And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. You have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink, that you may know that I am the LORD your God. And when you came to this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out against us to battle, but we defeated them. We took their land and gave it for an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites. Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.1
Our vision, to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth, continues to grow in scope and detail. We are learning to dream bigger, but yet have practical steps and ideas to accomplish this vision. In my last post I said the truth is worth the risk, so now let’s delve deeper.
One of Andrew’s tag-lines is: “You get Jesus for free, but Christ will cost you everything.” This expresses the amazing grace of God’s salvation while counting the incredible demands of being a follower of Christ. Jesus says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”2, but Christ says “whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”3 Jesus accepts us and grants us salvation for nothing but belief4 and faith5, but Christ says “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”6
Now, I realize Jesus is the Christ and Christ is Jesus, but don’t miss my point here. We get salvation for nothing, but it is through our bold, active faith, and response to God that we receive our inheritance. I can experience incredible miracles of the Spirit, but still not have my inheritance. I can get manna from heaven, but not be in Canaan. As we step deeper into relationship with the Holy Trinity, we are strengthened to break the bonds of slavery, slay giants, and bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. This is our inheritance, the kingdom of heaven. We will bring it through our vision. As we trust God with the desires he has given us, we will be able to touch people’s lives and awaken them to the life available if only they would ask.
We want to experience the awe-ful (and I mean in the classic sense, full of awe), power of a holy God building his kingdom here on earth. A kingdom built through the blood, sweat, and tears of people who are so “bananas for Jesus”9 that they cannot help but pour his love out on everyone around them. People who have been saved, but realize that’s only the beginning of the story. People who have been set free so that may also set others free. People who follow so closely to Jesus that they are covered by his dust and boldly proclaim “imitate me as I imitate [him]”10 not out of pride, but of a godly humility that says it’s not me, but Christ in me that does these things.
As Jen & I continue to seek and prepare for our vision we pray that the God of the Universe will speak and set a seal upon our hearts and give us the courage and faith to boldly go where no man has gone before, to run our race and have nothing left when we get to the finish. I pray that on that day we may look back and see a legacy built upon Christ’s unshakable foundation, set within hearts of flesh, and continuing on from generation to generation. May God grant us the grace to bring generational change to ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren. Lord, give us eyes, ears, and a heart.
- Deuteronomy 29:2-9 ESV (emphasis mine) ↩
- Matthew 11:28 ESV ↩
- Matthew 10:38 ESV ↩
- if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 ESV ↩
- For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV ↩
- John 15:9-12 ESV ↩
- For more information see Chapter 3 of An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church God had in Mind by Erwin Raphael McManus ↩
- Walden, ch. 2, par. 16 http://thoreau.eserver.org/walden02.html ↩
- Jim Hall quoting Keith Green ↩
- Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV ↩