Are you a kingdom-builder or a kingdom-destroyer?
Think carefully about the significance of that question before you answer it.
Lately, I have been trying to refrain from “teaching” on Tumblr, knowing what the Scriptures say about it (James 3:1) and not having received any confirmation that teaching is one of my spiritual gifts.
However, during my time with the Lord this morning, I felt really convicted on what I read and studied and I wanted to share it, because I think it’s worth sharing. Maybe not necessarily to convict you (because that is not up to me, but is the Lord’s business), but just to get you thinking….so, think about it: are you a kingdom-builder or a kingdom-destroyer?
I’ve been studying the minor prophets recently, and Micah 3 was my focus for this morning. The basic synopsis of the chapter is about the Lord casting judgment on the current leaders, priests, and prophets of Israel. They had become corrupt and wicked and had lost sight of their calling from God to be His chosen people. Because of this, the Lord declared punishment upon them, which included His silence toward them (v. 4), giving them “darkness” (v. 6), and, ultimately the unbuilding of Jerusalem (“Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins” [v. 12]).
My key focus verse from this chapter was verse 8: “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might.” Here Micah distinguishes himself from the unrighteousness and wickedness he finds in his society. “But as for me…” What we can deduce from this part of the passage is that those who seek the Lord and follow after Him earnestly, to those He will bless with “power,” “the Spirit” (combine them and we get the power of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced at Pentecost) and “justice and might” so that they may have a kingdom focus and do the Lord’s work while on this earth. James tells us that “faith without works is dead” and Jesus reminds us to pray “Your kingdom come, Your will be done” (James 2:!2; Matt. 6:10). Therefore, we can easily see a stark contrast between Micah and the people (heads of society) of Israel; while Micah sought to build up the kingdom (literally, in this passage, the kingdom of Israel) through the word of the Lord, the others strove towards their own gain (“bribe,” “price,” “money” v. 11). Micah edifies Israel through seeking and following after the Lord, while the prophets, priests, and false leaders destroy Israel with their actions.
Remember, “we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Cor. 3:9). If we proclaim Christ as our Savior, we become grafted into His family, and the family business of the Lord is construction and building - to help build and strengthen the Church and its followers as the Lord guides and prompts us, and being a tool He can use to draw them closer into fellowship with their Maker.
So, the questions to ask oneself here are, “Am I a builder or a destroyer? Does my life encourage the kingdom to flourish, or am I leading people astray by my contradictory behavior, and by seeking pleasures for myself and not heeding the word of the Lord? Am I a false prophet by teaching and proclaiming one thing, while my actions demonstrate inconsistencies from the words of my mouth?” (2 Peter 2:1-3). Am I a hypocrite? Am I a destroyer?”
So, how does this then apply to everyday life? Christ-followers need to be kingdom-builders, not kingdom-destroyers. The world has been and is closely watching Christians and their actions, and you better believe that they are seeing some major inconsistencies with what we preach and how we actually live; in actuality, many times they see kingdom-destroyers disguised as a kingdom-builders.
Christians who are more concerned with succeeding in this world than in helping to bring lost souls to the foot of the Cross, who are more interested in conforming to the sinful society that surrounds us than in standing out by proclaiming Jesus openly and boldly - those people may have some serious soul searching to do. The way I see it is, if the world is not condemning me for my walk with the Lord, I would do well to pause and reflect on whether I am truly following Him in the first place.
Paul warns us to “not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12-13). Again, in Romans, Paul reminds us that we are “fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him” (Rom. 8:17).
Indeed, we need to remember that Jesus said,
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:23-27).
Am I willing to follow Christ to this end - indeed, to the end of myself? Willing to face condemnation, judgment, and persecution for Him? Are you?
There are only a select few among the multitudes of mankind who have and are willing to stand out and be different, that the glory of the Lord may be revealed.
So, I need to consider carefully - Which do I want to be: a kingdom-builder or a kingdom-destroyer? For if I am not pursing the Lord with every ounce of my being, facing persecution because of my unquenchable love for Him, following after Him with reckless abandonment, and instead only surrender part of myself and live a calm and complacent existence, not being continually rocked by the word of God - well then, am I really following after Jesus?
Deny yourself daily. Proclaim Christ daily.
To be sure, my faith in Christ is firm, strong, and deeply rooted, but I wonder - how many kingdom-building opportunities have I let slip past me because I was afraid to take up a particular cross?
What I want is to say truthfully and honestly that I follow Jesus into the dark unknown; that my desire to know and be known by Him is my greatest aspiration; that I am a kingdom-builder for His glory.
What I don’t want is to, consciously or unconsciously, be denying Him because I desire to acculturate to what society deems important; be leading people astray in my walk with the Lord because I present inconsistencies and hypocrisies between what I say and what I do.
When the world looks at me, let them see a women who is markedly different from the rest because she has been touched by Jesus - and not for any personal glory or recognition (which, if one is not careful, will run rampant in one’s spiritual walk and cause devastating destruction in the soul) - but for the glory of the Lord, that He may become known among the earth.
The world has enough lukewarm Christians; they need Christ-followers that are scandalously in love with their Maker and are willing to stand up and say so.
Proclaim to the Lord that you are His, that your body is His vessel. instrument, and tool to build up His kingdom in this broken world. Proclaim to the Lord that you will never allow society to dictate what you believe about the Messiah; never allow it change you, corrupt you, or lead you astray. Proclaim that you will never be a kingdom-destroyer.
Would you face trial and persecution for the Lord, because you recognize that following and knowing Him, and experiencing His love and grace, is worth infinitely more than anything this world can offer you?
Are you ready to start building the kingdom?
“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might”
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”