Keys to Release the Kingdom
How do I cultivate an awareness of the nearness? How do I witness with the with-ness of God? In this next series of articles I want to explore this simple phrase, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand". This was the first title message of John the Baptist and then Jesus Himself. It was also the first title message the 12 and 70 were commissioned and trained up to preach by Jesus when he sent them out into the towns and cities of Israel.
There are 3 main points in this message. 1. "Repent" 2. "The Kingdom of Heaven" 3. "Is at hand". I want to focus on the first point today.
You release what you are aware of. When Jesus stood up on the most important day of the feast (recorded in John 7) and disruptively interrupted the festivities infront of the huge crowds gathered from all over the Roman Empire you know what He is about to say has got to have a fair bit of importance attached to it. He shouted out at the top of his lungs, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!! He who trusts in me ... out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water". You could think of it like this. Come to and receive from Jesus - behold Him, drink in His beauty, His presence, His love. Become aware of, behold and drink from THE River of Living Water Himself, and the next thing you know, by default, without trying, out of you shall flow rivers of living water also.
The disciples in the storm on the sea, they were releasing what they were aware of. The panic and swirling of the storm had penetrated their hearts - they were releasing panic and swirling, asking the saviour of the world, the one who came to bring life, the most ridiculous question he had ever been asked, "Saviour Jesus, don't you care that we're all gonna die?!?". On the other hand, Jesus, Prince of Peace was able to release what He was aware of, and the calm of God within was released against that storm and it was snuffed out immediately. You release what you are aware of.
This is why the first, most powerful message taught to the disiples was NOT tell the nation, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!". It was "REPENT, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" Repent starts with becoming aware. Because if the Kingdom was at hand, and no one was aware of it, then no one was able to release it or even step in to enjoy it. It would just have been an inaccessable Kingdom up in the sky saved for another day or the millenium. So it's not good news. For it to get into the good news category, it has got to get into the awareness, the consciousness of the delegated authorities assigned to release it! That is you and I!
Jesus said, "Lift up your eyes, the fields are white for the harvest!". Well I don't think so Jesus. Yeah right. You trying to tell me that 1st Century Israel and Samaria, steeped in religion and a wrong world-view of God, is white for the harvest? Remember, these so called white harvest fields eventually became the killing fields of the one who is stating this fact.... (Wow, if he called those fields white and ready, what would he say of today in our nation - bulging, glistening white and ready!!) But none the less, if He said it, it must be true. He must have seen that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, he must have been aware of this fact, and whatever you are aware of you release. Sure enough, in Acts 8 this Samaritan city stepped into a city shaking miracle and joy revival.
So, the good news is not that "the Kingdom is at hand!" It is "REPENT, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" It is you and I become aware of this fact, and by so doing that, Kingdom revival breaks forth and our communities and cities are touched with the magnificent reign of the Father's kingdom. As our Father's kingdom spills out, cities become adopted into the royal family. Nations are swept in and the Kingdoms of this world, become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ!
It all starts with awareness. On that note, I wouldn't be putting the Kingdom only into a future season called "Millenium" to stay it from my awareness. I wouldn't be ignoring this reality any longer! You release what you are aware of.