Spiritual Maturity: Dying to Serve
We speak and think of living in YHVH’s kingdom with blissful images of peace, light and joy. It is true that YHVH’s kingdom will be all these things (1 Cor 6:9-10, Rev. 22:5, Rom 14:17). We imagine what the kingdom will be like, but do we imagine what we will be like? How does YHVH’s kingdom run? What are the King’s subjects like? What is their mindset and attitude? What is expected of them?
Life in YHVH’s kingdom is very different from living in a democracy or republic. We seek YHVH’s desires and approval, not our own (Mark 9:35). We live to do His work, not to work for ourselves. We must die to our own desires and seek YHVH’s pleasure. The gospel story of the centurion gives us a clear example of living obediently.
For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When [Yeshua] heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith (Matt 8:9-10).
We are not self-reliant, but are dependent on our King (Ezek 34:26-29). We do not elect a king or express our opinions of the king’s actions. Our King is the source of all wisdom, love, justice and mercy (Ps 19:9-12). His ways are above our ways and His wisdom far surpasses ours (Is 59:8-9).
We are to keep His commands, His laws (John 15:10, 1 John 2:4). YHVH’s laws are designed to justly and mercifully meet everyone’s needs. That cannot always be said of human governments. Yeshua often warned the Pharisees and Scribes about their man-made laws or interpretations of the Torah. Sometimes the man-made laws were in direct violation of the written Torah. That was not acceptable to YHVH 2,000 years ago and it is still not acceptable to YHVH today.
We are to become like little children in order to live in YHVH’s kingdom (Matt 18:3). Little children depend totally on their parents and are expected to follow the rules of the household. When we are born, we are focused entirely on ourselves, but as we mature we should become less self-centered and more other centered. Are we spiritual adults as well as physical adults? Are we prepared for life in the kingdom?