As more daily revelations become apparent about the ongoing push of draconian measures that have now come upon us at a dizzying pace, the realization of manifesting the Kingdom of God seems to be an elusive dream. I dislike even talking any more about the situation at hand. I have had enough of the incessant lies and I can imagine you have, too. It’s stressful. But let’s keep our heads about us in this present darkness.
Amidst the circumstances that can tend to overwhelm us, it may seem quite mundane to consider the basics of actually manifesting the Kingdom. But if we want to be a part of ruling and reigning with Christ Jesus, we must start at the beginning. The Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven begins with you and me. Let’s make sure we have fulfilled the fundamental personal requirements necessary to commence actually conquering the enemy and taking dominion.
A Broken Spirit
In Part 1, I discussed that “old self” of this old Adamic nature of which pride is at the heart. It takes daily introspection before God that asks, Is there any part of that “old man” still left in me? And He does answer that request and reveals but, perhaps not immediately. Often times that prideful self appears to our conscience in a life circumstance by which God puts His finger on that specific self that is still alive: self-confidence, self- saving, self-indulgence, self-complacency, self-justification, and so forth.
Our response to God’s revelation presents us with a choice: (1) ignore it and resist, or (2) confess it before God. But this is not just a glib confession. No, this goes much deeper. King David wrote about it after his confession before God about his sin of coveting his neighbor’s wife and as an accomplice to murder.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)
“Broken” carries the idea of begin shattered or crushed. It’s the conviction in one’s spirit – the inner core of your being that simply confesses without conditions that your “self” is out of line with God. Broken in spirit. But there is more: “a broken and contrite heart . . .”
“Contrite” (Hebrew: dakhah): to collapse. The LXX represents “contrite” with the Greek word tapeinoo. It is used most often to mean to be humble or to be humiliated, helpless, bowed down and, in the context of Psalm 51, to grieve.
A broken spirit and a broken or contrite heart are what God is pleased with for it reveals a man after God’s own heart. Until we come to that daily position before God, He cannot change us and He cannot use us or empower us for the Kingdom work. Self must be removed and replaced.
Poor in Spirit
In respect to the Kingdom, there is an attitude about ourselves before God that is even more fundamental:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).
Did you notice the prerequisite to possessing “the Kingdom” is the spiritual condition of being “poor in spirit”?
William Barclay in his commentary on Matthew really brings the word “poor” (Greek: ptochos) to life. It “describes absolute and abject poverty . . . a man who has nothing at all . . . absolutely destitute” (The Gospel of Matthew, Vol. 1, p. 90). He goes on to conclude that “poor” means “the helpless man” and re-translates Matthew 5:3 like this:
Blessed is the man who has realized his own utter helplessness, and has put his whole trust in God (Ibid. p. 91).
It is an unconditional poverty in spirit in and of himself, but with total dependence on God alone. That man is “blessed” with God’s provision of joy that no one can take away.
Only in such a personal spiritual reality are we able to possess the Kingdom. Only when that “old self” in all its prideful resistance is realized and confessed, and only when our true spiritual condition is grasped as utterly impoverished, can the living God powerfully use us to actually manifest His Kingdom.
If I were to conclude with one key word to describe this, it would be “surrender.”
by Lawrence Blanchard, ND, M.Div.
Next up: Where Taking Dominion Begins – Part 3