It seems that we are living in a season of rebellions, revolutions, resistances and uprisings. Why?
There is a profound discontent all over the world with the governments, their policies and their impact on the common people.
In every case right through history, where there has been a rebellion/revolution, it has been against a government that has proved itself to be:
- Uncaring of the needs of the people
- Greedy, seeking only personal gain
- Lawless – applying laws for self-benefit, subverting laws to maintain power, while the members of the govt. themselves refuse to submit to the law.
- Oppressive and exploitative
So the people rise up, because they hope to establish a government which will be the opposite of the one they have been enslaved by. They hope that the new government will be:
- Caring of the needs of the people
- Seek the prosperity and growth of the people
- Just/lawful – where the law is applied justly, tempered with mercy; where the govt. itself subjects itself to its own laws.
- Engages in dialogue with the people so that systems can be continuously bettered
Why? Why would you want such a government?
When a government cares for its people and is just and free, a climate is created where people can enjoy peaceable lives, trade prospers, the standard of living improves. In this world there is already so much pain and suffering – either through sickness or relationships. People long for peace on at least some front, so that there is a sense of stability and security.
When I read through the prophets, especially Isaiah, I see a picture unfolding of a government, a world system that we are all longing for.
A world in which there is no war,
Where everyone can carry out their trade peacefully,
Where all our labours bear good fruit,
Where we have the time to enjoy the fruit of our labours,
Where there is no more sickness or death,
Where there is no more pain of broken promises,
Where love has made all things complete and perfect,
Where the lion can lie down with the lamb,
Where none will make us afraid.
It is interesting that every author who has tried to create an utopia, finds that it ultimately turns into a dystopia, because of one incorrigible factor – human nature. At some point or the other, covetousness – the desire to be the one in power, calling the shots, enjoying privileges –kicks in, and then the inner corruption of man is revealed.
Who can forget William Golding’s book ‘The Lord Of The Flies’? I think it has to be the most spine-chilling book I have ever read. A group of boys stranded on an island try to work out a system so that each one is fed, protected and taken care of. What happens is that in time, privilege systems evolve, a tyrant emerges and lynch mobs develop. (I won’t say more, because if you haven’t read the book, I think you should get hold of it and read it.)
The sad thing today, is that people desire the original vision and plan of God for life on earth. But we reject His government. We have seen the outline of His blue-print and we are trying to take it and build it our way. It’s not going to happen. We only have the outline. He has the true, complete blue-print.
Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is within us. Meaning – each of us has the capacity within us to decide which government to choose – the government of satan or the government of God.
We have read this a thousand times at Christmas –
“… A son will be given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders. …
His government and peace will have unlimited growth. …
He will uphold it with justice and righteousness now and forever. …’
What if we really accepted the kingdom of God, took Him at His word and we asked Him to govern our thoughts, emotions and will?
Human nature is the greatest stumbling block to utopia – the kingdom of peace and righteousness. Jesus deals with that Himself by dwelling in us and setting to work from within to bring about a government that is just, fair, honest, upright, kind and complete. There is no place for our human nature if Jesus dwells within us.
Day by day Jesus sets about dismantling the ruinous impact of the corrupt decrees that ruled us, guided our thoughts and initiated our behaviour. We experience greater circles of peace within us. We experience greater circles of peace around us, as our responses to situations and people are now being formed by thoughts which are governed by a throne of True Wisdom and Righteousness.
Jesus said that one does not get a light and hide it under a bushel. We have taken it to mean that we should go out and talk a lot about Him.
But I think what Jesus meant was that if you receive a truth, you cannot tuck it away, hoarding it away as a miser hoards pennies. A truth is given to light your path. To become light for others. That can happen only if we allow that truth to shape our thoughts and govern our behaviour. The change in us will bring a ripple effect in the communities where we are. Jesus said that men would look at our actions and glorify God, not that men would listen to what we have to say and glorify God.
If each of us who professes the name of Christ, actually submitted to His Kingship, listened to His voice and submitted to it, the spread and sway of satan’s kingdom would diminish. We would see the kingdom of peace and righteousness (that all the world wants but is rebelling against) being established.
We spend a lot of time whining and protesting against unfair world systems. But nothing is going to change unless we Christians, ourselves begin to truly submit to the kingship of Jesus.
Would people be so anti-Christian if our walk matched our talk? If they actually saw kindness and grace, truth and integrity in the ordinary Christians they encounter daily, and not just in a lonely Mother Teresa?
One day, God is going to require it of us Christians. He is going to ask us – ‘I gave you My Son. Cleared all your debts. Gave you a new life, all that was needed for life and godliness through My Holy Spirit. Taught you every truth that you needed to know, why then did you continue in rebellion to me? Why did you not trust me? Why did you continue to rule your life in co-operation with satan? Why did you cause my Name to be profaned among the nations? Why did you take My Name in vain, if you did not intend to honour me by obeying me?’
We need to stop and think deeply. What would we answer?