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Faith Imagined: Kingdom Idol

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

May 23, 2010

Kingdom Idol

I was reading about the first division of God's Chosen people in the promise land. After Solomon died, the kingdom was split in two. Jerusalem was given to Solomon's son, Rehoboam. And Israel appointed their own king, Jeroboam.

The House of God (temple) was in Jerusalem, and Jeroboam feared that his people would start to pledge loyalty back to the line of David. So Jeroboam decided to construct two false idols in Israel. He erected two golden calves so his people wouldn't have to go to the House of God in Jerusalem to worship. Jeroboam wanted something that was granted to Rehoboam, so instead of seeking his own style of kingship, he created false idols (1 Kings 12.27-28).

My fear for Christians is that we see the Kingdom Purposes that God has given to others, and we start constructing Kingdom idols to match theirs. We don't seek our own kingship of the purpose God has planned for us because we fear that ours will not be good enough. But if we could weed out the lies blocking our view, we would realize that each Kingdom Purpose is equal in beauty and influence.

I believe that we can be deceived in two ways.

1) We look through the lens of our current culture. Our culture has a list of what is considered worthy and great. If something is not popular, famous and beautiful, then it is not worth our time. If a person or ministry does not appear on TV, in several books or on the Yahoo information page, then forget it. It is no good! However, we can not judge a life by what the world says is worthy. We have to rise above popular opinion and find the value in what God has planted in each of us.

2) We look through the lens of our selfish flesh. It is a struggle not to see life through our self-centered perspectives. It is amazing how many times I made plans in the past, claiming they were for God; but in actuality, they were based on selfish motives. We all have a great gift of denial and justification when it comes to getting what we desperately want. God has revealed many selfish motives in my life that I wasn't even aware of because I was seeing through my eyes instead of His. I built idols for a kingdom that God was not giving me, and I suffered for it.

What I'm beginning to learn is that each of us -- whether we influence millions or just a few -- has equal Kingdom Influence Ability. Some Christians are called to front-porch evangelism. Some Christians are called to small group discipleship. Some Christians are called to a national Gospel movement. And some Christians are called to a world-wide ministry. We are each designed to work in a certain sphere. Of course, we can jump to different spheres on occasion when the Holy Spirit leads; nevertheless, we still will find more grace and power in the sphere we were designed for.

This thought hit home for me when I read Dr. David Cho's book, The Fourth Dimension. Dr. Cho is an influential Christian leader who pastors one of the largest Christian churches in the world. He has brought multitudes to Christ through his ministry. But he didn't become a Christian until he was dying at age 19 from tuberculosis, and he realized none of his local gods could help him.

A young Christian girl (Cho can't remember her name) came to visit him daily and talked to him about Jesus. She would go over the Scriptures with Cho until he was completely irritated with her. She prayed that he would receive Jesus as his savior and finally -- after much effort -- he did. Cho was healed out of death's bed, and he began to direct his life to full-service for God.

This young girl went to a dying teenager's house every day. She didn't care about changing a nation; she just wanted to change one man. She worked in the Kingdom Purpose God had given her and look at the results. If Cho had not become a Christian, countless other wouldn't have found Christ. This young girl is responsible for thousands of souls going to heaven. She might be a nameless nobody in our current culture, but God has established her name and obedience in the records of eternity. With her seemingly insignificant ministry, she has greatly expanded God's Kingdom.

Are you striving with grace and power in the ministry that God has called you to? Are you embracing the Kingdom Purpose given you, or have you been unknowingly building Kingdom idols? Have you been deceived by cultural trends or your own desires?

"There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us" (1 Corinthians 12.4-6 NLT).

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Blogger Michelle said...

Thank you dear, sweet sister! I truly needed to read that! I was just about to sign out of my reader when I came across this.

Have a blessed night.

9:20 PM  
Blogger ********Shelly******** said...

Yes, great post! And something to meditate on as I finish out my day! Thanks for the encouraging words.....

10:39 PM  
Blogger V said...

This reminds me me 1 Corinthians 12:28-30
Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: First are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gifts of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages. Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Of course not!

it is shown we each have a purpose big or small it doesnt matter

3:00 AM  
Blogger Stuff could always be worse said...

I like this part about selfish reasons, so true

8:54 AM  
Blogger Braley Mama said...

That is so neat! When we get to heaven it will be so cool to see how many lives we touched and had no clue about here on earth:O)

9:23 AM  
Blogger Melinda said...

I have been guilty of this, Alisa! I pray regularly that God will help me stay on the path He's charted for me and not get selfish or prideful or jealous of others. I have had the experience of trying to do good things for the wrong motives and the results were not pretty. His way is always best, even if we don't always understand it.

