A simple question, but the answer isn’t as simple as it sounds. A simple yes or no won’t work.
Obadiah is the shortest book in the Bible but the prophet’s message is a powerful one, one that goes right to the heart of the issue facing us today… deliverance. In Obadiah’s day it was about deliverance for Israel on Mount Zion (Obad 17), which was a precursor of the ultimate deliverance that would take place on the cross. It is a deliverance from the power of our enemy (Satan) in the promise that The kingdom shall be the Lord’s.
It’s a long way from 586 B.C. to 2016 and as we look back over history we rejoice over what God has done… the fact that God has destroyed tyrannical rulers, godless nations, and one evil movement after another. And here in 2016 He is still in charge and is working out His purpose in and through each one of us… an eventuality that is a certain fact… The kingdom shall be the Lord’s. But along the way He has not only been our deliverer, He has been our judge. And He is judging one of the characteristics we were born with and have struggled with all our life…pride. The inner pride that always seems to be based on some outer security that we find in ourselves. As G. Campbell Morgan put it in referring to God’s judgment of the Edomites (descendant of Esau)…
… the very embodiment of practical godlessness, expressing itself in the deification of self, and the conviction that self was sufficient, and that fortresses which it had made for its own protection were enough to protect it against all opposition.
In the end it all comes down to how we judge our achievement in light of “greatness.” Do we measure it in light of what we have done or do we measure it by how much we glorify God? Do we forget forget that…
Col 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Instead of living the goals of self-centeredness, we are to be living out God’s goal for our life. And that number one goal is to make us just like His Son (Rom 8:29). And who has He put in charge of accomplishing that… His Son. When He became our savior and took up residence in our heart we began that process, and it will continue every day of our life. Each and every day as we draw closer to Him we should be showing evidence of the transformation in the fruit of His nature… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. It’s the outward manifestation of our inward righteousness, the righteousness of Christ that He placed within us. And that is the work of the Holy Spirit, but that work is fully dependent upon whether or not we “choose” to allow Him to light a fire on the inside. A fire of holiness whose intensity we control. The sure sign that we have experienced the deliverance of the cross is that fire brightly burning inside us.
Jesus knew that His sacrifice on the cross would be the fire that would enable us to overcome doubt, fear, and the challenges of this life. And He knew that we would be ready receptacles for the fire that the Holy Spirit would bring. Remember the two on the road to Emmaus…
Luke 24:32 And they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”
That’s the fire that purifies, refines, and radiates out from us to warm those around us. It’s the same fire that allows us to love our enemies and reach out to those who suffer. We are in the kingdom to do the King’s will, and staying in close communion with the King of our life is the only way we will know what He wants, when He wants it, and how He wants it done.
Yes, The kingdom is the Lord’s. But if we aren’t fully living, breathing, and functioning in His Kingdom then maybe we better check and see if the reason our fire isn’t burning is because Our Wood Is Wet!