Life doesn’t get much simpler than living, moving, and having your being in the kingdom of Heaven, aka the Royalty Realm. It’s the constant monitoring of self-imposed or others-imposed expectations that wears you down to a sputter and drains the joy right out of your oil pan.
Take Jesus for example…
While Jesus lived His life on earth, huge crowds began to follow Him. He was no dummy. Jesus knew there were ones who only wanted what He could give them in the moment. Others were surely curiosity seekers gathering more fodder for making fun of Him around the dinner table that evening. Still others lived in panic, for themselves or someone they loved. Subsequently, it was fear that drove them to Him. And yet others had a penchant for creating distractions and stirring up a chaotic atmosphere.
Sadly, the multitudes did not believe that Jesus was stronger than their need. Instead, their need – whatever form it took – was like an addiction that required the next hit. Their need was stronger than Strength itself. The simplicity of following Him because of Who he was eluded them.
Scripture tells us that Jesus looked upon the people and had compassion for them. It was not that His heart was not moved for these ones ‘like sheep without a shepherd.’ But in Matthew 5, it was not the multitudes that He addressed with this particular teaching. The Message opens that chapter with an interesting depiction:
When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions.
He made time and created space to teach His committed ones the ways of the Kingdom. As they gathered around Him, He shared the protocols of blessing. Unlike anything they had ever heard or witnessed, His teachings were distilled down to ultimate simplicity. They covered the simple basics on which everything else in life hinged: Love God. Love others.
Even today, such simplicity in following God is largely dismissed or rationalized away. “Life is much more complicated. You simply cannot reduce life to four words.”
But Jesus did. Furthermore, He called it like He saw it with these committed apprentices of the Kingdom:
“In a word, what I’m saying is, ‘Grow up’. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:48 MSG
Sounds rather like He was (and still is) talking to His committed ones like a father speaks to his children.
No wonder He said that unless we become like little children we will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3 AMP)Trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving…does that describe you? Or does it strike you as just too simple?
The Christ-following child who is a committed climber will find they must refute that growing up is just one option of multiple choices.
Both the heart of a child and the character of a mature man or woman go hand in hand. It’s the paradox of the protocol of the Royalty Realm.
Jesus said it best…
You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 AMP
We were born to grow and grow up. It really is that simple.