I’m excited to preach tonight at Resolution. Aaron was gracious enough to let me come in and speak to the students. It means a lot. Ever since I was a college student Resolution has always been important to me.
The title of the sermon is the title of my blog for this week. A couple of weeks ago I was lying in bed reading the Word and the Lord gave me revelation on His Kingdom from Ezekiel 1. Let’s start off with a little historical context of Ezekiel: EXILE! The nation was on the brink of complete destruction. The Babylonians (under the command of King Nebuchadnezzar II) attacked Jerusalem in 597 B.C. and exiled over 10,000 people. Interesting that Daniel and his three friends were among those exiles…more to come next week on that. The nation of Judah was rebellious and their punishment had finally come to pass.
I remember talking to an agnostic at Jax Beach (previous blog: I Don’t Want to Change) about Jesus and he couldn’t understand why the God of the Old Testament was mean and judgmental while the God of the New Testament was kind and full of love. I told him that when we read the Old Testament we have to realize that God is true to both His promises of blessings and of judgment. You can’t fully understand the love of God until you understand the justice of God.
In the beginning of Ezekiel we see a 30 year old man (Ezekiel) that is living in a place he doesn’t want to be in. He is in a completely different land, with different languages, and different customs. He is lost…and then BOOM! The heavens are opened and he sees visions of the throne of God. The Kingdom of God was revealed to Ezekiel and it was a catalyst to him becoming a prophet to the exiles living in Babylon. Although he was subjugated by the throne of King Nebuchadnezzar he saw another throne that symbolized the greatest power in the universe. Ezekiel was under the control of a foreign kingdom and conquered by a ruthless king yet his eyes were opened to see that there was another kingdom that was far greater than the one he currently lived in. (See Ezekiel 1:26-28)
But If I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.
A couple thoughts on the Kingdom of God: First, it precedes the power of God. When Jesus showed up on the scene the power of God went forth. The bible says he healed all kinds of sickness and disease. Why did this happen? Because the Kingdom of God is the rule of God manifested in Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God took on flesh and bones and made His home among us (John1:14). That is the beautiful thing about God and His Kingdom…it’s not a distant Kingdom that we have no knowledge of; it is a Kingdom where we citizens intimately know the King.
I want to live by the power of God, but in order to have the power I must bow down under the rule and reign of Jesus…daily. My heart must be submitted to His Lordship. The Kingdom of God must arrive before we receive the power. Is God’s Kingdom power and authority present in your life? True believers have been transferred from darkness to light, from slavery to freedom, from guilt to forgiveness, and the power of Satan to the power of God.
We have been rescued from a rebel kingdom to serve the rightful King. Our conduct should reflect our new allegiance! When the rule and reign of Jesus is present in every area of your life then you begin to receive the blessings and benefits of that heavenly citizenship. Is all the pain gone? No, but I look forward with great expectation that one day He will wipe away every tear from my eyes. It’s the ideal of hope that Jesus symbolizes. It drives me and comforts me in whatever this dark world comes up with.
I pray that God’s Kingdom arrives in your life with great power. Let us let the rule of Jesus encompasses our stony and stubborn hearts.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.