Unfamiliar Life in the Kingdom: Enjoy My Good Gifts
I'll start with a personal story.
We moved to Santa Rosa, CA on New Years Day, 2012. I thought I was going to continue to lead Missio Lux, the church of missional communities I started in 2008, from California just as I did in Washington. After all, we already had missional communities in four different continents, what difference could one state make?
But, Jesus told me I had two new assignments. Start Reclaim Identity Retreats and to “sit on the land.” Identity retreats I understood. He provided the perfect venue for it.
But, sit on the land? What did that mean?
As I questioned him in the weeks following our move, I sensed him telling me, “Don’t try to be in the middle of things like you were in Seattle. Stay here on the this beautiful piece of property I gave to you and let me teach you the ways of my kingdom.”
So I did. Instead of spending hours in traffic meeting people all over the Bay area, I stayed home... a lot. I made it my highest priority to come to the Lord with an open mind and teachable spirit. He loved that and met me with significant new challenges and practices he wanted me to explore and adopt. Some of it was so different than what I was used to, it often made my head spin. However, here’s the reason I found it so compelling that I feel called to share these important lessons with you: Kingdom priorities are simple to implement, but they can literally change the trajectory of your life, and even the course of history.
Your journey will look different than mine because our Creative Creator gave each of us a specific reason for our lives on earth: our destiny; all designed to give our ordinary, regular lives specific purpose that bring us into the hope, peace and joy we all long to experience.
I have to warn you, however, that the change process of moving from my familiar lifestyle and faith practices into the unfamiliar life in the Kingdom was often very disorienting. One summer day I was particularly discouraged and as I stretched after exercise, I asked the Lord, “What am I supposed to do?” His answer, a confusing, “Enjoy my good gifts today.” I answered very insightfully, “Huh?”
Then I felt led to look out into my yard. I sensed him saying, “Look up, what do you see?” “The sun?” I felt his smile as I remembered that almost ten years of life in Seattle often included months of sunless days. Then, I heard, “What’s on your trees?” “Fruit, lots of it....almost ready to harvest.” Next question, “Do you see the pool? Haven’t you always wanted a pool? I made sure this was part of your new surroundings so that as you ‘sit on the land’ you can enjoy my good gifts.” At this point, I knew I had moved into a new land... because my Heavenly Father was teaching me a completely new way to live.
Do you know what? Every day for that whole summer as I asked him what he wanted me to DO that day, he reminded me, “Enjoy my good gifts to you.”
By now, I hope I’ve enticed you to read on as I know you have good gifts in store for you as you answer Jesus’ invitation to “Seek first his kingdom, live the way he teaches us, and everything, all of God’s good gifts, will be provided to you!”
These are just some of the kingdom lessons that he taught me through those three years on the land that We'll explore:
- In the kingdom, it’s all about alignment. It’s not about how hard I work.
- Our Heavenly Father is a good dad who loves to give his kids good gifts.
- Simple kingdom acts have profound implications.
- Preparing the atmosphere makes everything more fruitful and fulfilling.
- We are God’s beloved children, but also his royal heirs who are meant to be trained to reign with him on his throne (Romans 8:14-17, Rev 3:20-21, Eph 2:6)
- The Old Testament is a training manual in the earthly realm for how we are to learn to reign with Jesus the King in the spiritual realm.
- If you are willing to be invisible, you can literally change the trajectory of history.
- True rest happens through reigning with the King through his kingdom ways.
- It all boils down to life with God in covenant relationship and kingdom partnership
Here’s the thing: Jesus always gives us a choice.
He often asked people, “Do you want me to heal you?” He knew what I now understand. Some of us don’t want to change. Some of us are comfortable in our familiar surroundings and lifestyle. Some of us are pretty happy with our current faith practices, so why would we want to explore or live a different way?
But, for some of us, our spirits rise up within us and we say “Yes!” to the King’s Invitation.
We are willing to move into the unfamiliar kingdom realm to discover its upside down and inside out priorities so that we can fully live the life Jesus designed for us.
If you are one who is hungry, discontented, confused, frustrated, disheartened or disoriented, I invite you to explore the new Reclaim Initiative website. My dream is to find the hungry, adventurous, courageous Jesus followers so that together we can move into the unfamiliar territory of the King’s Kingdom and leave our impact on this specific time of history so we can fulfill the destiny for which we were created.
Join us on this exciting journey, so we can explore the unfamiliar together as comrades on the journey of life and faith in God’s Kingdom.
I’d love to hear from you. In the comments, in an email, or even on facebook!
- What questions are you asking?
- Where do you feel challenged?
- Or, do you possibly sense God directing you to do something that is completely contrary to what you’ve always been taught or lived? If so, you may absolutely be on the right track . . . even if it feels so unfamiliar.
When we connect together we know we aren’t alone, that Jesus is with us but even more, there are many, many others who know there’s more and they are willing to dig to discover the hidden treasure of Jesus’ kingdom realm. Get out your shovel and Let’s Go!