I have much more to say about just how free we are in Christ, but before we get to that, let’s remind ourselves about how the revelation of God works in our lives. In order for the truth we are seeing to transform us, we need to remember how that transformation happens, so that we don’t end up working ourselves into “freedom” by another set of laws.
When I was in grade school, my favorite time of day was 3:30 in the afternoon. School let out at 3:00, and sure, that was great, too, but thirty minutes later was when The Big Show with Max Goodman started. On Channel 5, every day, Monday through Friday, Max brought me a movie. Every now and then he would throw in something I had absolutely no interest in, like a crime drama of some kind, but mostly it was Abbot and Costello or the Three Stooges. Sometimes, though, my brothers and I could thrill for the next ninety minutes to great fifties sci-fi like “The Crawling Hand,” or “The Giant Hila Monster,” or maybe even “Killer Shrews.” Boy, those were the days. Mom knew that on those days, either we would need Salisbury Steak TV dinners on a tray, or she would have to wait until 5:00 if she wanted us to eat with the rest of the family.
The most special of all days, though, would be when The Big Show featured “The Blob,” starring a young Steve McQueen. It was years before we knew that he had actually gone on to do anything else. For us, The Blob remained the pinnacle, the reference point if you will, of his career. I remember watching the Blob and seeing people running, screaming from the movie theater, trying to escape a giant mass of grape jelly. Why? I wondered. What’s so scary about that thing? Well, after I grew up, I understood how horrifying it would be to be run over by an out-of-control gelatin salad, and I knew that I would have run screaming, too. The problem with the Blob was that they couldn’t stop it. It just kept coming. It came under doors, it broke out of compartments, it oozed through windows and ventilator shafts. Okay, now follow me here: to me, the Blob was a giant lump of alien bread dough on steroids. This is what leavened bread does; it keeps going, spreading and overtaking, multiplying itself in whatever vessel it finds itself. 19th century pastor and theologian George Dana Boardman refers to this aspect of the rule and reign of God in saying that it works “pervasively”:
“It is true of each son of the Kingdom. Observe how the leaven of the evangel (the good news) gradually assimilates to itself the whole moral nature- choice, will, reason, imagination, conscience, impulse, habit, plan, every capacity, bringing every thought, feeling, love, aspiration, into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Thus it leavens the entire man- spirit and soul and body. And it is also true of society at large. The heavenly leaven passes from heart to heart, leavening every heart it truly touches. This leavening process is at work today beneath the surface of society on a scale which the world and even the church little imagine.”
This is good news for all who want to see their lives totally and consistently changed by the presence of God. If you want to live a revived life, you need to know that the kingdom of God, his rule and reign, will work in you just as God has designed it to work until you are fully affected, every part of you, by the power of his presence. It will break down walls that you don’t even know exist n your heart. It will break through preconceptions, ungodly belief systems, hurts and wounds, doubt and distrust. This life force of God that we call the Kingdom will overtake you if you let it, and it won’t be like being swallowed up by the Blob, it will change you from the inside out until every part of your heart looks like Jesus.
Again, remember that the Kingdom works the same way in the hearts of others, too. If you feel frustrated because you have been praying for the rule and reign of God to overtake your wife’s short temper and cause her to be more patient, then wait quietly and trust that the Kingdom of God is like leaven. If you find yourself thinking that this Kingdom thing must not be real because your husband still has trust issues, do not despair. This Kingdom will overflow all of his compartments and overtake his whole being, too, if he allows it.
The Kingdom of God is working, and frankly, it will go on working and achieving the goals of God even if we decide not to be involved in changing the situations and lives of those around us. The wonderful thing about the Kingdom, though, is that God has invited us to be a part of a process that He is ultimately responsible for! We get to enjoy the working of the Kingdom, even though He has done all the work.
(Excerpted from “The New Normal: Experiencing the Unstoppable Move of God,” coming December 1, 2011, from Destiny Image Publishing.)