GOD’S ADVANCING KINGDOM – III

 

1      Introduction

 

·         Matthew 4:17  “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”

·         “Kingdom” = dominion or reign of a king.

·         “Kingdom” = realm where a king rules and his word and values are obeyed.

·         Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom manifest in and through people.

·         Whatever you yield to and obey will rule in your life and manifest through you.

·         At the core of kingdom mentality is embracing God’s will and purpose (Matthew 7:22).

 

·         Matthew 11:12  “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence”

·         “Violence” (971 Strongs) = to press in strongly, force ones way into, make forceful effort.

·         “Take by force” (973 Strongs) = to make an effort to enter in, in spite of violent opposition.

·         Every advance of God’s Word and rule in your life is strongly opposed.

 

(i)             Demonic spirits       - 1 Peter 5:8-9

(ii)            Culture                    - Ephesians 2:2-3

(iii)           Religious people     - Matthew 23:13

 

2      Principles for Kingdom Advance – Josiah’s Reformation

 

·         Chronicles 34   Reformation under Josiah

·         Background:

·         Josiah’s grandfather, Manasseh, filled the land with corruption and sin.

·         2 Chronicles 33:4-7  Revival of evil in the land.

·         Josiah’s father, Amon, did even worse evil (2 Chronicles 33:21-23).

·         Legacy of 57 years of corruption, idolatry – no spiritual patterns.

·         Jeremiah 32:17  “Ah, Lord God … nothing is too hard for You.”

·         No matter what a nation’s condition, God is able and willing to change it.

 

 

Key One           Josiah embraced his prophetic destiny

 

·         “Josiah” (2977 Strongs) = founded by God; foundation of God (cf Jesus, Matthew 16:18).

·         God foretold reformation under a king called Josiah (1 Kings 13:2).

·         Prophecy still requires human cooperation – must make a choice!

·         “Right” (3477 Strongs) = straight upright, level it to bring into order, make right.

·         Josiah chose to embrace Godly destiny to make life count.

·         Inner life not crooked or bent – chose high personal standards.

·         “Sight of God” = measuring standard = what pleases God not people’s opinions.

·         Focused life on pleasing God in spite of corrupt family background.

·         “Ways of David – Father”.

·         “Ways” (1870 Strongs) = course of life, trodden path.

·         Father Ţ looked to King David as a model, example, pattern to live.

·         “David” = Man after God’s heart – served his generation (Acts 13:22/36).

·         Cannot use family background, lack of models as an excuse!

·         Example:  Luke 2:49  Jesus – embraced his prophetic destiny.

·         Example:  Personal! – What are you embracing?  What models do you look to?

 

 

 

Key Two           Josiah pursued God’s presence and favour

·         vs3  “While still young began to seek the God of his father.”

·         Made hunger for God a priority – spent four years seeking God.

·         “Seek” (1875 Strongs) = to frequent, diligently enquire, pursue or search for.

·         Focused effort on discovering God’s presence and purpose.

·         Psalm 63:1  “Oh God, You are my God – early will I seek You.”

·         He copied David’s pattern of diligently seeking God’s direction.

·         Example:  Luke 4:14  Jesus

·         Example:  Personal!  What effort are you making to discover God’s purpose?

·         Hebrews 11:6  “Rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

 

 

Key Three         Josiah contended with (religious) compromises

 

·         vs 3-6  Broke down the altars of Baal.

·         “Purge” (2891 Strongs) = to make pure, clean.

·         “Break down” (5422 Strongs) = tear down, destroy, aggressive, oppose.

·         Idol = substitutes for God, ways thinking that dominate people’s lifestyle.

·         Idol = own ideas about serving God; empty, powerless forms of service.

·         vs6   With mattock = axe, sword Ţ word of God striking down idolatry.

·         Demon powers seek to bind people with empty religious forms.

·         Example:  John 2:14-16  Jesus – cleansed temple.

·         Example:  Mark 3:1-5  Jesus – confronted religion that had no care for people.

·         Example:  Personal!  What mindsets, idols dominate lifestyle?

·         Example:  Personal!  What concern for lost broken people?

 

 

Key Four          Josiah committed to build the house

 

·         vs8  Began to repair the house of the Lord.

·         vs8 “Repair” (2388 Strongs) = to fasten on, sieze, strengthen, make strong or able to withstand.

·         vs10 “Repair” (918 Strongs) = to mend a breach or gap.

·         “House of the Lord” = people; the church.

·         “Breach” = gaps in wall caused by enemy assault, attack.

·         Need to restore damage done by sin, neglect, ignorance.

·         Need to restore to God’s original purpose.

·         Ţ   Apostolic shaping and preparation for fulfilling purpose.

·         Ţ  Discipleship (Matthew 28:18-19) – great commission.

·         “Discipleship” = process of shaping people by personal example.  Teaching and involving in ministry experience, so become obedient to Christ and productive in serving Him.

·         Example:  Mark 3:13-15  Jesus

·         Example:  Personal!  Are you being discipled?  Discipling others?