I was reading about division of God’s Chosen people in the Promise Land after Solomon died. The kingdom was split in two: Jerusalem was given to Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. And Israel appointed its own king, Jeroboam.
The House of God (temple) was in Jerusalem, and Jeroboam feared that his people would start to pledge loyalty back to the line of David. So Jeroboam decided to construct two false idols in Israel. He erected two golden calves so his people wouldn’t have to go to the House of God in Jerusalem to worship. Jeroboam wanted something that was granted to Rehoboam, so instead of seeking his own style of kingship, he created false idols (1 Kings 12.27-28).
My fear for Christians is that we see the Kingdom Purposes that God has given to others, and we start constructing Kingdom idols to match theirs. We don’t seek our own kingship of the purpose God has planned for us because we fear that ours will not be good enough. But if we could weed out the lies blocking our view, we would realize that each Kingdom Purpose is equal in beauty and influence.
I believe that we can be deceived in two ways.
1) We look through the lens of our current culture. Our culture has a list of what is considered worthy and great. If something is not popular, famous and beautiful, then it is not worth our time. If a person or ministry does not appear on TV, in several books or on the Yahoo information page, then forget it. It is no good! However, we can not judge a life by what the world says is worthy. We have to rise above popular opinion and find the value in what God has planted in each of us.
2) We look through the lens of our selfish flesh. It is a struggle not to see life through our self-centered perspectives. It is amazing how many times I made plans in the past, claiming they were for God; but in actuality, they were based on selfish motives. We all have a great gift of denial and justification when it comes to getting what we desperately want. God has revealed many selfish motives in my life that I wasn’t even aware of because I was seeing through my eyes instead of His. I built idols for a kingdom that God was not giving me, and I suffered for it.
What I’m beginning to learn is that each of us — whether we influence millions or just a few — has equal Kingdom Influence Ability. Some Christians are called to front-porch evangelism. Some Christians are called to small group discipleship. Some Christians are called to a national Gospel movement. And some Christians are called to a world-wide ministry. We are each designed to work in a certain sphere. Of course, we can jump to different spheres on occasion when the Holy Spirit leads; nevertheless, we still will find more grace and power in the sphere we were designed for.
This thought hit home for me when I read Dr. David Cho’s book, The Fourth Dimension. Dr. Cho is an influential Christian leader who pastors one of the largest Christian churches in the world. He has brought multitudes to Christ through his ministry. But he didn’t become a Christian until he was dying at age 19 from tuberculosis, and he realized none of his local gods could help him.
A young Christian girl (Cho can’t remember her name) came to visit him daily and talked to him about Jesus. She would go over the Scriptures with Cho until he was completely irritated with her. She prayed that he would receive Jesus as his savior and finally — after much effort — he did. Cho was healed out of death’s bed, and he began to direct his life to full-service for God.
This young girl went to a dying teenager’s house every day. She didn’t care about changing a nation; she just wanted to change one man. She worked in the Kingdom Purpose God had given her and look at the results. If Cho had not become a Christian, countless other wouldn’t have found Christ. This young girl is responsible for thousands of souls going to heaven. She might be a nameless nobody in our current culture, but God has established her name and obedience in the records of eternity. With her seemingly insignificant ministry, she has greatly expanded God’s Kingdom.
Are you striving with grace and power in the ministry that God has called you to? Are you embracing the Kingdom Purpose given you, or have you been unknowingly building Kingdom idols? Have you been deceived by cultural trends or your own desires?
“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us” (1 Corinthians 12.4-6 NLT).