In the beginning when God created mankind, He gave us a mandate to be fruitful, multiply, and fill up the earth. This mandate was given to mankind because he was uniquely created in the image and likeness of God. When God created man, He breathed in him the breath of life. This God breath connected us with the realm of the spirit, and gives us a deeper understanding beyond our natural mind. It is through our divine inspiration that we are called to take dominion of the natural order. The natural order included our own personal, or natural inclinations. We are created from the earth, but we must always recognize our need to draw our wisdom from above.
Unfortunately, since the beginning, mankind has been enticed to give in to our natural inclinations over our spiritual ones. This was the temptation offered to Eve when she was tempted with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When she saw that the Tree was good for food, desirable to the eyes, and would give earthly wisdom, she said yes to the enemy and no thank you to God. This choice separated mankind from God and put us into the bondage of the natural order. From this failure, we created the doctrine of total depravity of man, which gives us the impression that the natural man is simply corrupt. It leads us to believe that we must live in a heightened spiritual state above the world, with the idea that the natural order is just totally evil. This is not the case.
The word teaches that we must get our inspiration and direction from the realm of the spirit, but we must also take this into the natural order. After the creation of each aspect of His creation God said, “This is good.” We should not call evil what God calls good. The natural world is beautiful, and wonderful, and certainly given for our benefit and enjoyment. We must understand that the full benefit can only come from the proper order. In the New Testament, this order is called the Kingdom of God. When Jesus came to the earth He pronounced, “…the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
How Should the Kingdom of God Impact Us?
We need to understand the danger of the present thinking of contemporary society. The secular society of our day is based on the false premise of natural selection as the basis of creation. This exalted the natural order to a place of preeminence. This is why, in the gender debates, progressives are saying that we must accept how we are born. Not only must we accept ourselves, society should also do the same. Although this idea sounds benevolent, and is often motivated in the desire to help others, we as Christians must understand it is misguided. To follow God’s way does not make us killjoys, but actually is the highest level of concern for His creation. Although this is contrary to what is popular, the natural order needs an adversary if we are to fully enjoy and benefit from it.
The pronouncement of the Kingdom of God should impact our childrearing. The ideas of the present society are dangerous when we fail to see how they can affect our less obvious motivations. Today, parenting is based upon the idea that our job is to give our children opportunities for self-expression and actualization, without the benefit of correction. Just as we train our children to control their bodily functions, we must also make them understand the danger of a life lived from the natural realm, rather than the spiritual one. The ultimate fulfillment in life will not come from self-expression, but from understanding who we are in God. If this means you must be their adversary to get them to that place; you must be willing to take on that role. Whether you care to admit it or not, our heavenly Father will become our adversary if it is necessary to get us to the place of our high calling in Him.
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:7-11)
Why does the Lord take on this adversarial role in our lives? He takes on this role because of His love; according to the description in 1 Corinthians 13, love does not think of itself. In order to bring out the best in us, if our heavenly Father must become the object of our frustration, or even our anger, then He will certainly do that because the heavenly Father does not thrive on our approval. His goal is always for our good.
In recent weeks my blog, vlog, and even a few sermons have discussed the gender identification struggle in our nation, and in our world. This is not to isolate one issue, but really an attempt to help you see the role of the Word of God in everyday life. I believe the Lord will grant us the ability to see Him, and His ways more clearly, if we will ask. If we are to be salt and light as Jesus intended, it will require our asking! Join me in asking the Lord for greater insight into His Word, and into the life He intended for us, so we can live beyond the natural and obtain His supernatural provision.