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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Real Revolution

The word "Revolution" is one of the most interesting words I have studied. It is a noun, but its very essence is based on action, movement . . . verbage. There are several different meanings, depending on the context of this word. The root seems to be "revolve", which means to spin in a fixed pattern - usually focused on a central object which it "revolves" around, e.g. the earth's revolutions around the sun. In this context, the word "Revolution" takes on great significance, a very important action that sustains life, that gives opportunity for growth. Since I have become a believer in Christ, I am constantly aware of how the natural order we see is really a supernatural design that tells us so much about who God is and what He wants for us.

But enough of that. For now, I want to dwell on another meaning of this word.

Once again, "Revolution" is a noun that, in its essence, embodies action. However, in this context, it means "The attempt to overthrow one government, and replace it with another". I want to examine this with a spiritual light.

There is an overwhelming majority that still believes we live in a world dominated by the Prince of Darkness. I hear or read on a frequent basis about this church or that youth group hosting a Revolution party or conference with its focus on overthrowing this dominant sin culture we breathe in on a daily basis. Honestly, I don't see any harm with doing that. In fact, if these events help us to retain our focus on our King, then more power to them. However, there is a constant trend in these types of movements that bothers me to some degree. Here's why . . .

I see myself, my family, my brothers and sisters in Christ as being part of a Kingdom. Specifically, a conquering Kingdom where our loyalties lie with Christ our King and High Priest. I know of the "great debate" regarding the Holy Trinity, but let's just simply say that we do our best to glorify our Father by allowing the Spirit of Christ to dwell within us and lead us daily. In essence, we have already won the war and are now being entrusted as stewards of the spoil.

However, I strongly believe we are not living the reality of what we believe and are a part of. I do not think we fully grasp our place and significance in this Kingdom. I know . . . it IS hard to see what must be taken by faith. However, our anointing, our empowerment can only come by a proper belief system about who we are. Let me explain further . . .

Not too long ago, I was part of a meeting with some of the best salesmen in our company. We spent a better part of two hours discussing and debating how we can provide the best possible experience for our customers while getting our goals met. Anyone who knows great sales ethics knows that our goal is not the all-important dollar or selling a product just to sell a product. We believe that giving the customer an excellent experience builds loyalty, and loyalty is what brings money in.

After listening and discussing for quite some time, I got up and walked to the marker board, grabbed a marker and wrote a phrase for all to see. It went something like this, "I believe that each customer who I talk to today wants efficiency from me and excellent direction." I then said, "ladies and gentlement, we can have the best products, the best call flow, the best language to use . . . but if we don't have the right belief system in place then true excellence has once again eluded us." People buy what you believe in.

It all comes from our foundational belief system. Tony Robbins calls this "The Birth of Excellence" in his book Unlimited Power. Scripture calls it the Brain Revolution!

Romans chapters 12 and 13 tell us where this revolution takes place. It starts in our mind, develops into a belief system, affects our actions, and then changes the world. My favorite scripture verse is Romans 12:2 - "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." The next two chapters then go on to describe how a Christian should live in this world, but not of it!

The most powerful force on earth is our belief system. Transform your mind, transform the world. The writer of this passage knew what he was talking about. Changed from a torturer and murderer to a believer who traveled the world, he was bitten by poisonous snakes, was stoned to death and raised again, flogged, brought a dead teenager back to life . . . that is transformation! Paul knew the power of revolutionary belief. This is why I do not cringe or bristle when I hear of Teen Challenge or FireStarters or any other crusade center its theme around revolution. I think that, for the most part, these themes are centered around the revolution of belief. I support that. However, I do question what beliefs are being taught.

I would like to see more "revolution" centered on who a Christian actually is. What movement or force does he or she actually belong to. This brings me back to my point on us being part of The Kingdom of Heaven. Remember, we can have the best language, the best format, the best visual effects, the best life style, the best witness . . . but have we talked about who we are? Unless we know who we are in Christ, a facade can form and eventually crumble. This is why we hear of those "saints" who are caught in sin, sometimes sins that have been committed for decades! The facade is not the real. They are unbelievers. They do not see their place in the Kingdom of Heaven because they have bought into the Kingdom of Self.

We can be transformed by the renewing of our beliefs. In a spiritual sense, the only real revolutionary is Satan. I mentioned at the beginning that many of us believe in his Kingdom. Many of us believe and count on a belief that he is the prince of this world, that he has all power, and that angels are constantly battling to rest God's children from Satan's grip. This is not true. Yes, it was true, to a point, before Christ came. However, there are at least two scriptural references pointing to a shift in that power upon Christ's death. I am talking about Rev. 1:18 where Christ tells John, "I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hades."

Also, Matthew 28:18 says, "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth"". This happened after the crucifixion. Yes, Satan is still powerful and is still the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2), but the Bible specifically dictates where and to whom Satan has dominion over . . . . sinners; those who disobey and disbelieve. There it is again. That word "believe" is powerful, even when it's being dissed! If there is any real attempt to overthrow a spiritual government, it is actually our enemy who is the revolutionary. We have already won! We are rulers, conquerors, ministers of the Gospel showing every nation a Heavenly Kingdom here on earth, preparing for a greater Kingdom to come. Wickedness is trying to overthrow us! We are the ones in power, not vice versa! Why else would we be tempted? Why else are we attacked? Why else do we have an enemy.

The Bible is pretty clear about this. In fact, we easily buy into our enemy's fall. His disgrace. We see him tempt Christ and fail. We see him defeated time and again through heroic stories of Biblical proportions. We see him lose and lose and lose, and we even hold an annual holiday celebrating our Lord's resurrection, our enemy's ultimate beat down . . . then read a few verses in Scripture regarding his earthly power (yes, he is powerful in an earthly sense) and beat a hasty retreat, giving him the mile when he's desparately fighting for an inch.

We would do well to take our mind off our enemy's temporal kingdom and focus more on the permanent Kingdom of Heaven to which we belong. Let us transform our minds to the incredible truth of being leaders in the Kingdom to come. Let us teach our children and young people. Let us start new believers on the correct path, showing them what they were and now are in Christ. We are loyal subjects to the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords, the One who brings us our victory!

Let's "man up" and stop living defeated lives. We are more than conquerors.

For God and King!

© Copyright Derek Hickman 2008