Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Order of the Kingdom

Kriston Couchey 

When Jesus began His ministry on the earth, even John the Baptist questioned whether He was the one they had waited for(Luke 7:19). John's expectations were dashed as Jesus ignored the Roman occupation of Israel, and didn't try to change or gain influence with the religious and political establishment of His day. Instead, He offended the establishment by spending His time loving and bringing wholeness to the broken, the sick, and the destitute, and the outcasts. These nobodies flocked to Him to the embarrassment and anger of those who were in power. His inner circle of leadership were unlearned and poor men.

Like John, many today are expecting God to strengthen the existing political, economic, and religious systems of men; and bless and enhance them with kingdom life. But it is not to be so in this unfolding age. As in Jesus day, a new thing is coming forth. Father Himself is revealing His heart in sons who have left their dependence upon the systems and ways of men to walk as bearers of the Love of God to the broken and destitute. The most powerful force mankind has ever seen is Love made flesh in the form of the first-fruit Jesus Christ. The seed of the first-fruit has germinated and has been growing and maturing and is now bearing fruit; the sons of God manifesting the very heart and Love of God to all of creation with authority. A new order is emerging; it is the order of the kingdom of God, it is an order of the heart of God in His people, it is the order of Love!  

This order of Love is not coming forth to enhance to make better previous systems or works that have been part of an age of sin and death. The order of God that is now unfolding is an order of an age in which sin and death are being completely placed under His feet (you and I are His feet). This unfolding age is being trumpeted from the heavens and the signs of this awesome transition cover the earth. The powers of the earth are shaking and all man has built is cracking and failing. The order of his kingdom is an order of Love that the current political, economic, religious, and military powers of man CANNOT contain, nor can they stop it's coming forth. This kingdom order is emerging in fullness as the stone uncut by human hands turns to dust all nations and their systems built upon the wisdom and works of men. The order of Love coming forth in this day is much different then the order and structure of society as we have known it up till now. Here are some of the differences: 

Man's political and religious systems have placed emphasis on leaders with position and title. While position and title exist in the kingdom, these are simply an expression of the love one possesses. Father gives authority for the sake of expressing love. The gifts are tools to express the Love that God places in His people. In the kingdom order greater authority is expressed and possessed by those with the greatest love. There is coming forth a relational order of love among the people of God that far surpasses titles. Those who have come to relationally express their gifts in self sacrificing love will be given greater gifts and authority; while those who have gifts and authority but have not increased the "talent" of love will find what little "authority" they have will be given to others. Leadership is coming to be known for greater love that far surpasses their gifts. People will honor and follow the love of God in others and not seek to exploit a gift. True love relationships are taking predominance in God's people and the manner in which we have related is drastically changing from that of title to one of love relationship.  

 Religion and the laws of men's governments have enacted rules and requirements for people in an age where sin and death have made it necessary for law to keep people in check. Jesus made it clear that the one who loves God and others fulfills the law. The rules of men's systems are irrelevant when men by nature love each other and have written within their hearts the law of God. This order coming forth is one in which political and religious institutions find they have lost relevance as men and women are transformed by the Love of God. People will no longer need an external controlling influence to live in peace with their fellow man. As in Jesus day, there will be jealousy of the kingdom order of love that invalidates man's institutions; jealousy that will bring persecution. 

Today's economic system is based upon supply and demand, capitalism, free-markets, and usury. The economy of the kingdom is not based upon any of these factors, but is based solely on love. It was love that caused the New Testament believers to give all they had to meet the needs of others, not considering what they had their own. It is religion that has relegated giving to a law of tithe from an age of law, when Father's intent is that the order of love meets everyones needs. Love makes unnecessary an economic system built by man's desire to gain wealth. A new order of love turns to dust and crushes the political and economic systems of men that depend upon natural resources to live. Our Father gives all things abundantly to those who ask, and uses men whose hearts are full of His love to do so.  

What the arm of man's flesh cannot do the love of God can do. While men cannot conquer a well defended city, love can conquer the hearts of the most hardened sinner. God's love is bringing down the forces of darkness that encroach upon the earth. Radical Islam, ethnic strife, and the wars that rage over resources cannot stand against the power of a life laid down in sacrifice for love. No country and their warriors can establish the kingdom with the arm of the flesh. Only the kingdom of God coming forth from His warriors of love can do so. No military was able to stop the spread of the gospel out of the mouths of the early witnesses moved by the love of God. That same self sacrificing love will bring down the very principalities and powers that empower the forces of violence, pride, and greed that threaten to overtake the earth today. 

There are warriors coming forth today out of the most desperate places. Jesus came upon the scene preaching the kingdom to the outcasts, sinners, broken, and weak. It was these that He was able to reach because they KNEW they were in need. It was this ragtag group of people filled with the Love of God that turned the world upside down. These became the leaders of God's army in their day.

Where is this order of Love manifesting today? It is manifesting among the brokenhearted, the cast down, those bound in chains and weak, and those who mourn. It is coming forth from impoverished nations whose people have been oppressed of the devil. Its coming from Indian Reservations among people who have been stripped of their dignity and heritage. It is coming forth from prostitutes finding real love in Christ. It is coming forth from street gangs, from bars, and from prisons. It comes forth in the group homes and halfway houses that cannot correct what Father alone can heal. There is coming forth an order and force of the kingdom that exercises great authority because it is motivated and moved by Love. There is a simplicity in what Father is doing, meeting mankind where their needs are because of His love. Father is calling us to be part of that order, the Order of Love.  

Isaiah 16:1-2 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to preach good tidings unto those who are cast down; to bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those that are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn...

In His Love
Kriston Couchey