Our Defining Priority (3)
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1.13, 14
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble… 2 Peter 1.5-10
Unsure about God’s calling?
We said there are three reasons why we might not be sure that God has called and is daily calling us to enter more deeply His glorious Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Either we still have not shed the familiar surroundings and comforts of our former life; or we’re not sure how to proceed in this wondrous new environment; or we’ve never actually responded to God’s call, but are merely playing at faith in the Lord.
Whatever may be keeping us from flourishing in our calling to God’s Kingdom, we must not ignore Peter’s challenge to “be even more diligent to make your call and election sure” (2 Pet. 1.10). If you are not sure that God has delivered you from the power of darkness and conveyed you into the Kingdom of the Son of His love, then you must not simply do nothing. Hoping one day you’ll feel like you’re really in the Kingdom is no substitute for being diligent to make your calling sure.
If you have truly believed in Jesus, a great reset has taken place in your life—of soul, priorities, values, delights, aspirations, hopes, and daily experience. If you’re not experiencing this reset, but you long for it to be so, then there are some things you can do to realize more of the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The kingdom of darkness
We should begin by making sure we know the difference between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of the Son of God’s love. Let’s look more closely at the former.
In the kingdom of darkness, the light of God barely shines; and where it does shine, because of the grace of God for lost sinners, it is not acknowledged as such. God’s everywhere-abounding-goodness is taken for granted. He is rarely thanked, except in the most superficial of ways. People in the kingdom of darkness insist that they are the source of their boon and blessing; but they’re always ready to blame God when it suits their purposes.
In the kingdom of darkness, the basic question motivating the behavior of lightless citizens is, “What’s in it for me?” “What am I going to get out of this?” “How could he do that to me?” “Who’s going to pay attention to me?” “Do for me?” “Feel sorry for me?” People in the kingdom of darkness have forgotten what Augustine wrote on the opening page of his Confessions, that God has made us for Himself. Our fullest happiness, greatest satisfaction, and most abiding joy and purpose are in giving ourselves to God in all we do. In the kingdom of darkness, life, people, work, things, diversions, and more are all sought for the self, which regards itself as the one true God.
In the kingdom of darkness, words are cheap. We say what we think we need to on any occasion or in any situation to keep good vibes flowing toward us. We lie and stretch the truth, equivocate and exaggerate, and deceive and mislead, scarcely without a qualm. After all, keeping good feelings in our own soul is what matters most, so we do what we must.
In the kingdom of darkness, everyone lives this way, and thus people tend to be suspicious of one another and mostly unwilling to care about others’ needs, except when doing so either feels good or looks good.
In the kingdom of darkness, people aren’t too exercised about the truth. Truth is what you make it. That is, truth is whatever I must believe or do to keep feeling OK and getting what I want, if only mostly. Truth, as they see it, makes them just happy, decent, and friendly enough to get by. But getting by does not describe a full and abundant life.
In the kingdom of darkness, God either doesn’t factor or, if He does, it’s only within a certain niche—and a not very important niche, either, except insofar as occupying that niche meets the subjective needs of those who enter it. Where God should be the supreme focus and goal of every aspect of life, things and experiences serve as idols, promising—but rarely ever delivering—the happiness and meaning people seek.
The great reset
The Christian has left this dark, self-centered, uncertain realm behind. The Christian recognizes that this kingdom is in ruins. It cannot long survive, and all who insist on dwelling there are likely to unravel right along with it when the jig is finally up and nothing can be made to make sense anymore.
Christians have been reset into the Kingdom of God, where righteousness, peace, joy, and power in the Holy Spirit are making all things new in our lives, and where we are on a mission and have a calling to restore to God’s glory and bounty the world Jesus has reconciled to the Father through His life, death, and resurrection (2 Cor. 5.18-20). Everything we do all day long has the potential of expressing and extending the Kingdom and glory of God (1 Cor. 10.31). Nothing that we have is our own; it’s all from, through, and unto Jesus, our King, that we might know, love, and serve Him better day by day.
The Kingdom presence into which we have been conveyed is brighter, more full of hope and promise, and more fraught with power and potential than we could ever completely ask or think. An illuminated path of daily bricks leads us ever more deeply into the Kingdom presence, as we increase in the likeness of and follow Jesus, redeeming all our time for His glory, and offering ourselves as living sacrifices for His glory.
Are you sure about this great reset? Have you experienced it? Are you giving even more diligence to make it sure?
For reflection or discussion
1. What does it mean for you to give all diligence to make your calling sure?
2. How would you describe your experience of living in the kingdom of darkness?
3. Have you been reset into the Kingdom of God? How did that occur?
Next steps – Preparation: Spend time in prayer listening for God to call you more deeply into His Kingdom. What do you expect to hear? How will you respond?
T. M. Moore
A companion book to this study of “Kingdom Presence” is available at our bookstore. Learn more and listen to an excerpt from The Kingdom Turn, by clicking here. Then order your free copy.
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The Great Reset
- T.M. Moore
- June 12, 2023
Make sure it's reset you.
Our Defining Priority (3)
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore