When it comes to the kingdom first life, looks are deceiving.

Success as defined by the world is not a very good indicator of a kingdom first life. I would even say go ahead and take it off of your key indicators list. The character of a person matters more. If they were to lose it all, what kind of person would be left standing in the middle of their loss? Before you tie yourself to someone consider how they reached their level of success. Did they use and abuse people? Simply put, look past what they have and try to see what kind of person they are. There are a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing. There is a lot of deception used that is justified through saying it is for the advancement of the kingdom.

I can see two major things that satan does in order to attack our faith and character, or entice us in a direction we don’t need to go, and he often uses other people to do it. He attacks our stuff, or he offers us a bunch of bling. You can understand how much importance, and unhealthy love people put on possessions just by seeing that is what satan chooses to use in order to either attack us, or entice us.

When we read the story of Job we tend to emphasize all that he lost at the hands of satan; however, satan didn’t really care about Job’s possessions. He was attacking Job’s character in order to get him to lose his faith and curse God.  The attack failed, Job maintained his character, and everything that he lost plus more was restored to him. When things don’t seem to be going your way, when people tell you that you are failing, when people tell you God won’t promote you because your house isn’t in order, when they make accusations against you, when you feel like you are losing it all, etc just maintain your faith and your character.

When you are willing to lose it all to stay true to God, that is when you have it all. If you have Christ you have everything. Your inheritance is not in stuff, or the approval of people, it is life in Christ.

Then we have the temptation of Jesus. “the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” There is nothing to gain in selling your soul. The things of this world are worthless in comparison to life in Christ, and His kingdom. When your hearts are drawn to the things of this world and all of their glory, be vigilant for an enemy could be enticing you. Maintain your faith and character.

Possessions, stuff, money, wealth, etc, they are amoral. They are neither good nor bad; however, how you acquire can be good, or bad. How you use can be good, or bad. How you feel about can be good, or bad. What it becomes to you can be good, or bad. How you present it to other people can be good, or bad.

If satan is attacking you, God will work it all out in a way to benefit you. Romans 8:28

If satan is enticing you onto the wrong path, Jesus is still standing on the right path. John 14:6

God is for you, and I am for you!

 

What cycle are you in?

From my experience there are three primary seasons that we can be in as people, and we walk in these three seasons in cycles. This means that we are always either coming out of one season, standing in one season, or going into another season. These three seasons are the season of climbing the mountain, the season of walking the ridge, and the season of coming down the mountain.

Genesis 8:22-“While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Mountain climbing is hard. A big enough mountain will make you feel like you will never get to the top. It will make you feel like you are always planting and never harvesting. It seems like it will always be the dark, cold, grey skies of winter, and you will never see the warm days of summer. However, if you will just continue to climb when you reach the summit you will find that the cycle of mountain climbing has made you a stronger person. Spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Walking the mountain ridge is beautiful. You get to harvest the awesome view that only the mountain top can produce. You come out of the shadow, and step into the warm beams of the sun. It feels so easy, and natural to praise God while you are walking the mountain ridge. However, if you stay on the ridge the view becomes boring, and you find that it is impossible to grow any further.

So you have to come down. You have to have the courage to climb down the jagged edge of the mountain, leave the beautiful ridge behind, and walk towards the next higher, more glorious ridge even though you know from experience that the climb is going to be hard.

You can’t climb forever with no rest, the ridge produces no growth, and you have to come down before you can get the to the top of the next mountain.

So what do you do in each one of these seasons? How do you overcome the challenges of life? I think it is safe to say that in detail there can be a lot of answers to these questions, but I will also say that I believe there is one answer to both questions. I have found in my life that the answer is to praise, pursue, and trust God.

It’s easy to praise God when you are on the ridge, but it takes true love for your Father to praise Him and not beg Him during your climb. It’s easy to pursue God when you are climbing, but it takes true love for your Father to pursue Him while you are going down. It’s easy to trust God on the ridge, but you have to know HE TRULY LOVES YOU to trust Him during the hard times when you are fighting the climb, and when you are going down.

This is another way to live the kingdom first life. You praise, pursue, and trust God regardless of how comfortable the season is that you are in.

Live your life Kingdom first!

Levi