How 'bout I just quote another blogger today. And how 'bout that other blogger be the inestimable Jared of Mysterium Tremendum. Jared has been reading George Eldon Ladd's The Gospel of the Kingdom. This book has been as important to me as any I have ever read (barring the Bible itself, of course). When I read Ladd, it was as if a light came on. Ladd set me on a path of understanding Scripture, and life, in the light of the reality of the Kingdom's presence. I think I might go so far as to use the very over-used phrase, it changed my life. Jared writes:
This is a call for a theocratic discipleship. Following Jesus is not about adapting His ways to our lives; it is about living our lives with the quality of His ways. It’s about living incarnationally, with the reality of Christ’s Lordship ever-present and bursting in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Theocratic discipleship is about living the kingdom life now, not making do until the kingdom comes.Read the whole post here.
We do still await the consummation of the kingdom, that glorious day still to come. But we live now in the day of the kingdom’s inauguration. Believers are members of God’s kingdom now.
Embracing the yoke of God’s sovereignty means abandoning all that hinders or hurts our relationship with God. It means having no other gods but God. It means that God is in control and we are not and we like that just fine – no, not that we are just fine with that, but that we really, really want it that way, would not have it any other way. Christianity is not effective tools for spiritual growth; Christianity is new life.
Embracing the yoke of God’s sovereignty means praying “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” not just with hope that it will be true, but with faith that it is somehow true already and the love of it being so. It means not just praying that God will do that, but living like God is doing it in you.