As Pentecost is approaching and churches all over the world will be celebrating the revival of the Spirit, the Lord impressed upon my heart a few things we need to keep in mind so that fire revival is not just a day but a movement. As Christians, we want to see our world transformed by the kingdom of God on earth, but that means we have to participate. What does participation look like for us in the arena of transforming kingdom culture?
The answer is simply that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2).
So, what needs to be renewed in our mind? We need to be renewed to how the kingdom of God works on earth. The church has been given the tools to do this through the word of God, worship, the spiritual disciplines such as prayer, but no matter how much God supplies we must take the initiative to realize it is our choice to leave the world behind as a church and begin to walk in kingdom authority and rulership on earth.
1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV) says, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
The Lord showed me during worship that His church needs to repent for not walking in the kingdom of heaven on earth. Since the church is the highest authority of the kingdom of heaven on earth it needs to begin to change its mind as a whole. Repent simply means to change your mind. The church does not walk in the authority God has given us. We as a church are constantly submitting to the things of the world and the strongholds of the enemy that come from the second heavens, yet He has already raised us up and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6), Yet we do not act like a force to be reckoned with, but we are constantly distracted by enemy interference in our own flesh.
God spoke to me that His church must repent and change its mind about its very identity and purpose on earth. He gave me a vivid picture of Jesus in the heavenly realms scooping His arms down on the earth lifting up whole people groups and nations and continents to come up to where He is at. He had joy as though He was saying, "You all are loved by me and have my authority, please act like it."
The word in Matthew 3:1-3, says: "In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight."'"
When John the Baptist was making a way for Jesus to come on the scene and impact the earth, he asked the people to get their mind right. He was warning them they were going to see some things that are different now that the Son of God was on the earth. They needed to think different. So he called for repentance.
Then when Jesus came on the scene, He says in Matthew 4:17, "Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Jesus is saying He has come and so has the kingdom of heaven now. He was telling them get your mind straight because I am here now.
Now since He has risen, He tells us the same thing, as His church is the body, and He gave us kingdom authority as He states in Luke 9:1-2: "Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick."
As He walked, He preached, and we as the church are in Him now. We are forgiven, we are redeemed, we are resurrected in Him. Yet we don't act like this has taken place at all. We are still messing with lower level devils and having our lives ruled by fear, shame, guilt, worry and anxiety.
A new kingdom culture has arisen and God is asking the church to begin first to live in it, yet we are so fearful and focused on our old ways we are not moving into all He has given us.
God wants the church to recognize it is a leader in the world because of Him and what He has already done, and not to cower down to the forces of evil, but forge ahead in who we are in Him. This is a universal church issue.
In order for kingdom culture to rule and reign on the earth, we must repent as a church for a mindset that doesn't foster kingdom culture. We are citizens of heaven on earth, but we must act like it.
We are living so far beneath our privileges. As the church, if we don't begin to live as we are in Him, then culture will not change around us. We have been given the highest authority from God Himself for change to be made manifest in the earth, but we have to truly believe and act on it.
So many churches are living so far less than kingdom dominion and rulership, and so the nations cannot change until we repent and make a commitment to live like we are citizens of heaven.
A lot of the church body want to just talk about kingdom citizenship and respond from a laissez faire attitude that this is just a nice way to think. That is simply the wrong thinking holding the church in bondage, as God cannot rule and reign here until His body really believes who He is and who we are in Him. We have to be proactive in our thinking.
A kingdom culture cannot be made manifest until we repent and believe that it is God's desire for us to live above and rise above. We say it but we don't do it. When the going gets tough, we retreat again to our old ways of thinking instead of making this new way of thinking our life blood.
God wants us to live life to the fullest, but we can't with the mentality of poverty thinking and lack of focus, where we use our poor weapons of control and manipulation to rule and reign. We must repent and change our mind and decide to live as His body which is full of Him and full of life and joy as the kingdom of heaven truly is, as stated in Romans 14:17: "For the kingdom of God does not mean eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
We as the church of Jesus Christ have an obligation to bring a kingdom culture to our earth, and He has given us authority to do so. Let us repent and have a change of mind and simply ask God to help us to think as we should and act like it, so that we can prepare a place for Him here. A fire revival is coming and the church will lead first through repentance, holiness and His righteousness.
Dr. Candice Smithyman is the founder of Dream Mentors International, a biblical life counseling and coaching educational organization that teaches and trains educators and coaches in the specialty of life coaching. She is also founder of the Glory Road show, where she hosts weekly interviews that are seen on internet TV, Facebook and her YouTube channel. Her ministry website is available at candicesmithyman.com and dreammentors.org, where people people can become credentialed biblical or transformational life coaches and receive biblical and transformational life coaching for every area of their life. She is also co-founder of Freedom Destiny Church in Orange Park, Florida, along with her husband, senior pastor Adam Smithyman.
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