This is what I have been thinking about…
May your Kingdom come
may your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven
Mt 6:10 (GNT)
What does the Kingdom of God look like?
Remember, Jesus prayed this prayer…
20 “I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message [Ed:that’s us!]. 21 I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one , just as you and I are one : 23 I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me. (GNT)
Is “oneness” with God and “oneness” with each other the goal?
Is that achievable?
Perhaps it looks something like this?
43 Many miracles and wonders were being done through the apostles, and everyone was filled with awe. 44 All the believers continued together in close fellowship and shared their belongings with one another. 45 They would sell their property and possessions, and distribute the money among all, according to what each one needed. 46 Day after day they met as a group in the Temple, and they had their meals together in their homes, eating with glad and humble hearts, 47 praising God, and enjoying the good will of all the people. And every day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved. (GNT)
32 The group of believers was one in mind and heart. None of them said that any of their belongings were their own, but they all shared with one another everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God poured rich blessings on them all. 34 There was no one in the group who was in need . Those who owned fields or houses would sell them, bring the money received from the sale, 35 and turn it over to the apostles; and the money was distributed according to the needs of the people. (GNT)
Is this what Heaven on earth really is?
But how is this achievable?
ONLY THROUGH GOD’S SPIRIT!
The early church really had something going! Their prayer meetings rocked (Acts 2:2, Acts 4:31)! 🙂
Then there’s the Ananias and Sapphira Story
In Acts chapter 5 we have the story of Ananias and Sapphira who, as a result of being deceptive and lying about monies from a property sale, both died. Have a look at it.
5:1 But there was a man named Ananias, who with his wife Sapphira sold some property that belonged to them. 2 But with his wife’s agreement he kept part of the money for himself and turned the rest over to the apostles. 3 Peter said to him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan take control of you and make you lie to the Holy Spirit by keeping part of the money you received for the property? 4 Before you sold the property, it belonged to you; and after you sold it, the money was yours. Why, then, did you decide to do such a thing? You have not lied to people — you have lied to God!” 5 As soon as Ananias heard this, he fell down dead; and all who heard about it were terrified. 6 The young men came in, wrapped up his body, carried him out, and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, was this the full amount you and your husband received for your property?”
“Yes,” she answered, “the full amount.”
9 So Peter said to her, “Why did you and your husband decide to put the Lord’s Spirit to the test? The men who buried your husband are at the door right now, and they will carry you out too!” 10 At once she fell down at his feet and died. The young men came in and saw that she was dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 The whole church and all the others who heard of this were terrified. (GNT)
Why did they die?
Because of what the community had!
God’s love was lavishly poured out amongst His community. His Spirit was in them and amongst them in a most powerful and wonderful way. Therefore, there was this great clash between what the Spirit was doing in the community and the lies and deception of Ananias and Sapphira. In this context of God’s Spirit moving in great power what they did was like black and white – here was the potential to spoil – and it was very offensive to the Spirit – “the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely” James 4:5 NIV
Could this happen today?
That is, could somebody die because of their lies and deception against a community of God. Well, you have to ask, would the clash between the Christian community we belong to and the lies and deception be a great one or a small one? Would the “oneness of Spirit” in our community (and the power of God within it and the glory of God shining through it) be highly sensitive to the lies and deception or would the offense not be so great?
In an alive, Spirit filled, God glorifying community we can get away with nothing. If what we have to contribute is something less than everything where does that leave us with our community? If we all meet together half baked, half committed, compromised, asleep in the light, hidden sinned, where is that going to get us? Woops, perhaps I’ve said too much. Pray for Revival and it starts in our own hearts!
Can you see where I am coming from?
This is something to think and pray about…