Thursday, December 31, 2020
The principles of God’s Kingdom are many times upside down from the principles by which the world operates. They don’t seem rational to the person who is not controlled by the Spirit of God. The philosophy of the world for human existence is dictated by self-preservation and self-advancement. That stands in stark contrast to God’s principles of spiritual life which are grounded in self-sacrifice.
My heart is heavy with the reality that so many people are trapped in the bondage of the world’s way of living. We get easily ensnared in the pursuit of personal gain. We become enamored with wealth and power, employing our energy to advance and secure both. Bitterness caused by unforgiveness builds walls, and only people who agree with us are allowed access to our lives. The pursuit of personal gain has minimized our awareness of the needs of others. But the worst condition we have is that we justify such behavior as beneficial, normal, common, and acceptable to the social majority.
But God’s Kingdom principles turn our behaviors upside down if we follow them. Mary refers to one such principle in her song of praise found in Luke chapter 1. As she proclaims the ways in which she has seen the strong arm of the Lord in action, she declares, “…he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.”
Mary explains an eternal principle of spiritual life in the Kingdom of God: Pursuing what the world offers ends in emptiness, while remaining empty and pursuing God results in being filled with eternally good things.
The applications of this principle are too numerous to illustrate. The Holy Spirit is already convincing you of where it applies to your personal pursuits in life. My prayer is that you will listen to Him speak to you, and make whatever changes He suggests. There is nothing that this world can offer you that will be carried into God’s presence. There is nothing you can gain from this world that will produce the security you seek. There is nothing to gain from this world that can save your soul.
Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?(Mark 8:34-37)
Mary praised God because she trusted that He would always provide good things to those who come to Him hungry. May we learn to praise God in the same way. Do not come to Him with your good. Come to Jesus with nothing, and He will give you His good.