Nothing and no one is going to tear me out of the kingdom of heaven, or take the kingdom of heaven from within me. In the midst of an evil world, I fear no evil for “the Lord is my Shepherd.” God desires this confidence for all believers.
“What I feared has come upon me,” Job lamented. But we can live within the safe and secure protection of God’s presence. Remember, God removed the hedge around Job to illustrate the devastating consequences of life without the protective walls that come only from the Father.
Our national walls here in the United States are down because so many in America have forsaken God’s Word. If we return to Him, He will help us rebuild the walls as He did with Nehemiah.
We must not live in fear because “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” The Bible says in Hebrews, the kingdoms of this world will be shaken. The tremors have begun. All kingdoms established by men fail, including religion, tradition, fascism, Nazism, communism, socialism, and even capitalism when we make it an idol. They have all been shaken. Some have totally collapsed. It is my personal belief that free market capitalism is the correct and most biblical economic approach for truly free, responsible people. It offers such great opportunity for success, productivity and even prosperity that it is easily abused when Jesus is not Lord. Never doubt that men who refuse to trust God will continually return to failed systems or try to build another tower of Babel.
If we trust God in everything, we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. It is not just future, it is now. If Jesus is our life, we cannot lose it now or ever. If He is Lord, we possess our possessions because He possesses us and we can enjoy all things richly because He has become the desire of our heart. We have taken up His cross, His burden, His concerns. Remember, the cross is not something we wear, it is something we bear. Believers must not trust “uncertain riches,” but in the certainty of the kind of peace and security only God offers.
In times of shaking or doomsday predictions, Betty and I keep trusting God, loving Jesus, praying for others, helping the poor and living to fulfill God’s Kingdom purpose. When we do this, we experience abiding unshakable peace. Do we ever feel pressured? Absolutely! We just say to the Potter holding the yielded clay of our lives, “Father, shape more Jesus in us. Reveal Your Kingdom now! And may Your peace flow like a river.” Pressure should drive us even closer to God’s heart. Jesus said, “I give you peace not as the world.” He is referring to a peace that only comes from His Father in heaven, just as true wisdom also does.
I recently visited with a man I led to Christ 30 years ago whose house has burned down three times in the last four years – electrical problems, hot water heater explosion, and other unpredictable causes. It broke my heart, but when I talked with him I have never witnessed such peace and trust. He was experiencing a “peace that passes all understanding.” God’s promise to each of us is that “if we humble ourselves in His presence, He will exalt us.”
We do not have to lose everything to find the unshakable kingdom, but we do have to lay all things down before Him and make certain He is first in order to experience the power of kingdom reality. If we lay everything before Him, the shaking and accompanying fear will be replaced by peace that floods our souls and inspires others to trust our unshakable, unchanging Lord. God has freely offered us a shelter in the storms of life and pointed us to the foundation upon which we can build our house (our very life), and it will then withstand the fiercest assaults.
As I prayed for Texas Governor Rick Perry this week during the Inaugural Prayer Breakfast, God led me to close with this sentence, “Lord, help us as believers to become ‘the city set on the hill’ that cannot be hid.” And then I added forcefully, “And will not be hid!” There was a loud chorus of “amens!”
The kingdom of God is present reality demanding personal responsibility. It must not be seen only as a future promise. Believers must recognize the importance of active faith replacing passive faith and lives being lived as warriors and soldiers of the Lord Jesus. The gates of hell can be shaken and will be shaken by believers who refuse to bow, bend or break before the kingdom of this world. We will not be burned in the fiery furnace of life’s many trials because we have the “fourth man” in the midst of the flames. I hear the Master clearly saying, “Fear not! Peace be still. I am with you. I will never leave you or forsake you. I’ve got you covered!” Amen and Amen!