Spiritual Growth: Choosing To Be A Kingdom Reformer
Are you ready to join the revolution and confront the powers of darkness? When I was a young man raised in the church, many were taught to withdraw themselves from the world. The message was clear: if you enter the world, there is a possibility you could become corrupted. We were taught that the world belonged to the devil, we were “just passing through,” and our focus should be on holiness and the imminent return of Christ. We were to focus on the rapture that would save us from our troubles. The gathering away of the saints off the earth to enter heaven with Jesus before the great tribulation was our great escape.
Spiritual growth helps you see what others can't, hear what others don't, and do what others won't. The born again believer has been endowed with a “delegated sovereignty” both natural and spiritual. As the clash of kingdoms continues, we can choose to respond in a number of ways. We can surrender, withdraw, compromise, be indifferent – or become Kingdom reformers. The choice is yours.
When I was a young man, raised in the church, many were taught to withdraw themselves from the world. The message was clear: if you enter the world, there is a possibility you could become corrupted. We were taught that the world belonged to the devil, we were “just passing through,” and our focus should be on holiness and the imminent return of Christ. We were to focus on the rapture that would save us from our troubles. The gathering away of the saints off the earth to enter heaven with Jesus before the great tribulation was our great escape.
It wasn’t until the ‘80s that we began to look at our spiritual authority as believers to challenge Satan’s rule. With that challenge of darkness and the subsequent victories that followed we began to recognize our ability to take control of our lives by using the Word of God as our “sword” (Ephesians 6:10-17). This was a restoration of the truth of spiritual warfare, or the authority of every born again believer to confront the powers of darkness and win.
According to Jessie Penn-Lewis, author of “War on the Saints” 3 in collaboration with the famous Welsh Revivalist Evan Roberts, spiritual warfare is wrestling against the powers of darkness and is part of the Christian’s governing authority. She writes,
“It is only possible to wrestle against the powers of darkness, by the spirit. It is a spiritual warfare, and can only be understood by the spiritual man, that is, a man who lives by and is governed by his spirit.”
Spiritual warfare is a clash with demonic rulers when a believer attempts to establish the Kingship of Christ in the spiritual realm. We have two battlefields – dominion of the earth and dominion in the spiritual realm. Dominion over demonic powers is easy. Scripture says, “Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee.” Jesus has already disarmed all principalities and powers for us (Colossians 2:15).
Now 21st-century believers are waking up to the fact that the world belongs to Jesus, and He has given us dominion authority and a responsibility to be good stewards of this earth. It is clear that the born again believer has been endowed with a “delegated sovereignty” both natural and spiritual. Scripture says,
“Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:5-6).
Let’s look at our Christian responsibility like this – response-ability. As the clash of kingdoms continues, we have various choices of response. We can surrender, withdraw, compromise, be indifferent or become Kingdom reformers. Let’s examine our choices more closely.
Surrender, withdraw, compromise, indifference or reform. You choose.
The first option on our list of responses is to surrender. When a believer doesn’t want to oppose the railing opposition to their faith in Christ they have the option to hoist the white flag of surrender, forego their rights as believers, abandon their post, and give up. Scripture says,
“Whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
When one surrenders to their enemy, they lose all their rights, property and control over their destiny. Jesus did not call us to surrender our faith in Him and bow to our enemy.
Some believers would never go so far to surrender their faith in Christ. Instead, they withdraw themselves from the battlefield of faith. They lose touch with true humanity, the plight of others, and the needs of an anguished world. This act of retreat is nothing more than self-deception and the road to spiritual defeat. Scripture declares,
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
When a believer withdraws they remove themselves from participating in the battle for dominion and the reestablishing of Christ’s Kingship. We can liken the word withdraw to an attitude of one who retires. Retirement is never an option in the Body of Christ or for you. To withdraw from the battle is grounds for a court marshal and jail time.
The next option for a believer is to compromise their faith. To compromise means to make concessions with the enemy. Some may think they would never do that, however, consider that one definition of the word compromise means to “settle for less.” Anytime we attempt to shrink back from the warfare for dominion we are actually selling out. Scripture says,
“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38).
This Scripture is not referring to drawing back from your salvation but drawing back from the warfare that faith produces. Every believer must “fight the good fight of faith” and faith includes corresponding action. Compromise is not an option.
Then there are believers that are indifferent to the world around them. They think if they just ignore the battles of life the warfare will go away. After all, they say, the world belongs to Satan. So they are hyper focused on escaping to heaven. This escapism attitude produces a fatalistic spirit seen in believers who intentionally avoid any active involvement in the battle for righteousness. An indifferent person attempts to remain neutral with no feelings for or against the struggles of mankind.
Another definition of indifference is “one who is neither cold nor hot.” Jesus had some stern words for the indifferent (Revelation 3:16). As kingly believers indifference is not an option. We can never ignore what we are called to conquer.
The final response can be to join the restoration of all things and stand among those change agents called reformers. All believers are called to run to the battle line to exercise their kingship authority and take dominion of this earth.
Scripture is replete with the stories of those with a reforming spirit. Caleb and Joshua, for example, had a “another spirit with them” (Numbers 13:30). Jesus said that we were to be “salt” and “light” to this world. As a priesthood of kings, we have “response-ability” as good stewards of this earth to establish the Gospel of the Kingdom, the rule of God, throughout the entire earth.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is the reestablishment of Christ’s dominion, culture, and rule on this earth through His Body, the Church (Ephesians 3:10).
Let us be like young David who ran to the battlefield with a reforming spirit. When he heard the challenge of Goliath and saw the fear on the faces of God’s warriors he boldly asked,
“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that would challenge the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26).
As believers we are not living in two realms on the earth. We are living “in the Kingdom” while invading the “kingdoms of this world.” This world belongs to our King Jesus. There are many Scriptures that make this clear including:
- “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1)
- “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.” (Psalm 50:12)
- “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” (Exodus 19:5)
Jesus asked this question to His revolutionary recruits: “Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?” Now He’s asking you the same question. Who do you say the Son of Man is? Clearly He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You are a citizen of an everlasting Kingdom. You have been given some clear options in this teaching. You can join the revolution to confront the powers of darkness or you can compromise your faith. I am sure you have been stirred with faith to do something great with your life. Jesus said it best,
“The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Jesus asked this question to His revolutionary recruits: “Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?” Now He’s asking you the same question. Who do you say the Son of Man is? Clearly He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You are a citizen of an everlasting Kingdom. You have been given some clear options in this teaching. You can join the revolution to confront the powers of darkness.
Christ’s Kingship rule has arrived. Change the way you think, believe the Good News, and let the revolution begin!