Are we ready to handle
the keys of the kingdom?
By Andy Zoppelt
God will not give us the keys of the kingdom until we’ve learned to keep our hands off the steering wheel. The keys of the kingdom has many inferences, it’s like God giving us the power and authority over the universe. One could stop the sun, rebuke the wind and waves, hold back the rains, raise the dead, deliver those in bondage, lay the foundation of His body; is there anything that one could not do?
I keep discovering that my key will not fit His ignition switch, but then my hands are on the wheel. Letting go is not easy when pride is hiding its ugly head, there is always something in me that hopes I have the ability to make the next turn for God.
Sometimes I believe I have so much truth He will use me for sure…. It just isn’t so and I am not convinced that I have learned the lesson yet. Oh how it brings tears to my eyes to see my image in the mirror instead of His.
I look for answered prayer, blessings, power, and what do I find? I find Him holding a bucket, not to fill me, but to empty me. I read that these signs shall follow them that believe and fail to realize that God must first establish me in believing: living by Him. Answered prayer may satisfy our lust and selfish gains, but it doesn’t speak of what God’s intentions are. He wants to share His glory, “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, (he did it for a reason :) that they may be one just as We are one.” John 17:22
Is not the Glory of God in the unity of God? Was not the early church first one before it had anything else? What makes us think that our divided interest and our selfish efforts will bring us to a unity “just as” that which God the Father and God the Son enjoy? Go to any meeting and two things you will not find: love and unity. If you think you have it… you have not tasted the Glory of God, nor been given the keys to the kingdom.
We seek fullness and signs and wonders to validate our experience often. Maybe it isn’t that high powered, maybe it is deliverance or an answer to a prayer we have been praying for a million trillion times.
So who gets the keys to the kingdom and shares in His glory? Who will ultimately be one and a part of His remnant? Answer: he or she who is old enough to let go of the wheel and let Him drive. Jesus has been co-pilot long enough.
I must say, and let me reveal my immaturity, I have had many hopes in being used by Him to build His church, but, and here is the “but,” I somehow missed His intentions: He never intended to use a vessel full of itself to represent Himself. He gives a level of suffering to level our highest selfish intentions. There must be nothing of me in His work.
So… are you wondering why you haven’t been given the power to bring in the New Testament church, restoration, body life, answered prayer, etc? Empting must precede filling as believing (living by Him) must precede His giving His glory.
Suffering and death
We approach the cross, we look up at Jesus on the cross and most have not been there. We have crosses on our refrigerators, cars, around our necks and suit lapels… but not so in our hearts. We talk of its centrality, its theology, its foundation to salvation, but when it comes time to get on it and die, we cry out for blessings. We want the blessings to keep up with the Joneses, so we name them, claim them, blab them and grab them, but the real blessing slipped through our fingers…. It was the cross that Jesus gave that we rejected because we didn’t like the humility and pain it represented.
I am glad to say He is not answering my prayers; He is not letting me build His church, cause people to repent. No! He is empting me to fill me and filling me to be one with Him and my brothers and sisters. It hurts bad and deep, but I too must have my Gethsemane. Until such time, I will die in pieces until the whole is given up. No, look for no such great person on this side of the email, for such great persons in our world sit in high honor of authority: kings, presidents, chancellors, CEO’s, etc... It is time to look for nothing, to look for emptiness, to look for those who have died in Him. We are not there yet; the fruit of our institutionalism, division and carnality is evident that we are not ready yet. Many are seeing it afar off, let us not despise the days of small things. Our death is no small thing in comparison to the glory that shall be revealed.
We all suffer, but I am sure you might have caught a glimpse of some starving child in Africa covered with flies and realized how blessed you really are. So how deep does suffering have to go before it is legitimately real suffering? Brothers and sisters, God every day is giving us a level of suffering, as shallow as it might seem in comparison, but it is sufficient to work in our lives if we will receive it. If we will have our daily Gethsemanes we will have our daily death….. and resurrection.
When you are old enough to let Him drive, He will give you the keys.
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