Bring It Into the Kingdom

cross on church wallFor everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 1 Tim 4:4-5

You are surrounded by objects of worship. Not objects to worship, but objects to be used for worship. Sadly, most of us take our world completely for granted, treating creation as though it had no intrinsic spiritual value. In the worst case, we actually make creation into an idol apart from God, consigning it to the kingdom of darkness. How many times have I bowed to the idols of food or pleasure or achievement? None of these things are inherently evil, but they must be consecrated – that is, “set apart for holy purpose.” They must be brought into God’s Kingdom.

Picture yourself wandering through an unexpected landscape where Someone has strewn treasures along the path. You can take them up or leave them lying by the roadside. Stone zen pathThe objects you gather appear ordinary – clay, paper, wood. But as you enter the gates of the Kingdom of God, they are transformed, “sanctified,” becoming beautiful and valuable, reflections of the God who made them. John Piper uses the example of a peach. When it is brought into the Kingdom, its sweet juiciness reminds us of the rich deliciousness of God Himself. A peach is a tool for worshiping the God of peaches.

But wait a moment; not everything may enter. There is a heavenly customs inspection at the gate. Some items and activities are so sullied by sin as to be unfit for the Kingdom. It is not possible, for example, to bring a stolen object inside. You may try, but God will not allow it. It cannot be used to honor Him since it has become dishonorable in its nature.

Things are sanctified, so says Scripture, by the word of God and by prayer. The word asserts the truth about our world and our worship, the inspection criteria, if you will. Prayer is the act of offering our world and our worship back to God. Your treasure must meet both criteria to successfully enter the Kingdom: God must sanction it and you must offer it.

Look around you right now at all your everyday stuff and all your everyday activities. Your computer, your clothing, your typing, your hands… they are meant to be objects for worship, to be used to worship the King of Everything. Will they be permitted through the gates of the Kingdom? Have you brought them as an offering? Let’s take up our treasure with a thankful heart and bring this world into the Kingdom of God.

Related Articles:

Sanctified by the Word, John Piper video
On Consecration, Watchman Nee from The Overcoming Life