two necessary tools
How is your faith standing up against the trials in life of late? I guess what I’d like to know is, are you equipped with the tools for building the kingdom of God and pushing back the kingdom of darkness? Let’s take a look!
The first tool in your hand is knowledge of God’s goodness. The beginning place of such knowledge is our respect of the Lord’s sovereignty (See Proverbs 1:7). Some descriptions of God’s goodness found in Scripture include:
- “You are good, and what You do is good” (Psalm 119:68, NIV).
- “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17, NIV).
- “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13, NIV).
The second tool in your hand is experiences of God’s goodness. Think about the times you experienced God’s love… Maybe you were caught up in His presence during a time of singing praises, and you felt His love wash all over you. Perhaps you’ve experienced His complete joy and felt every toxic element inside of you vanish in an instant. Or, have you ever had His peace miraculously still your anxious heart? These types of mountain-top experiences of God’s goodness are markers in our lives.
Have you ever wondered why we don’t live in a 24/7 state of experiencing God’s goodness?
Why must we come down from those glorious moments on the mountain with the Lord? We would rather stay caught up in His glory than to trek through the muck of this world.
Peter, James and John went up on the mountain with Jesus, but like you and I, they came back down. You may recall the scene described in Matthew 17. Talk about an experience of God’s goodness! Jesus beamed in all of his glorious wonder, and Moses and Elijah were before Him and speaking with Him. Three mortals watched these heavenly realities play out right before their eyes. Peter spoke up and offered to build shelters; in other words, he thought camping out in the experience of God’s goodness would be a great idea.
The plan of God while we children remain on the earth is not to “camp out” in the glorious moments of heavenly rapture. Our experiences of God’s goodness are for ministry, not trophies. So, in order to take those experiences into ministry settings, we have to come down from the mountain.
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor…Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (Philippians 2: 2-4, The Message Bible).
I’ve heard it stated this way: “Strength is for service, not status.” God has allowed us to experience His goodness so that we can pass it on to others. Philippians 2:3-4 states, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
So, we’ve done an inventory of the tools in our hands, and I hope that you see yourself equipped to build the kingdom of God and push back the darkness. Having the first tool, the knowledge of God’s goodness, is essential. It is what we fall back on when we go through a valley and we do not feel as closely connected to God as we once did. We’re not supposed to base our faith on feelings, but, inevitably, it happens. There are those vulnerable times when the enemy comes along and asks if God even cares. It happens to all of us, and that is why we employ the tool of knowing. When we begin to declare the truths of His goodness, the enemy flees.
The second tool is one that also aids our ability to push back the darkness and, at the same time, build God’s kingdom. It is through our experiential knowledge of God’s goodness that we lift others out of the pit of despair. It’s an offensive maneuver and one that we are destined to carry out. Jesus is the solution to every hurting heart in the world, and you, my friend, are equipped to bring the heavenly reality to everyone you meet!
Go forth and multiply.