The modern church is suffering a crisis of low expectations. We've been trained to believe the world will get worse and worse until Jesus finally comes to rescue His beleaguered church and defeat His enemies once and for all. And 2020 certainly makes that idea seem valid.
But it's simply not true. Jesus left His disciples with great expectations of what His kingdom would do in the world: "You will do greater things!" Jesus promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail.
Jesus told us to pray daily that His kingdom would come. And in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus shows us an outline of how that happens.
"Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen" (Matt. 28:18-20).
It all began with the ascension of Jesus and His coronation as King. "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." And when Christ was crowned as King, He established his oikonomia (royal administration) and delegated kingdom authority to His followers to extend His earthly government.
Jesus assembled His followers as His ekklesia, His kingdom assembly, His parliament, and deputized them as kingdom delegates who represent their districts, their metron ("area of influence"). The local church became a kingdom training center where Christ's fivefold ministry equips believers to advance the kingdom in the world.
The church is commissioned to disciple the nations through Jesus' teaching and baptizing all who believe, thus inducting them into the kingdom assembly and authorizing them to serve as kingdom agents in the world. Baptism signifies the transformation of the believer and their inclusion in the commission to advance Christ's rule over the nations.
The kingdom of God takes root in the heart as believers hear and obey the gospel. "The kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (see Rom. 14:16-18).
The Holy Spirit opens up a well of God's presence within the human spirit, flowing up into the soul (emotions, will and mind) and flowing out of the body as the kingdom manifest.
The believer's kingdom life manifests first in their household. The promise of the kingdom is not just to individuals but also to their children (Acts 2:39). All through the New Testament, salvation came to entire households. And when the kingdom comes to a household, the family releases generational momentum that grows exponentially throughout the nations.
As the kingdom comes in believers and their family, it takes root in society. Culture is transformed as influencers who shape culture are transformed. Every realm of life begins to be impacted by the rule of King Jesus. Family, church, education, business, government, media, the arts, entertainment, medicine, science, technology, on and on.
It's time to emerge from this crisis of low expectations and realign our hope with Christ's rule from heaven. "Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). Great expectations, indeed!
For more on how God is calling you to shatter expectations, listen to the full episode of Kingdom Strategies on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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