Maybe I don’t want to be a conqueror in Christ, I just want to live in peace and security and love - with others and with God. Isn’t it enough to live in harmony with the world and with God? I don’t want to struggle with X or conquer Y, I just want to be happy and I want others to be happy as well. I want to serve God in the small things, in a smile or handshake at church. Can I just do that? I don’t have to win, I just want to live my life to the fullest.
LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST
When I think about living life to the fullest, I image a wide range of possibilities and the freedom of venturing into the world. Life on earth has so much promise and potential, however, the fullness of life in the kingdom of heaven is unparalleled in promise and potential to what we experience on earth. The kingdom of heaven is a parallel universe and, perhaps, that is why it is difficult to image. Jesus spoke often about the kingdom of heaven because his perspective was different, he came from that “parallel world”.
THIS IS WHAT I WANT
When we talk in terms of “what we want” and “this is life to me”, we are most likely missing out on a wide range of possibilities in the kingdom of heaven. If we want peace and security, that is good but do we know the Prince of Peace? If we want to be loved and to love - that is even better - but do we know him who is love? If we desire the harmony of fellowship, we desire what God is creating but do we know how he is uniting all things to himself?
CLARIFYING OUR TERMS
What does it mean to live victoriously in Christ? It most certainly does not mean to win in competition with others. Victory in Christ is what we experience when we are born again to a living hope and able to live in the Spirit of God because we are born of the Spirit. Victory in Christ Jesus is victory over sin and death, and it is victory into life and eternity. We do not conqueror as those who seek temporal victory over our environment on earth. Christ did not come to conquer the earth and subdue its power and authority, instead he came to fulfill the mission of his Father to save those who are called and chosen and keep them in faithfulness to the end. Likewise, our aim is not to conqueror the ways of the world or master the keys to material prosperity, but we are called to lives of godliness and to imitate the eternal ways of our Savior.
When we are filled with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we are able to obey Jesus’ commandments and live not to gratify ourselves, but for God's purpose and for those whom he has placed in our life.
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ESV
When we are controlled by the love of Christ and producing good works, we are living victoriously and being prepared to gain possession of our inheritance in heaven.
WHAT IS OUR INHERITANCE IN HEAVEN?
Our inheritance will depend both on God’s purpose and our behavior on earth. In the kingdom of heaven there will be a diversity of jobs, responsibilities and positions as well as degrees of authority. As God’s children, we will serve him, inherit all things and reign with him. Some will judge the tribes of Israel and rule over cities and others will have authority over nations and angels. To one degree or another, we will be involved in managing God’s creation.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV
Heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs-heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:16-17 ESV
The saints will judge the world.
Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 1 Corinthians 6:2
Authority over the nations...
The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ Revelation 2:26-29
WHERE YOU’RE FROM IS NOT WHERE YOU BELONG
Our citizenship is in heaven.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20-21
Indeed, we are on our way to the celestial city and much awaits our arrival. May you be strengthened in the strength of his might as you put on the full armor of God and live according to the Spirit of God within you. To learn more, read the article "Theology and Scripture: why memorize and meditate?".
Peace be with you.