Self Life – An Enemy To The Kingdom!
By Clay Sikes
As the light of God continues to brighten through an awakening people in this dark world, the forces of darkness, assigned to shut down that awakening, are also at work. They exercise, through our flesh, a shutdown of all God intends to do (through us). A powerful center of this attack is focused upon a yet unsurrendered part of our humanity – a part that clings to ‘self.’ The need to look out for ourselves denotes a lack of trust – it is a diabolical enemy of the advancing Kingdom in us. Man dependency (often self) is the old nature and of the world; just as God dependency is of our new nature and a product of Kingdom citizenship. To the extent one depends upon God, to that same extent is he walking in the realm of Kingdom government.
‘Rights’ are an entitlement issue. ‘Responsibility’ is a Kingdom issue – one decidedly wrapped in our old nature, the other in our new nature and Kingdom citizenship. Rights always focus on me, my, I; responsibility always focuses on God (always asking what is my spiritual responsibility is this situation)? When my concern is always ‘rights,’ seldom can I see spiritual responsibility in the same circumstance. A very important truth can be added: The two cannot occupy the same space! Circumstances don’t make us, but do reveal us. Arthur Burt taught, God allows in His wisdom what He could have prevented in His power. If indeed “all things are working together for my good,” I must exercise trust and discernment when circumstances arise that seem to work against me…the test is on, my steps are ordered, I MUST PASS THE TEST!
As the ever advancing Kingdom continues to rise and ‘awaken’ us, so too are we called to “shine” in our rise – there is purpose in the rise, even greater in the shine; yet many remain hung in suspension between the ways of the world (self life) and the ways of God (Kingdom). Being ‘hung up’ keeps us from rising up, and able to shine up (demonstrate the gospel through our lives). Our ‘hang-up’ is our inability to let go of self-preservation; clinging to a ‘rights-mindedness,’ virtually erasing our spiritual responsibility and subsequent growth in that very same situation. The spirit of entitlement is now pervading the earth as never seen in world history, yet as the world and many Christians are hung up on entitlements, many Kingdom citizens are learning Kingdom assignments by first accepting Kingdom responsibilities in situations they face – the test is on! How will a man receive the Kingdom of God? Through many, many test and trials – Acts 14:22. The test are many until we quit fighting to self preserve. Once we die, we can live and walk in the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven – John 12:24. Every seed must first die that it might live and reproduce after its kind.
The word Kingdom and the word government are synonymous terms in most biblical uses, as the Kingdom in us is on full display when we walk in peace, righteousness, and joy in the Holy Spirit. When these three are nowhere to be found, somewhere along the way we strayed from the government of the Kingdom within us. This is costly; this is error but has consequences for our good if we attune our ear every time peace, righteousness, and joy escape us. In other words, the mistake can be our launch pad for growth if we simply recognize ‘why’ the peace, righteousness, and joy left to begin with. Often the culprit is turning to self instead of God. Situation after situation after situation comes UNTIL we finally surrender, and ultimately see God can be trusted in “all things.” When this point comes, we begin to see our spiritual responsibility in “all things;” as we surrender any and all rights in those same situations. The Kingdom arises, we shine through a demonstration of the word made flesh; bringing the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. God brings destiny if selfish ambition does not block it. You cannot loose for winning in the Kingdom of God…it is the privilege of the saints of the Most High God (Isaiah 54).