Another great post!

10:30 AM  
Blogger Deborah Ann said...

I love that God has a different calling for each of us, and that even if we do nothing at all, He loves us just the same!

10:57 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

It's amazing the difference one person, who is following Jesus, can make.
Thanks for the reminder.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Together We Save said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Just Be Real said...

I look forward to glory! This is a beautiful post and I thank you for sharing. Blessings.

4:29 PM  
Blogger strokeofliving said...

Hi Alisa, I checked out of blog commenting for a while during the time that I was working on my career transition. This was a lovely post and yes there are different gifts and types of service that we all must pray about and walk in when the spirit says to do so. While my quest continues I do plan to continue writing and being an encouragement myself. I hope that you and Chrissy are well. Granola Bar has been quite busy, good to read.

1:14 PM  
Blogger LisaShaw said...

Alisa, this is indeed a keeping it real message and I appreciate your sharing.

I have often spoken of what you shared in example #1 above especially because there are MANY women who have turned to me in the last 15 yrs of full time ministry and they ask for prayer because they don't feel worthy of God use because they are viewing themselves through the eyes of what others deem as "well known" or "popular" and I remind them that God looks on the inner while 'man' looks on the outer.

If we focus on the LORD and His headship and leadership then everything will fall into place and we will take our eyes off of what people say or think and the MORE we focus on GOD the less we think of ourselves and that's always BEST!

Praise the Lord! Glad I was able to visit your beautiful blog today.

Hugs and blessings!

2:22 PM  
Blogger Linda Wichman said...

THANK YOU! You have no idea how much I needed to read this...right now!

Yesterday, our missions pastor spoke about the 'Great Commission,' and the selfishness among so many Christians to not share the Gospel. Why do we think it's someone else's job? Not! All believers are ordained by God to be embassadors of His Kingdom. We're commanded to 'GO' every day of our earthly lives. Whether it's a next-door neighbor or someone halfway around the world, one seed of faith feeds a nation.

3:28 PM  
Blogger angelonwheels said...

Your post reminds me of thay verse in Gal, that says we should examine our own work so that we won't have to compare ourselves to others. I'm parapharsing of course!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Lynda Young said...

It's so true that we tend to judge the worth of everything through society's lens or through our self-centred lens. God's vision is far clearer than ours. We have to trust His perfect sight and value everthing and everyone He sends our way.

2:42 AM  
OpenID dulceheart said...

Once again, 'Gracias!'. Your post comes right on time for me.

Since moving back from missionary work in Mexico my mind has been bambored with lies from the enemy. I know in my heart God has great things for us, according to His plans and timing - not mine, the culture, or even other Christians.
You mentioned our culture but I've felt even from brothers and sisters in Christ who ask "What's next for you?" Like, there has to be another 'level up'?

Not sure if I make sense, but I do know this Word spoke to my heart.


2:34 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I am so glad I just found your blog to follow. I love and agree with this post, and it definitely brings holy spirit accountability to mind. Thanks for sharing. I have a love for words and writing and just started my blog as a ministry to help people overcome obstacles and negative emotions and move towards joy, health, and healing in our homes. Would you stop by and consider following me back? I would so appreciate it. I look forward to reading more of your posts. And please don't hesitate to offer any constructive criticism, I have been out of the loop for some time with my writing. Blessings :)

9:54 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Excellent points to ponder!

11:57 AM  
Blogger Janis@Open My Ears Lord said...

Excellent post. Well thought out and well written! Something I need to seek the Lord about again. Just where and how does He want me to minister?

Blessed by Him,

2:03 AM  
Blogger Dean Spencer said...

Thank you for sharing. I ran across your blog through Google Reader and it is obvious that you have a gift. Keep on writing. God is using you.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Margo Berendsen said...

A very good article - I like then new insight you gave me into Jeroboam and Rehoboam: "that we see the Kingdom Purposes that God has given to others, and we start constructing Kingdom idols to match theirs." And I love the story of the girl who faithfully shared the gospel with Cho.
What an encouragement.

3:31 PM  
Blogger LittleWomen21 said...

I just left the above comment, then realized I signed in with the wrong account! But maybe God's way of saying I needed to thank you twice for your excellent post!

3:33 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

How easy it is to see another's talent and reach and desire it for myself. But I also know that God sees all and knows all, including the motive in our hearts. If He calls me to minister on a smaller scale, I want to be obedient. If He enlarges my territory, that is up to Him and not me.

Great words of wisdom.

Blessings and love,

10:59 AM  

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