From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it. (Matthew GW)
The Kingdom is so much bigger than conversion. Of course, if you are going to be saved at all – I mean saved initially – you will have to mean business for that. You will have to make it a desperate matter, because there will be everything to stop you. But the Kingdom means a very great deal more than merely getting into it, far more than being converted. There is a great deal more in the purpose of God for our lives than we have ever imagined, and if we are to enter into that, violence has to characterize us. We must desperately mean business, and come to the place where we say: "Lord, I am set upon all that Thou dost mean in Christ. I am set upon that, and I am not going to allow other people's prejudices or suspicions or criticisms to get in the way; I am not going to allow any man-made system to hinder me; I am going right on with Thee for all Thy purpose. I am going to do violence to everything that would get in the way." It calls for violence, and we have to do a lot of violence to get all that God wills for us.
Oh, how easily many lives are side-tracked, simply because they are not desperate enough! They are caught in things which limit – things which may be good, that may have something of God in them, but which none the less are limiting things, and do not represent a wide open way to all God's purpose. The only way for us to come into all that the Lord means – not only into what we have seen but into all that He has purposed – is to be desperate, to be men of violence; to be men who say, "By God's grace, nothing and no one, however good, is going to stand in my way; I am going on with God." Have that position with the Lord, and you will find that God meets you on that ground. No men – not even Paul himself – knew all that they were going to know. Paul was constantly getting fuller unveilings of that unto which he was called. He received something fairly strong and rich at the beginning; then, later, he was shown unspeakable things (2 Corinthians 12:4). He was growing in apprehension. But why? Because he was a man of violence. God meets us like that. "With the perverse Thou wilt show Thyself froward" (Psalm ). That, in principle, means that God will be to you what you are to Him. He will mean business if you mean business. There is a vast amount in the Kingdom that we have never suspected. Do believe that.
By T. Austin-Sparks~