The Things from the Kingdom of God
The Word of the Scripture tells us to seek the upper things from the Kingdom of God, and not the things below, which can be found on earth. (Therefore if you have risen with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is; Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Colossians 3:1-2)
But to seek these things from above, the main condition will be to know them. We sadly notice that for many, the Kingdom of God and the things within it remain a mystery and they fail in ever getting to know them. (Things which the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, nor have entered into the human heart, so are the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9)
Lord Jesus gives us as an example the city of Jerusalem, which did not get to know the things He brought – things that could have given it peace. (If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. Luke 19:42) By this statement, Lord Jesus warns us most severely about the fact that many of us will be in the very same situation.
The things of the Kingdom of God are also known in the Scriptures as the upper things/things from above, the things of God/the things of the Spirit. These things are an authentic image of the nature of this Kingdom and the heart of God. The things of the Spirit are with the same as the things of God; we can see them by looking at the fruit of the Spirit in one’s character, which is: abounding patience, kindness, peace, love…
These things from above, which God has prepared for all of us to walk in, are complete nonsense to the spiritually dead/worldly man; that is why he will not follow them, since he is unable to understand them. (But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him. 1 Corinthians 2:14; read also Matthew 13:19)
No one will agree on giving up an old thing which works in this life for a new thing from the Kingdom which one is not understood and that will cause trouble; Nobody will ever give “everything they have” for something that they do not understand the value of.
If we look closer, we will see that many of those who are convinced they know God and that they are “born again” naturally use opposition/resistance,
(starting verbally with words, and ending even with the justice system), which they use in solving many of their problems in this world; they also do not see the reason for giving it up. However, if we want to be abounding in patience, and to truly know God, we will have to give up any type of resistance. For those who have not yet learned how not to resist the one who harms them, we can tell them from our own experience that this is the only way they will arrive to the blessed situation of experiencing abounding patience, but at the same time be a doormat for many.
Many have heard about the fruit of the Spirit, but few have experienced the pursuit for the things of the Spirit. By only hearing about the things from above, we will not manage to get to know them, we not to get to know them through our own powers. Only by keeping the commandments of Christ and experiencing them can they become known to us. (The goal of the commandment is love. 1 Timothy 1:5; And love is life according to His commandments. 2 John 1:6)
The natural man flees from suffering and from humility… but this is in fact the way of knowing God. Let’s put ourselves in the situation of being the employee of a boss who insults us, does not pay us our full salary, forces us to work harder… What would we do? Would we look forward to this opportunity of cultivating abounding patience in us? Or would we be dissatisfied and resist him whenever we would have the opportunity, telling everyone what a difficult situation we are going through? (Consider it all joy, brothers, when you encounter various troubles, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James 1:2)
If someone offends you and makes you angry, what will you do? Will you take water in your mouth so you won’t be able to talk, as some teach us today? Or will you not resist, as the Lord teaches us? This is the only solution in getting to know abounding patience. (When you do what is right and suffer for it and patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 1 Peter 2:20)
If we do not understand the nature of the Kingdom to which we are called to, we will certainly not sell everything we have, neither will we give up the old things for the things from above. This will only happen if we love the abounding patience that is part of the things from above and if we will seek it as a treasure. Only then will we get to know it, only then will we come to know the heart of God. (And this is eternal life, that they might get to know the only true God. John 17:3; And put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:24)
If we won’t keep the commandment of the Lord that tells us not to resist those who harm us, we will not end up experiencing abounding patience, much less the peace, the blessing, love… (Do not resist the one that does you evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him as well. Matthew 5:39)
Without abounding patience, you will not be able to bless those that curse you, you will not be a peacemaker and neither will you be able to feed your enemy. We also won’t get to know God, who is full of mercy and compassion, slow to anger, and full of goodness. (Exodus 34:6); “The Lord is abundant in patience.” (Psalm 145:8)
If we have not yet sought and walked after these things from above, then we may question whether the Holy Spirit dwells in us, since those who live by the urges of the Spirit walk by the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:6)
We cannot speak of a new beginning if we have not rejected the old things and do not love the new things of this Kingdom. (If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, for new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17)