Please allow me to unfold for you what seems to be an increasingly clear understanding of God’s Kingdom purpose for His people. Referring to himself, Paul states it this way:
But when He, Who had chosen and set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace (His undeserved favor and blessing), saw fit and was pleased [Isa. 49:1; Jer. 1:5.] to reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me so that I might proclaim Him among the Gentiles (the non-Jewish world) as the glad tidings (Gospel), immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood [did not consult or counsel with any frail human being or communicate with anyone] nor did I [even] go up to Jerusalem (Galatians 1:15-17 AMP).
The concept of Kingdom consists of our being awakened and equipped by the new birth (John 3) so that God, as a Father, would be pleased to include us in His greater eternal purpose. He desires to bring us to Himself in order to accomplish what Paul identifies as unveiling, disclosing, or revealing Himself though us. Yes, you! That frail person and personality whom He has chosen to be in the person of Christ. Yes indeed, we do have this treasure in a styrofoam cup!
The biblical presupposition is to secure you with a strong, personal identity that rests firmly and securely in and on Christ Himself. He does this so that when He chooses He can reveal Himself though you by means of your own personality without undue injury to you. When He does, you will have become His chosen instrument! However, if you have not become convinced that this glory is His work in you, then you may be injured by manifestations of pride, becoming puffed up, arrogance, or behavior that is self-agended.
Carl Jung (1875-1961), the famous Swiss psychiatrist, made an astute observation when he wrote, “One of the main functions of organized religion is to protect people against a direct experience of God.” Jesus stated exactly the opposite as His own job description: To take you to My Father. He (Father) loves you in the same manner that I (Jesus) have loved you. His ability to take us to the Father depends upon our reception of this new identity, the one given us in the new birth. If we follow Him, He will set us free.
When the Son sets us free, it is by means of a new, clear, and strengthened identity. This happens by our discovering the uncreated reality of our identity in Christ. Paul appeals to this identity and maturity in Gal. 4:1-6 and Col. 2:10. Nothing you can add or do is able to make this identity more perfect or increasingly complete. Simply follow Christ faithfully on a “journey of discovery,” an incremental and progressive understanding of all that Christ has done to make us comfortable in God’s presence. The authority of faith (John 1:12) allows us to say with courage something not allowed in most places: God is my own Father. Remember, when Jesus said that, He was nearly stoned for blasphemy (John 10:31-33)! Then, He endows us with the same privilege when He teaches us to pray: “Our Father…” (Matthew 6:9).
As ones born of the Spirit, we are the chosen instruments of revealing God’s glory. Thus, the implications of Paul’s statement: “Father chose to reveal His Son in me.” Paul then speaks of his commission to make this new identity known to the gentiles, which includes you and me. We are now invited to use the authority given to say with deep conviction and assurance: “God is my own Father.” To be convinced of this and act on it will require us to get out of the boat and begin to walk on the water! This happens by following Jesus—not by trying to make it happen.
The past and present failure we experienced the last time we tried to get out of the boat, must not cause us to come short of God’s glory which He desires to reveal through us. Our timidity, reticence, false humility, and years of religious coaching make past failure a reason for refusing to obey and respond in the immediate present to who He says we are.
Paul, speaking to us timid, sort of beat up “earth people” says: You have failed? No problem. Father has provided for that. No guilt. No condemnation! (Romans 8:1). With this security in our identity as sons and daughters of our Father, we will, in Kingdom violence, simply get up again and go at this one more time. Oh, how this pleases the Father who never, never lets go. He is the one who said: “Nothing, no nothing can separate you from my love that was given to you in the person of Christ” (Romans 8:38).
Every wise mentor, every serious parent, and effective pastor gives their time and effort to impart and strengthen the identity imparted to you in Christ. The Father waits for us to give Him our weakness in love and freedom. He takes that weakness, passes it through Christ, and returns it to us transformed saying: “In Christ, you can do all things that the Father asks of you”.
The entire Kingdom concept has been described as bringing forth sons and daughters of glory. May we encourage you in this manner: We will not allow past failure to hinder us from the present adventure in the joy of following Christ Jesus.