Little Flock Living
Sometimes Jesus just seems contradictory. It’s no wonder that non-Christians and Christians alike have trouble applying Jesus’ words to their lives. In Luke 13, we see Jesus tell us: to fear, to not fear, to not worry like the birds, but to not be lazy like bad stewards, to be like lilies of the field, and then to carry heavy burdens that will divide families. It’s no wonder we sometimes feel a little lost and confused as we try to live like Jesus wants us to live. It seems we all too often get it backwards.
For example, we fear for our next meal or our basic needs, but we don’t fear God. That’s backwards, according to Jesus.
Or, we spend all of our effort gaining earthly wealth, but we neglect spiritual wealth. That’s backwards.
Or maybe we decide to rest like the birds, and so we become lazy and party all the time. That’s backwards too.
Perhaps we decide to not worry for food and so we also decide to not take on heavy burdens our Father in heaven asks us to take on. That’s not the Kingdom either.
It seems that we have sometimes moved so far from the basic design of the universe that we don’t even know how to apply basic values of the Kingdom of God. But, Luke 11:32 says, “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” Yet, this same kingdom passage mentions being drug before rulers, dying, being ready all the time, stewarding service, and following a leader who declares that he has not come to bring peace but division to the world.
Living the Kingdom seems to be a matter of living with the right priorities. Jesus explains a lot of this dynamic by using an analogy of birds. The birds of the air don’t just sit and wait for worms to drop into their mouths. Though the Lord provides for them, they have to also do their part, listening to where the provision is and following that leading. Birds also know the signs of the times and know when to migrate south to where there will be food. The birds know the world is a dangerous place, and they are on their guard, always ready to respond to danger.
Birds also build homes for their young, but they don’t feel the need to build more than necessary to provide safety for their young. They seem to know the balance between stewardship and greed. And, sometimes, birds just bring joy to humans when we humans get to GIVE to the birds so that they will have provision (or just so we can enjoy their presence). If giving to the birds delights us so much, how much more does giving to us, bless our Father in Heaven? This is little flock living.
Perhaps this Kingdom of God is not so complicated after all. Perhaps being a “little flock” gives us more insight into how to live this Jesus life, relate to others, understand politics, answer legal authorities, or relate to hostile family members than it seemed at first sight. Perhaps all of those other complicated things are just that simple if we really do believe that God’s happiness is in giving us the Kingdom. God gets happy! And, his happiness is in bringing us the Kingdom. That one truth alone should help us align our lives to His Kingdom.
Lord, help me to align my life to your kingdom and your goodness. Thank you that it delights you to bring me the Kingdom of God. Help me to walk in that delight and in your ways. Help me to have faith that you will give me the Kingdom of God at home, at work, in my body, and everywhere I set my foot. Help me to walk without worry of provision, in Holy fear of you, and as a good steward of the Kingdom of God.
Senders University (Senders U) at The Journey on March 29th and 30th
What is Senders U? For more info. or to register click here
Dr. Pam Arlund will be preaching at The Journey on March 31st. Come and hear her deliver a powerful message. For directions and service times click here
Dr. Pam Arlund
The organization Dr. Arlund works with, All Nations, has a vision is to see Jesus worshiped by all the peoples of the earth. All Nation’s mission is to make disciples and train leaders to ignite church planting movements among the neglected peoples of the earth.