By Steve Haack
Steve is a student leader at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
“What do you want out of your life?” This question was asked to me last night by a close friend. I sat and considered it, knowing that a question of this magnitude merited a deep and sincere response.
It didn’t catch me off guard, because we had already been discussing critical issues, specifically war and how it relates to God’s sixth commandment as well as Jesus’ teaching about loving your enemies. In other words, we were just solving the world’s problems one matter at a time. So finally, I answered…
“I want to be able to look back on my life and know through faith that I, by both word and deed, was personally responsible in bringing the Kingdom of God to earth.
That my life spoke with such certainty, that Jesus Christ is Lord of heaven and earth and came to redeem all people. I want to be able to say that I desired God more than anything else. Not His blessings, nor His mercies, nor even His trials which lead to personal growth, but that I desired Him.”
Right then and there God revealed something to me, so I continued… “I believe that if I am able to say that-that I desired Him more than anything else- then bringing the Kingdom of God to earth will take care of itself.”
Because, you see, that is how it works. Jesus WAS the Kingdom for us and to us; and so, we need to strive towards that same end. Be the Kingdom to your fellow brother and sister, to your best of friends and worst of enemies.
Do not forget, however, where it must start. For it will not begin with good works or deeds, or ministry to your fellow man.
Instead, it will start with a deep hunger for God Himself. Jesus understood this, and constantly drew on His relationship to the Father through prayer and submission, knowing full well that would be the only way His purposes on earth would be accomplished.
Even in his most desperate hour, the Son of God cried out,
“Father…not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Only through this radical obedience, of Jesus’ heart being set on God Himself, was the miracle of Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplished.
The writer of Hebrews puts it this way,
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2).
If we are committed to this as believers, desiring God above all else, and therefore, radically obeying His every mandate for our lives regardless of the ensuing uncertainties, then I fervently believe that He will use each of us to bring His Kingdom to earth.
The amazing part will be to see the infinite number of ways this will manifest itself in His followers.