Do you ever wonder why virtually no one in the gospel narrative ever seemed to understand that Jesus was the Messiah? Unless the Holy Spirit revealed it to them, like Peter at Caesarea Philippi, no one ever seemed to clue in. This, despite the fact that the Old Testament was filled with prophecies pointing to the fact that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, to a virgin, of humble circumstances, from the line of David, seeking refuge in Egypt and returning, heralded by an Elijah-type character, bruised and wounded for our transgressions, hung on a tree, and risen from the dead? Or, the fact that the stories of Moses, David, Jonah, Noah, and so many other Old Testament characters pointed to Christ and His work. I mean, it was so obvious, right?
To those of us who are Christians living in 2019, it’s pretty obvious. If you were a first century Jew living under Roman rule after hundreds of years of divine silence, maybe not so much. The fact is, the Old Testament prophecies were deliberately cryptic. God shielded His people from the full realization of His plan. Neither Pharisees, nor angels, nor demons, nor disciples, knew exactly what God was up to, or when.
Viewed from this perspective, we have to approach our future destiny as Christians really humbly. God has given us glimpses of our future through the Scriptures, revealed through Daniel, John in Revelation, and elsewhere. But, until we’re living in a new, fully restored Earth, realizing this “not yet” future, we can never fully know. What we do know, however, has an incredible impact on how we live today, and how we raise our children.
A couple of weeks ago, at Easter, I talked about how Christ’s death and resurrection was a part of God’s plan to take us back from death. It was also the beginning of a heavenly campaign to begin taking back the nations, people who were living under the dominion of other gods, bringing God’s people back into the Kingdom of Heaven. Through Christ, God began taking the world back from the rulers and principalities, those unjust and unfaithful gods who rule the nations, and have since ancient times, since man’s disobedience.
We don’t know much about the new Earth and new Jerusalem, but what God does tell us in His Word is that all those kingdoms and principalities will be taken from those divine beings, demons and powers of darkness. God will destroy them, and give the principalities to His fully redeemed, resurrected children to rule. That’s you and me. We will be restored to the true, original role of Adam and Eve- God’s original stewards over the earth. We will be co-rulers over the earth, princes and princesses of our Father the King. God’s Word is true, and it says it all.
Does that sound crazy? You may read this and think, “A prince? I’m not equipped to be a king! I can’t be a queen! I’m just me! How could I ever be equipped for such an amazing future?”
Welcome to life in this broken, fallen world, the ultimate proving ground for our destiny as princes and princesses over a redeemed kingdom. Have you ever wondered why so many great stories, so many works of literature and movies that captivate our attention and imagination, deal with the great hero who must face a great test, even unto near death, before they can assume their rightful place as king or queen or leader? From King Arthur to Arthur Curry (Aquaman), the prince must be tried and humbled, formed and shaped, broken and rebuilt, all through the crucible of trials, before he or she is ready to be the just, righteous, and good leader they are called to be?
The reasons these myths of our culture resonate so deeply with us is because they are not myths at all. This is our story. Your Father’s ultimate call on your life as His Son or daughter is to rule over His redeemed, fully restored earth. That is your future. But, you must be a just, good, and noble prince or princess to be His steward. And, the only way you’ll be humble and pure and holy and true is to face the trials and challenges and struggles you’re facing right now. That’s what pressing against this life is all about. You shouldn’t avoid the trials yourself, nor should you do so for your children, those princes and princesses of your Father the King He has entrusted to your care. The worst thing you can do would be to rescue and prevent them from facing the very trials that will prepare them to be good and noble co-regents of their Father out of some misguided attempt to spare them heartache and discomfort. Instead, you are called to be the Merlin, the Yoda, the Vulko, the faithful mentor and guide who leads them through the crucible, walks them through the pain, and teaches them to trust in their Father the King.
Our God is an amazing, loving Father who gives us a destiny beyond our imagining, and cares enough for us to allow us temporary discomfort as the only way prepare us to face His future for us well. Do we love our children enough to do the same?
Jay Ferguson, PhD writes regularly on his blog, The Head and The Heart.