It is a safe assumption that there are two kingdoms that compete for our affections daily – the kingdoms of this world and the Kingdom of God. One insist on dominance (the world’s way), and one offers a quiet solution by an entirely different standard (the Kingdom of God). It should always be our intention to leave the kingdoms of men while submitting to the government of the Kingdom of God (Daniel 7:27). The Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing, but only (spiritually) violent men take it by force. The spiritually violent are those who realize there are two competing forces, and desire with their whole heart to be measured by Kingdom value versus the world’s way.
The word paradox literally means a situation or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities. In other words, one situation or thing seems to contradict the other. The Kingdom of God is paradoxical – two things are happening at one time. “How will a man receive the Kingdom of God? Through much tribulation” – Acts 14:22. A great natural analogy is that of a storage battery. In a battery, it takes both the positive and negative connection to produce power. This is an example of the power source of the Kingdom – a negative producing a positive. Often our negatives are designed to produce a positive. As Arthur Burt has often said, “God allows in His wisdom what he could have prevented in His power.” Adversity is often our gateway to power. Problems guard power. God’s wisdom is always available in our hour of greatest need, as often the impartation of wisdom is life changing. With God’s wisdom, we become empowered over the problem (forever) – overcomers. The problem is designed to empower us with God’s wisdom to such a degree that we overcome, and now able to assist others overcome the same or similar problem. Impartation is a major characteristic of the Kingdom.
The steps of a righteous man are ordered by God; and all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Could it be that there is a divine purpose in the challenges we face? If we are called to the Kingdom on earth, there is no doubt that there is ‘purpose’ in our challenges. Overcoming testimony is the result. “How will a man overcome? By the blood of the lamb and the words of his testimony” – Revelation 12:11. Overcomers, mentioned in the Book of Revelation, are the desired result of our Kingdom journey.
In the Kingdom, two things are happening at once – negative circumstance producing a positive result (if we are looking for it). The problem is often we are not! Do we see one thing in the course of negative circumstances, or do we see two? The paradoxical nature of the Kingdom invites us to see two: the negative is obviously what it is, but is there another side to negative circumstances? In the paradoxical Kingdom there is. There is a source solution, a flow of wisdom, and empowering over the problem we face. Seeking to understand the Kingdom in the circumstances of life, we often encounter empowering direction in the form of God’s wisdom, grace, and guidance.
Experientially, there is an enemy to walking in the fullness of this phenomenon. It is our own traditions – preconceived mindsets, paradigms, religious doctrine, and thought processes. Often God is speaking (in our challenges) yet we leave no room to hear him. We are bound by what ‘we think.’ To engage this process we must abandon some of the thoughts we have held sacred. Scriptures teach “The traditions of men make the word of God to no affect.” Some of the greatest truths come through crushing and painful circumstances – death to old mindsets. Our way must bow to His way! Life is birthed in death; and the pathway is cleared for His truth to come flowing in.