Changes God requires in His church today in order to produce the perfected 'bride of Christ'




We look at reliance upon God and a kingdom focus in our lives.







The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
DEFINITIONS (For serious students only)



Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue







Following on from last week, the seventh characteristic of kingdom living is a reliance, a true dependence, upon God.

Of course we, particularly in the West, blithely declare in church on Sunday our dependence upon God, but spend the rest of the week focused upon earning sufficient money to make ourselves independent of Him!




Now, do we worship God ourselves, but take 'spiritual bytes', participating in worship led by others who are, at best, seeking to take us into the presence of God, at worst, putting on a performance?




In our works too, we show our independence, as we endeavour to do God's work for Him through the programmes that we participate in that keep us busy but are not God driven.




In each of these 3 areas God desires us to be dependent upon Him.

The Lord's Prayer has lost its popularity today, particularly in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles, supposedly because of its rigid form, but in reality, probably more because of its unpopular content!

It is the kingdom prayer!



Matthew 6:10



This is followed by principles of kingdom living, the way in which the kingdom on earth will be brought about.

The first of these is;



Matthew 6:11



You see, God knows the primary motivator that takes us away from Him - self-sufficiency. He desires, indeed requires, dependence upon Jesus, rather than our VISA card.

Of course, a year or so ago, you may well have laughed at me, but with the current financial implosion, the promise of 'daily bread' is becoming more real, even desirable!

For my many readers and friends in areas where you truly do have to rely upon God for your daily provision, even though you do not like it, you are truly blessed. For God wants us to be dependent upon Him. And collecting treasures on earth, no matter how small, take us away from Him.

Kathy and I are trying to live this way. We own only a few household possessions, having cut down and down on the size of the homes in which we have lived. Our business is growing fast, but it is all owned by a Trust, on the Lord's behalf. We are endeavouring to financially live a kingdom lifestyle.




Secondly, we need to depend upon the Lord spiritually. I love worship! I love worshipping with others! I love, on the rare occasion, entering into the Holy of Holies in worship.

However, group worship is not the essence of spiritual dependence upon God. In a way, it is like cheering your team on at a football match. Excitement and emotion flows. It is great fun, a real buzz, but rarely intimate.

To be truly spiritually dependent upon God we must wait upon Him to hear from Him. Not in the spectacular, but in the quiet intimacy of one to one relationship. Such was the experience of Elijah;



1 Kings 19:11-30



God is not deeply found in the group experience of worship, wind, earthquake or fire, but in the 'gentle whisper' of a one to one encounter. This is where our spiritual intimacy, dependence and instruction truly comes from.




Thirdly, our works. Yes, a subject James is very hot on. Our faith needs to be reflected in works. But these need to be 'God' works, not 'good' works. The number of 'o's' is critical.

God does not want us to be tired out, to become burned out, through doing continual gooooooood works!

God works are specific. The more we rely upon Him, the more He will lead us in what to do. And He will not have us substitute works for relationship with Him and with our family. I certainly need to be reminded of this often! For I am project rather than people motivated.

There are millions of good projects out there but let us not forget:



1 Corinthians 13:3



May we rely upon the Lord in all areas of life. This is the way of the kingdom.  




What do we put first in our life?

Family? Security? Church? Evangelism? .....Or the kingdom?

A kingdom focus is of paramount importance to kingdom people.



Matthew 6:31-3



Our focus shifts away from what will benefit us now personally, to living a righteous life, seeking to be the light of Jesus to the world.  


Ephesians 5:8-10



Our focus too, moves away from earthly success and recognition towards eternity. 


Matthew 6:19-21



Reality is, not liked by many people, that building the kingdom in the here and now requires sacrifice in the here and now to bring it about!

Many Christians look to God as a 'Father Christmas', but truly walking with Jesus costs us everything. Jesus sacrificed His life for us and we are to sacrifice our life for others if we are to live His lifestyle. We must 'lose our life' for Jesus.



Matthew 16:25-7



Such is the kingdom focus of kingdom people. By giving up our lives for Christ, we find a new life, a life of spiritual joy, satisfaction and love, beyond that which the world offers.

As we are literally seeing today, the riches of this world are temporary and uncertain, while the kingdom lifestyle is a foretaste of what is to come for those who are fully committed to the Lord.

Come Jesus, come.





...... with a look at power in the Spirit and ministry funding.





Putting Jesus first, relying upon Him...... Easy words, but in our modern materialistic world, not easy to do. You really have to 'go against the flow'!

'Lord, help me to 'practice what I preach'.'

Historical Overview

Herod and the Herodians Antipater to Antipas.

The Idumaeans were a tribe who had been forced by the Nabatean Arabs westwards into southern Judea, where they had been forcibly converted to Judaism by the Hasmonean rulers of Palestine. The Idumaeans were for this reason Jews of a recent and suspect background. At the same time they were shrewd, and had no scruples about making political deals with the Romans for their own advantage.

Illustration: Herod's Temple



So until next week.......

His servant and yours

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Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:





932. I cannot truly say I am a believer if I am not prepared to follow the path of the one in whom I believe.

David Tait         




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