Choosing the Kingdom

I’ve been reading an excellent devotional book called My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.  My readings have brought me a lot of peace and inspiration, and I thank the friends who provided this book to me on the occasion of my ordination at Unleashed.  Today’s reading said, “No matter what changes God has performed in you, never rely on them.  Build only on a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives.” (Jan. 5)  I was struck by the fact that I have relished the changes God is making in me, but I have been relying on those changes to stay constant–relying on the changes rather than Jesus who remains the same every day.  Such thinking brought me to the realization that I truly love my food and my t.v. programs!  They both give me a comfort that I use for enduring many emotions.  I had a picture in my head of Jesus standing at a wide-open door to the shining light of a glorious kingdom, and me hesitating to get up and go in because my show was on!  Would I hit “pause”?  Would I hit “record”?  Would I jump up and forget both popcorn and the make-believe drama of this world?  Would I notice the door was open?  Maybe it would close while I continued blissfully watching a pretend life while the real life passed me by?  Are these things idols?  Are they addictions?  Can I leave them?  All these questions were running through my mind this morning as I read Oswald’s words.  As I sat thinking, I realized that the kingdom moments God gives me in this world are so much better and more satisfying than t.v. or food.  When I’m focusing on the church service at Unleashed, I often forget to eat because I’m so fulfilled at being there among the people and dogs and God’s Spirit.  When I’m studying the Bible, writing blogs or sermons, or praying, time pretty much stands still for me.  Sitting one on one with another person and sharing our lives, counseling someone through a hard time, even doing the paperwork that church planting requires gives me a joy that is quite inexpressible.  I want to choose the kingdom, I pray I choose the kingdom, and I’m putting my trust in Jesus alone to draw my spirit to the open door every single day until I am there forever.

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