Following up from yesterday’s post on Unity and the Kingdom of God- In Mark’s Gospel chapter three are statements of Jesus in a dispute with religious leaders that I have often pondered. Apparently He believes in the devil and also in more than one kingdom.
24 “If a kingdom is divided [split into factions and rebelling] against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” -AMP
One thing many hardcore sinners and in particular those coming out of serious addictions of all sorts seem to have in common- they typically come to realize their own choices and personal kingdom-building defenses had been breached.
For those who follow Jesus they -we, and in fact I myself- recognize the ability to get and stay clean and sober is not about personal intelligence, strength or the accumulation of stuff, rather it happens via humility and faith in God.
In essence, we became convinced we needed God, His help and a continuing, sustaining relationship with Him and with like-minded people -or our downward spiral would continue and finally likely destroy us. Self-medicating was poison, not freedom.
In extreme brief, we are unified due to the depth of shared humility, confession of weakness, sin and dependence on the power of God with regard to our addictions. Without Him and these our recovery wasn’t a possibility, period.
I do believe such humility and even a desperate “lights on!” realization that it is WE who must surrender to Jesus, not merely “those people over there!” Individual addiction to self and control are killing us and at times through us, those around us.
We are much like the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable. But unlike that son who “came to himself”, faced himself and his complicity we have not yet crawled out of the pigsty of our choosing and returned home. And this, by the way, is the charge we level at others while denying it about ourselves!
Oh, we may pray, read our Bible, attend a fellowship somewhere, but we have not really reached that spiritual maturity of a “contrite heart” which God does not despise. Spiritual growth, deep change is elusive until we do. (see Psalm 51.17)
There is so much pride, arrogance over our individual strengths, self-assurance we can “accomplish anything we wish to” by our own power that it is our own tragically small kingdom vs. the eternal kingdom of God that we are defending, piling stone upon stone up to wall ourselves in with -and it will eventually crumble -as every kingdom but God’s Own shall.
Unity is not merely about agreeing about what is right in God’s eyes but also what He Himself calls wrong. There is but one eternal kingdom and one eternal King. Jesus speaks of us trying to hang on to our -own- life and therefore losing it. He calls us to deny ourselves, pick up –our– cross daily and follow Him. It is in such a relationship we find life as well as unity! Humility before God is a deep and major factor with regard to honest fellowship among God’s people in God’s kingdom.
The grace of God calls us to believe the truth and so be saved- not only the “truth” we create and imagine. Humility and repentance creates Kingdom unity.
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn