i’m afraid of kingdom

some of the things jesus said are just too big for me to get my mind around.  not in an intellectual sense, but in a philosophical sense.  it’s like one moment he is affirming me and building me up, and then the next moment he is tearing me to shreds.

as they used to say in long beach, what’s up with that?

allow me, gentle readers, to provide a profound example.  in luke 12:32, jesus says: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”  my eyes (and heart) immediately go to the incredibly winsome proclamation:  my father is pleased to give me the kingdom.  unbelievable! overwhelming!

wait…why does jesus say, “don’t be afraid”?  that doesn’t fit.

maybe its because of what he says right before verse 32: “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.”

or maybe its because of what he says right after verse 32: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

of course i’m afraid!

i see the kingdom.  i get the kingdom.  i yearn for the kingdom.  i strive for the kingdom. but i’m afraid of the cost of the kingdom.  i wish i wasn’t, and i’m ashamed to write it, but it’s true.  like most other believers, i’m pretty good at partial kingdom.  i’ve got pseudo-kingdom down.  i’m the first one in line for sub-kingdom.  and i’m willing, yea, eager to pay the cost for partial pseudo sub kingdom.  but my father wants to give me the real kingdom, the full kingdom.

(here’s the part jesus really wants me to get my head around).

i need to have confidence in what jesus said not because it makes sense, but because he said it.  on the basis of our relationship.  i need to not be afraid because jesus said “do not be afraid”…period.  and, obviously, my fearlessness will be demonstrated when kingdom values become evident in my life–lack of worry, divesting myself of distractions, a focused heart.  my smallness swallowed up by his bigness.

my father knows what i need, and the kingdom is what he chose to give me.  if it pleases him, it pleases me.

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