“There's three people here tonight who need Jesus,” the minister had said at the close of his sermon. After two people raised their hands and a long eerie silence prevailed over the congregation, I raised my hand and proclaimed, “I am that other person.” With that confession, I became a Partner with Jesus in His Kingdom here on earth, as I described last week.
1. You Must Be Born Again – The first step for entering into partnership with Jesus. My old life passed away, all things became new, as His Spirit took up residence within me. (John 3:3) (2 Corinthians 5:17)
From the pages of His Word, I listened as He spoke intently on: “The Kingdom of God is here;” “The Kingdom of God is in your mist;” “The Kingdom of God is among you.”
Each time He spoke those words, there was a manifestation of His power RULING and pushing back Satan’s power to steal, kill, and destroy God’s people.
When Jesus healed sickness The Kingdom of God was ruling
When Jesus cast out demons The Kingdom of God was ruling
When Jesus turned the water into wine Jesus created more
When storms came up Jesus rebuked them
When death occurred Jesus caused resurrection
As a new partner with Jesus, I experienced a profound peace, and I even had a few prayers answered. “Praise the Lord; The Kingdom of God was ruling in my life!” But, I have to admit, I wasn’t laying hands on the sick, casting out demons, and doing the big stuff Jesus did like He said I would do. (John 14:12)
And then it happened: I was brought to the second step of partnership.
2. Seek First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you - This is a place for the moment of truth. (Matthew 6:33)
- It works like this in our natural world: An athlete can train all day, but the race is where the rubber meets the road, and they'll know how good they really are - a moment of truth.
- It works like this in our spiritual world: “Take up your cross and follow me!” (Matthew 16:24)
Like most Christians, I prayed and sang the old song,
I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord
Over mountain or plain or sea.
I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord
I'll be what you want me to be.
My moment of truth came as I heard Him whisper, “Do you really mean that? If so, I want you to leave your teaching career, and follow Me to a new place."
And thus the dialogue began, or I should say, a monologue began with me making excuses as to why His timing was off.
Me: “You see, Lord, this year my husband was out of work six months. Thankfully, You gave him another job, but we're still trying to recover from those months of unemployment."
Me: “And you know, our daughter will be starting college in the fall; no way we can pay tuition on one salary.”
Me: “And another thing, my pre-believing husband just wouldn’t understand.”
Me: “Besides, Lord; Christian teachers are needed in the public school system. If you don’t mind me saying so, I believe I am making a difference in these kids' lives. I love teaching. And quite frankly, I went to college four years to earn this degree; it would be a shame to give it all up, don’t you think?”
This monologue went on for months while the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit persisted. Finally one day, two scriptures starred me in the face, and that is when Jesus broke His silence.
- Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Jesus explained this to me by saying, “As you pick up your cross and follow me, I will add all things unto you that you are so worried about. I will take care of college tuition, your retirement plan, and feed your family as I did the sparrows. As for your love of teaching, I am not asking you to stop teaching; I just want you to change the courses you teach."
- I have set before you life or death; a blessing or a curse; choose life. "No, Martha, you are no longer under a curse, but you are under the blessing. And I want to bless you; I want to use you to bless others. But, it is your choice.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
So, just like Abraham, by faith, I left a comfortable place and went out into a foreign land-----
and that is when the devil came upon the scene and
begin to try to steal, kill, and destroy me and my family.
Good News: “The Kingdom of God was in our mist;”
Next week, more on The Kingdom of God and what happened next.
In the comments, tell us areas you feel nudged to pick up your cross and partner with Jesus.