And they brought unto him (Jesus) also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” (Luke 18:15-17).
Jesus answered and said until him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
The purpose of being born again is to see the kingdom, or, as the Amplified Bible explains, to see the kingdom is to, “know, be acquainted with, and experience” the kingdom of God.
I have come to believe that trust is perhaps the main thing required to see, know, be acquainted with, and experience the kingdom of God (or sometimes it is referred to as the kingdom of heaven). You cannot experience kingdom living to any greater degree than the amount of trust you have in God.
I used to think that I trusted God. That is, until He put me through about four years of intense and severe tests and trials and nothing seemed to work to bring relief to these situations. I prayed, I confessed the Word, and I took authority over situations, utilizing all the faith I thought I knew how to operate in. But it seemed that the more I implemented principals the great faith teachers of the twentieth century had taught me, the worse things got!
At the point of my desperation, I told the Lord, “You can have it all. My business, my house, my wife, and my dog.” Then I added to this declaration, “I know your voice and I’m going to continue to obey you even if it cost me everything.”
It nearly did.
As I was lying on my couch very early one morning in the spring of 2003, unable to sleep, the Lord spoke to me very clearly and said, “Put the ball back in My court.”
It was the first time He had ever spoken to me in a cliché.
I said, “Lord, I didn’t know I was carrying the ball, but I will put it back in Your court. I’m not doing anything else until You do something.”
All this took place about 4:00 a.m., and by 7:00 a.m. that morning things had begun to turn around for the better.
However, this was not the end of the tests and trials. Rather, it was a moment of enlightenment when I began to understand why I had been going through the tests and trials.
I realized that I didn’t really trust the Lord very much, nor did I know Him very well. And sadly, this was thirty-three years after I became born again and was baptized with the Holy Spirit!
Eventually, this process He was subjecting me to led to a point of total surrender; complete abandonment to His plans and purposes for my life. And it was at this point when things really began to turn around for the better.
I realized my trust (or lack thereof) had been based on circumstances. I began to see that real trust has nothing to do with circumstances. Real trust goes beyond circumstances. I came to understand that until we can say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (see Job 13:15), we don’t really trust Him.
Dear saint, this is total surrender and complete abandonment to God, and until you reach that point, you don’t really trust Him—you just think you do.
And until you reach that point, you cannot see, know, be acquainted with, or experience the kingdom of God to any great degree. You may talk of the kingdom and you may think you live in the kingdom and the kingdom lives in you, but in reality, you only know the kingdom positionally; you haven’t yet experienced it. And until you do experience it, you only have a partial understanding of the Bible and a very limited knowledge of truth.
Nor do you have a very intimate relationship with the Lord. Many people today equate worship with intimacy. But worship is merely the expression of intimacy. Intimacy involves becoming one with the Lord—literally having His mind and His character—and this can only become our experience when we trust Him.
I dare say that the only avenue to this kind of trust is through the process of intense and severe tests and trials. I wish there were an easier way, but I am convinced that there is not.
We must be reduced to nothing before we can become anything. We must be emptied of self to make room for the kingdom to indwell us.
While you can make a conscious decision to surrender all to God, it is only through the process of dying to self that surrender becomes experience. And dying to self is not something we can accomplish simply by deciding to do so; it is a process that can only be implemented and carried out by God’s work in our lives.
But the end result is glorious beyond anything we can think or imagine, glory to God!
Peace that passes all understanding, joy that cannot be shaken, and an eternal view of God’s plan and purpose for mankind and planet Earth, which, by the way, will change your understanding of what you thought to be truth, opening revelatory avenues that will give you a much clearer knowledge of Scripture than you ever realized.
Some of you reading this know what I am talking about. But if you don’t, and would like to, you can make a conscious decision to surrender all to God. But when you do, get ready for a rollercoaster ride that may take you to past the edge of normal, knowing that you can trust the God who is Love to do a work in you—the kind that only He can do—and then bring you back to the land of the living.
Be encouraged and become all He created you to be by trusting Him completely.