Many, many times in the Word, God’s people faced heinous circumstances for simply loving Him. The circumstances they faced were not created or caused by God, but rather, by the enemy…the Thief. The Word says that the “Thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I (Jesus) have come that you might have life and life more abundant” (John 10:10).
Historically, the enemy has been murderous, deceptive and (in other ways) aggressive towards those who have chosen to find their home in Father God—in the SODE of God. There is nothing new under the sun. History just keeps on repeating.
We are currently positioned in times where it is (yet again) unpopular to believe in Jesus. It is unpopular to love like He loves. It is unpopular to be known as a dissenting voice simply because the Kingdom we adhere to is not of this world. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world [nor does it have its origin in this world]. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would be fighting [hard] to keep Me from being handed over… but as it is, My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36 TPT). So what does this mean?
Even when circumstances rail against us and become overwhelming, there is hope. Great hope. Jesus said that we are in the world but not of it. We were not born again into an earthly kingdom; we were born again into HIS Kingdom. We are to “seek first HIS Kingdom.” This means that our thoughts and ideas are not to be limited by our own capacities to fix things, but rather (if we allow Him to), Jesus can provide us with another way; a solution above what our own minds could produce. An alternate route.
When we look upwards from earth, we cannot see much further than our own world, our own lives and our immediate landscape, but when we look from our position in Jesus from heaven to earth, we can see much. Ephesians 2:5-7 says that, “…even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” We have an entire Kingdom perspective at our disposal.
From being raised and seated in Jesus, we can see through His eyes and hear through His ears. We can allow His word to come alive around us, in us, and through us. We can allow His strategies, plans and purposes to come to life.
When we see through His eyes and hear through His ears, solutions fall around us that we could never have constructed on our own or through our own power. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Our circumstances shift and change—they are temporal—but our God is eternal and His Kingdom is powerful.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s circumstances looked bad. Really bad. They had no earthly solutions available to them: it was burn and die. But as they were thrown into a furnace heated to seven times its usual temperature, they chose God and His Kingdom. Their circumstance didn’t change, but their solution did. As a result of positioning the Kingdom of God as their highest authority, a solution manifested around them from the Kingdom of God. The Angel of the Lord walked with them and not even a thread of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s clothing was burned, nor did they even smell like smoke (Daniel 3:16-28).
Daniel’s circumstance could have been horrific too, as he was thrown into a lion’s den after people plotted against him. But Daniel came to no harm because his affections were seated firmly in the Kingdom of God, which opened up a way for a Kingdom solution to enter his world. The circumstance didn’t change, but the solution did: God shut the mouths of the lions (Daniel 6).
Joshua’s battle of Jericho ordinarily would have been very technical and involved. The circumstance didn’t change, but the solution did: Instead of warring, armed men marched around Jericho City for six days and on the seventh day, they shouted and the walls came down. During the whole procession, they had carried the Ark of the Covenant in their midst (Joshua 6).
Our circumstances here are attached to earth, but God’s solutions are attached to His Kingdom. Isaiah 30:21-23 says, You will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way. Follow it, whether it turns to the right or to the left.” Then you will dishonor your silver-plated idols and your gold-covered statues. You will throw them away like clothing ruined by stains. You will say to them, “Get out!” The Lord will give you rain for the seed that you plant in the ground, and the food that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. When that day comes, your cattle will graze in large pastures.” Because we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, we are submitted to His solutions and His ways. Being submitted and seated in Jesus’ Kingdom means that His Kingdom overrides this earthly kingdom. His Kingdom is held as most important by us and therefore it is allowed a place to manifest around us.
John 15:19-21 says, “If you belonged to the world, the world would love [you as] its own and would treat you with affection. But you are not of the world [you no longer belong to it], but I have chosen you out of the world.”
Photo by Luis Fernando Felipe Alves