“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”
Matthew 11:12 KJV http://bible.us/1/mat.11.12.kjv
I’ll have to admit I don’t think I ever really had full understanding of this verse. Thank God for good teaching on how to read and understand the Bible to get the context of what Jesus is saying here in Matthew 11. I’ve always understood it as in the people of God’s kingdom are in a war, figuratively speaking, and taking things over for God. The ways I’ve heard it preached it has always been in the context of taking physical things. The concept of taking physical things for the kingdom is in error. It’s not about money, houses and cars. This is about kingdom work.
Now the idea taking things over for the kingdom of God is right, but has nothing to do with material things. This is not about you getting what you want. This is about God getting what He wants. Souls touched by the gospel and turned to Christ. This is an analogy that seems to have a double meaning. The first being men eagerly seeking after the kingdom of God, taking hold of it and eagerly advancing the kingdom. Secondly, meaning that the kingdom of God meets opposition, but God’s plan will persist despite the resistance it faces.
This is why building the kingdom can’t just be a decision made because someone made it look cool or it’s the popular thing to do. It has to be an internal working of the Spirit of God in the heart of man. We will face opposition that will discourage us and if it’s not in your heart you will quickly find that out. This is where the parable of the sower found in Mark 4 comes into play. The sower sows the word of God and there are 4 types of ground. There’s the wayside, stony ground, thorny ground and good ground.
The wayside just never gets it. The birds immediately take the seed sown. The stony ground seeds can’t grow, because the seed never takes root. The thorny ground seed grows, but the seed is choked out by the thorns of this life. The good ground is where the seed grows and brings forth fruit. Working to advance the kingdom will clearly show where your heart is. Remember the seed is the word and the ground is your heart.
Don’t get stuck by the wayside and just let what God has given you be taken away. Some reject the word of God and then come in direct opposition to Christ because they are ultimately rejecting His truth. The thorns are the cares of this world. Money, cars, houses, relationships, etc. You can’t allow those things to put the chokehold on your walk with Christ. We want to be good ground that can further advance the kingdom of God and destroy the works of the devil.
The kingdom endures violence. We are under attack at times, but that is the least of our worries. There is no foe who can defeat the true and living God. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must eagerly seek after, take hold of and advance the kingdom of God. They may not realize it, but this world needs us. All of creation groans and aches with pain waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. We will face opposition, but in Christ we have the power to withstand.
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
Ephesians 6:13-18 NLT http://bible.com/116/eph.6.13-18.nlt
That leads us to our Throwback Song of the Week. We’re going to swing over to the west coast to a brother by the name of Gibraan. He came out the Nureau Inc. camp that was once headed up by gospel artist Tonex. He is also referred to as T-Boy and now known as B. Slade. The track is entitled “Mockingbird Slang” and is featured on Gibraan’s 2001 debut album entitled “Mockingbird Slang: The Voice of Nureaumerica.” Tune into the Trackstarz show this Saturday to hear DJ Jeremaya spin this for the Throwback Song of the Day. Until next time…
Peace and blessings,