When my children were small I read a book to them called Tales of the Kingdom by Karen Mains. One of the many delightful lessons of the book was that nothing was what it looked like. People saw an old, bent woman, but in the light of truth she was young and beautiful (I especially like that character these days!) There was an old man who jingled with his gardening tools, cruel saws, clippers and knives that cut away lush vegetation, but the reality was that he made it possible for them to bear fruit. A beggar was a prince, an unkempt tom-boy was a princess with perfect aim. Then there were the taxi drivers who always had the power to get you where you were going, even when you thought your path would take you somewhere else.
Life for a believer is somewhat like the fantasy of Tales of the Kingdom. What we think we are experiencing, what others see is not our reality in the unseen kingdom of God… unseen except for clues that we need to learn to see.
But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your Bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:2-6 nkj
One of the themes in Tales of the Kingdom was that the world was living in the dark without power. Those who lived in the Kingdom lived in the light, but to live in the light you had to cherish the things of the light, and stop loving the darkness. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 4 calls it, “renouncing the hidden things of shame,” so that light can shine in the darkness.
King David said,
…He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:3-4
Why does God save us, then leave us in this dark world? Do we still have sin to pay for? I am here to tell you that the Messiah paid the price of your sin in full! You are in the kingdom of light because your sin was fully paid for! 2 Corinthians 4 says it all.
We have a treasure hidden within. There is no map, only the fragrance of who we are in Y’shua-Jesus to lead others to life. If we attempt to blend into the world, no one will notice the fragrance of life, but if we live our life on The Way according to the rules of the road, our bibles, then we will have the fragrance of life that will lead others to life in Messiah. But we do walk through a valley in the shadow of death and no one will ever promise you an easy stroll into eternity.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is The Way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14
Just how difficult is The Way that leads to life? At times it is so difficult that many will think you are under judgment from the Almighty… and you may also be tempted to think the same thing. But if you are a believer in Y’shua (Jesus) then you are walking in the same dark valley, having gone through the same narrow gait as Y’shua did. It was the path Paul spoke of when he wrote,
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed;
we are perplexed, but not in despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed –
always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
…knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus,
Therefore we do not lose heart.
The world is not what it seems to be. The pain you experience in the world is a chance to let the light of Y’shua shine in the darkness of the world, to release your fragrance and lead others to life. Our hidden power is our joy in YHVH. How can the world not know that its attempts to crush us, to put out the light, does just the opposite? Love one another, support one another because we need the encouragement we share…. and press on.
Mrs. Hagerty, November 6, 2015