June 4, 2019
Acts 1:6-8 (NIV)
Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Can we be honest?
Instead of jumping on the bandwagon and berating the disciples for “still not getting it,” can we just admit to this day we are still asking that same question?
Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?
Lord, bless my business. Lord, place your favor on my ministry. Lord, protect and prosper my family. Lord, restore the kingdom to our country.
Now, in my best intention,what I am meaning is something like this, “Lord, bless me so that I can be a blessing.” But the reality of the disciples question and ours is more like, “Lord, restore the kingdom to my fiefdom.”
“Bless me so that I may be a blessing.” Yes, there’s a certain wisdom to such thinking and even some biblical precedent to be sure, but I think Jesus is changing the program. The New Deal of the New People of the New Covenant is this:
I will make you a blessing and in being a blessing you will be blessed.
The agenda of the Holy Spirit is not to “bless me” with hopes that I will pay it forward. The Holy Spirit fills us with the power of the love of God to bless all of creation and in doing so, we will experience blessing.
Think about it. Bless me and make me a blessing, or make me a blessing and that will be my blessing.
Restore the kingdom to us? Or restore us to the kingdom?
Subtle distinction. Major difference.
Remember, we are just being honest.
And don’t forget our simple prayer going forward: COME HOLY SPIRIT!
Restore the Kingdom to us or restore us to the Kingdom—see the difference? What would it mean to begin not with your own prayer agenda but with God’s prior Kingdom agenda? What would it look like to stop seeking “all these things” and instead seek first the Kingdom of God, trusting that “all these things” will be taken care of?
For the Awakening,
P.S. Omar did a great job with his reflections on the smaller letters over the last few weeks. It sounds like you appreciated them as much as I did. A book called Between You and Me containing these writings is headed into production and now accepting pre-orders. Get yours here and we’ll ship it to you this fall.