In Part 1, we briefly mentioned what life in the Upside-Down Kingdom looked like.
In Part 2, lets learn about authority, serving, and the general character and demeanor of a Christian.
What does Authority Look Like when It’s Upside-Down?
Have you noticed how so many people are focused on ‘getting ahead’ in life?
Some people will do almost anything for a short-term change in positioning. Networking is seen more as knowing the right people than creating value in an effort to create lasting relationships. Debt is taken on so that they can look the part more than they act the part. What other shortcuts have you noticed?
Authority in our world takes on a lot of different shapes. For many, it is just looking the part and tricking others. For a lot of people, it is about exerting as much power and coercion as possible to achieve their goals and aspirations. Others just want celebrity, fame, and to be admired. Commanding attention can be everything.
When we looked at prayer in the Upside-Down Kingdom, in Part 1, we learned that it is a weapon. Typically, weapons are tools we use to exact our own aims. In the Upside-Down Kingdom, prayer becomes an exercise of dependence as we allow God to be the one who brings about change.
Similarly, authority is drastically changed.
Authority becomes Servitude
Authority, in the world around us, is top-dogs taking their helm and exercising control & power. Authority in God’s Kingdom gets to be quite a bit different from that.
Authority ceases to be something we aspire to but rather becomes the thing we joyfully submit to. That submitting is what we are called to as Christians and what a powerful thing it becomes.
Trusting God over Myself
How many times do we insist on doing things our way? I would venture to say a lot.
I have had plenty of ideas in time past that I thought would make my life great and wonderful. Plans that would take me to great heights and achievement. What I forgot along the way was knowledge of the Upside-Down Kingdom.
My plans don’t matter so much. And when I look back at all those plans I made up for myself, they weren’t so great. The best things that have happened in my life have been things that have made no sense but were definitely God’s calling. Me moving to a state I knew nothing about to become an associate pastor, a job I had never done before, was far outside my ability to dream. Dating my now wife required an uncomfortable long distance relationship and a lot of trust in God’s plan at first. These things, among others
The moments where I trust myself minimally and God entirely are the moments that make me most alive. But what do most of these moment involve? A giving up of authority and picking up a mindset of serving.
Serving God and Serving Others
When I opt to trust God this leads to me serving Him. Which, honestly, takes you to some really great places in life. Those places typically involve serving the world. The perspective of a sold-out Christian changes from wanting to have authority into wanting to serve everyone we come in contact with.
This desire for serving people is to enable others to become spiritually alive through seeing and experiencing the love of Christ through you. Most people will never care about what you have to say until they know that you care about them. But serving is more than just building bridges to open up dialogue for evangelism. It is living life with them. Speaking about the big truths of the Bible with them. It’s staying on the phone with them when it cuts into personal time. Serving others becomes an uncommon means of grace in their life.
It also means that the talents and resources of your life are used to grow other people’s faith more than your status in society. It’s easy to use what you’ve been given in life as a way for you to gain popularity and attention. But, what is more useful is using those things to serve others.
Uncommon Means to a Life Well-Lived
We’re discussing the things that are easily glossed over. It’s the things that go against the “common knowledge” about how to live a successful life.
What have you learned so far? How can you better serve people (and God)? What are your thoughts?
Portions may have been modified to reflect the different mission and audience of the two websites.