TAKEN BY FORCE
Jesus pointed out that John the Baptist’s ministry upset the status quo. “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). His preaching of repentance was not at all popular with the religious leaders, and neither is repentance popular today. Several meanings have been taken from this verse, but the purpose of this blog is to focus on what happens in our lives when repentance takes place and we really want God to work.
Throughout the New Testament we are taught that violence is required to deal with the flesh and our stubborn wills. Paul uses the term “put to death” (Colossians 3:5) or “crucified” (Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:20; 5:24). These are words that have little meaning unless we are very serious about wanting the kingdom of God (His rule) to reign in our minds and hearts.
Jesus makes a strong requirement for those who wanted to follow Him; “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). We are not familiar with these extreme measures in a world that keeps telling us to ‘take care of yourself’ and ‘you need to be pampered.’
Those who want to see God work will take drastic steps in order to remove every hindrance. How we arrive at this state of mind is only achieved by prayer, asking God for a spiritual awakening. What you sow to in your mind determines what will grow up in your heart, and then bear fruit in your life.
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