The Power and Challenge of the Kingdom of God (continued)
The Spontaneous Challenge of the Kingdom of God Through the Church (continued)
You see the point for us. It all carries in that, it is all summed up in that. What is our real business here? Is it to propound doctrines, expound truths, give out volumes of interpretations of Scripture? NO! Whatever place that may have for edification, for instruction, it will all be unprofitable so far as real spiritual effectiveness is concerned, unless the kingdom of God is coming through - that is, unless there is the real registration of the fact that Jesus is raised from the dead and is Lord. It is no use saying that, unless you can say it in the power of the Holy Spirit. "No man can say, Jesus is Lord, but in the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:3). That does not mean that you cannot use the phrase "Jesus is Lord," but there is something more in saying than using words. When God said, "Let light be," there was light - and that is the kind of saying that we are thinking of - a saying which is a fiat, an impact. One man may say, "Jesus is Lord," and while it is quite true, the doctrine is correct and sound, nothing happens. Another man in the power of the Holy Spirit declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and you feel something, you are conscious of something coming through of God. Now, this is not the privilege only of Apostles in the ecclesiastical or official sense. This is for the Church, and you and I are the Church in representation. Oh, that our prayer should be the impact of the Kingdom upon that other kingdom! That is what my heart cries for; for prayer should not be a list of petitions, a lot of things asked for, but there should be something done behind things. In all our teaching, though it may not be instantly seen, there should nevertheless be a steady work going on which is producing lives in the power of the kingdom - people becoming factors to be reckoned with by the enemy. It is the only justification of all our teaching, that those who receive it shall themselves become in turn factors which are marked by the enemy; of whom, as we have said before, the demons can say, "Jesus I know, and -so and so - I know." It ought to be that we are known to the enemy by name as people to be reckoned with, to be taken account of, and not included in the category of those who do not count - "but who are ye?" (Acts 19:15).
The matter which occupies the risen Lord is the kingdom of God. It is the thing with which He would occupy His servants. The kingdom of God - not some framework of a temporal system, but the kingdom of God - is not in word, but in power; not in eating and drinking but righteousness in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). That is the kingdom of God; and you and I, dear friends, are in the very happy position of being included in that former statement of the Lord - "There are some of them that stand here, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God." That is our privilege - to see the kingdom of God, and for the kingdom of God to come through us with a sense of Divine power. That is the heart of things. I have said already that all the rest we are talking about in these meditations gathers round that.
(continued with # 34 - (The Importance and Power of Letting Go to God)