Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy Kingdom come…
Our Father desires a relationship, not a religion. It’s about spending time together, getting to know each other (he already knows everything about you, the very number of hairs on your head. (Luke 12:7) It’s not about doing the right thing, the right way all the time. It’s not check off this box and this one and you’re good. It’s not just what we do, only what we do, we’ll never do enough, we’ll never be good enough, we can’t earn grace and forgiveness. We can only receive it through grace. Zombies don’t get cured by keeping the rules, only by G.R.A.C.E.
The foundation of that relationship with our Heavenly Father, through Christ, is grace and worship. Think about it. You do something against your father, you disobey him and now you’re angry at him cause he disciplined you. You’re grounded, time out, no privileges. Now there’s a wall between you guys, a wedge in the relationship. That wedge is your anger or frustration or any negative feeling you have towards him. Now that foundation of a relationship has a crack in it. If you build on a cracked foundation… you get it.
Matthew 5:21-24 Jesus says “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother (or anyone) will be subject to judgment…Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you (or vice versa), leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift.” For our Lord desires love, not sacrifices.
That scripture is saying it is more important to go and talk to your brother, your father, whomever, before you approach the altar of God. Before we approach our Heavenly Father we need to be free of any negativity against anyone. You’ve heard it said that we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Our Heavenly Father is not going to build on that foundation if it is cracked. We’re not going to grow until we solidify our foundation and the way we do that is to go and be reconciled to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Because of the sacrifice of Christ we can approach God, but we aren’t going to grow until we work on fixing the cracks within us.
In summary: The Kingdom of the enemy operates on evil, darkness and negativity. These are things like hate, anger, lust, greed, etc. We are against these things and we attack that Kingdom by surrounding it and blaring our trumpets in worship and praise and it is our worship that knocks the walls down and then we move in. We must march forward, steadily advancing the Kingdom of God and we do this by worshiping him, praising him, keeping our eyes and our hearts on him. So to hold onto anger and unforgiveness towards someone is to do an act that is of the Kingdom of the enemy. We don’t support that Kingdom or it’s actions. Is it always easy to forgive? Of course not. Is it asked of us? Absolutely. (Ephesians 4:32) If you don’t spread the grace (G.R.A.C.E.) that was given to you you will be in danger of becoming a zombie. (See previous blog series) When we execute an act of grace or forgiveness or love we’re not only building up the Kingdom of God, we’re simultaneously tearing down the Kingdom of the enemy. When you claim territory of land you take it for yourself and take it away from someone else at the same time.
But this battle for the Kingdom of God isn’t so easily fought. Jesus said “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2) Notice, he says repent, ask forgiveness first. Then he says the Kingdom is near. Get rid of the darkness within you because the Kingdom of Light is coming and the Light will overcome the darkness. Be free of darkness. But wait, if the Kingdom of Heaven is near… What exactly is the Kingdom of Heaven?