction between natural and heavenly.
Bill Johnson: “It is theologically irresponsible to put off into the future something that we don’t have enough faith to believe for today.”
Read Divine Conspiracy p. 26:
Lk 17.20-21: The kingdom is already here. We simply must choose to live according to it. Choose between the work economy or grace economy. Jesus expected the disciples to have power over their circumstances because he had already shown them how to live in the kingdom. If the kingdom was not available to us, why would Jesus have told us to “seek first the kingdom of God.” (Mt. 6.33).
The Kingdom can not be confined to a time because it always exists. It cannot be confined to a place because it is everywhere and pervades everything that is. We have a choice whenever we need to accomplish something: will we try to accomplish with our natural power or our spiritual power. We have spiritual power to the extent that we are connected to Heavenly reality (the Kingdom of God) by our faith.
There is some stuff that God wants us to accomplish – a part of our destiny -- that cannot be done in our natural strength.
Read Divine Conspiracy p. 31: The kingdom is at hand.
Heart and Mouth:
Rom. 10.8-10: believe in heart and confess with mouth.
Speaking is specific: Like writing a check for a certain amount
Believing/faith is having certainty the check will be cashed: Presenting it to the bank. You could say things without believing them: Write a check for a jillion dollars and then tear it up. You could believe for help without being specific: Go to the bank and just ask the teller for some money. How much would you get?
Living in the Kingdom, requires us to couple our mouths and our hearts to get things done.
Tie up the heart mouth: Mt. 17.20: If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say. . .and nothing will be impossible for you.
Christians living in the kingdom:
- Tell their problems where to go
- Call in the resources that they need
- Tell their money what to do, not ask it where it went
- Command their circumstances to work in their favor
- Decree health in their bodies, peace in the families, prosperity in their finances, fruitfulness in their spiritual disciplines
- We call ourselves free from oppression, free from depression, free from recession. The economy doesn’t control our finances, disease doesn’t control our bodies, lust doesn’t control our minds.
- We speak what we need and want with faith in God and it comes to pass.
Pray a confessing prayer