23 Jul 2012
In the past few days I have been reading a book, Culture of Honor, by Danny Silk. A reoccurring theme of his work is delineating the difference between a kingdom view and a natural world view. One illustration of this difference is the disparity between what Elisha saw and what his servant was initially able to observe in II Kings Chapter Six.
2 Kings 6:17 (AMP)
17 Then Elisha prayed, Lord, I pray You, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
In our day we tend to see almost exclusively only what the world sees. We have sharpen and developed our world vision with the blinders of scientific training and ego driven goals to the point that little kingdom vision is probable and perhaps even less is regularly occurring. Few of us are regularly praying for God to open our eyes so that we can see. This, it seems, is because we have developed an incredible stupor of confidence in our ability to see and understand. Have we reduced the Holy Spirit’s perspective with our puny intellect to fit it into to a beaker and placed it over the Bunsen burner of our pride?
Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians sheds a little light on a number of differences between a Kingdom perspective and the perception of our natural world.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (AMP)
26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth.
27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.
28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
29 So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God.
30 But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].
31 So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in the Lord.
This is only a part of Paul’s argument that God’s kingdom perspective is vastly different than the common view of the world. Note that Paul’s proposition is being made to the Church at Corinth. He is not making this argument to the world, for they would not be able to understand it. He proposes that we who are called by the name of Christ must understand and begin to function from this critical Spirit illumined perspective.
Paul details and contrasts God’s values with those of this world. He makes it clear that what is greatly valued by God is understood as foolish or weak or insignificant in the eyes of this world. Somewhat subtle in this passage but fully developed in other parts of scripture is the idea that pride and boasting quickly devastate the spiritual connection between God and man.
God’s ways are not our ways. Do you have trouble keeping this in focus? I do. It seems that we have a strong tendency to want to depend on ourselves and on our own understanding even though the bible specifically tells us not to do so. Do you think that we can effectively serve God while we are not seeing things accurately as they are seen from heaven? It seems without some strong internal help from God’s Spirit we are doomed to see things askew.
Yet the corrective lenses of heavenly point of view are not beyond our grasp. God has provided for us the opportunity to observe life from His kingdom view not totally unlike Gehazithe servantof Elisha. While we may not see chariots of fire as a daily occurrence God has in the person of His Holy Spirit given us the capability to see things from a heavenly point of view.
1 John 4:13 (AMP)
13 By this we come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we abide (live and remain) in Him and He in us: because He has given (imparted) to us of His [Holy] Spirit.
Paul in his letter to the Corinthians continues:
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NASB77)
1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling.
4 And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5 that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
This seems to strongly suggest that Paul not only had a heavenly view, he incorporated this view by faith into every fiber of his ministry.
Paul then moves to the subject of wisdom that comes only by the power and work of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:6-10 (NASB77)
6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory;
8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
9 but just as it is written, "THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
10 For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. (emphasis added)
How can we pray in accordance with the will of God except we have the insight of the Spirit directing us? Of course we have the written word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit that is interpreted by the Spirit so that we can understand the mysteries that are right before our eyes. We have the work of God that is going on around us, like that work around Elisha, but we need kingdom eyes from the Spirit to see His work. Can you imagine any kind of prayer that will not be enhanced by the direction and kingdom perspective of the Holy Spirit?
Paul in his letter to the Ephesians directs them to pray at all times in the Spirit.
Ephesians 6:18 (NASB77)
18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints
When we pray directed by the Holy Spirit we enter in to an entirely different arena of prayer. If we allow the Holy Spirit to completely direct our prayers we and hold back nothing of our worldly ideas and perspectives, we are praying on Holy ground. In this place we have the full force of the God Head forming and filling and preparing to answer our prayers.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (AMP)
11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
I believe that those today who are seeing things from a Kingdom perspective are seeing both our need and God’s desire to bring revival to our land. May we encourage you today to take time to listen to the Spirit, meditate patiently on God’s word, and pray with fervent perseverance that God will bring revival to our land?