Hubby works hard during the week and our family has a special bent for relaxing on the weekends. We’ve found it “softens the grind” of tough schedules. Recently hubby was trying to catch a quick nap and I heard the “ding, ding, ding” of the microwave go off. I raced to the kitchen to stop it, but didn’t get there in time. Then several minutes later it happened again with another hungry boy practicing his culinary skills. “Ding, Ding, Ding”. Then it was my turn to warm up my snack of choice and I honestly forgot, again. Then a cake in the oven announced its arrival – “Ding, ding, ding. “If I had only just turned it off and not loudly said, “I am so sorry”, it might have gone unnoticed. So much for relaxation! We were all thinking of our world and not the “other guy”. My Navy husband tries to help us look out for the whole team rather than just our individual interests. That little snack, in that little appliance, getting little micro waves, alerted us that the food was ready but not of the bigger picture – sleeping papa on the couch, in the next room. Asking, “did we wake you” did not smooth things over. He had every right to be annoyed. Some questions should not be asked multiple times unless we’re ready to hear the clear answer, right?
One of the questions the disciples often asked was if Jesus would become an earthly King. Pre-cross they anticipated it, even threw a parade. Preachers all over the country reiterated this season that Jesus did not come to take an earthly throne. You would think the cross would have cleared that up for the early Christians, but look at Acts 1. Post-cross some of the disciples still can’t get past this expectation, this hope that “their team” would conquer and rule. Micro-vision. They connived to set up their own earthly kingdom. I wonder if Jesus slapped His forehead in frustration wondering when they would stop trying to make Him fit into their mold. Again, Jesus barely out of the grave, they repeat the question. “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” “Ding, ding, ding–times up, we still need a king”. His resurrected visit among them seemed like the perfect opportunity for a “re-do” of their plans. UGH! He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” They still can’t control or manage Him. They were still thinking about their sphere of influence, their world, their outcome.
They were thinking micro- not Kingdom. There’s something else happening here. Something bigger than what we can manipulate with our own ideas. They were thinking about what they wanted to happen, what they needed and what they expected to take place.
Jesus, on the other hand was looking at the bigger picture. He was looking at things from a Kingdom view (macro). Restore is His language. It means to mend, return to its former state. Perfect wholeness and peace through salvation. The request is to bring back the covenant promise. They assumed it was the promise to just Israel. Jesus, who sees things from a historical, present and eternal perspective can’t look at things in just linear fashion. He sees things North, South, East, and West. He sees in 3millionD, from every angle and in every color possible. He is not limited by space or time and does not view things with the perspective of humans. That covenant did not start with Israel. That covenant does not end with Christians. He is not the King of one time or one people–He died for ALL. Pretty inclusive. They are wanting what matters to just “them” to be fixed and modified. Jesus’ goal is to reach the ALL. He is looking back to the first covenant with Adam and Eve. They get the part where He conquers the grave and will go to His father but still have limited micro vision. Give us Your vision Lord! He’s getting ready to show them the bigger picture but first …
has to peel their eyeballs off of themselves and their current situation.
Hmm? Sounds like us, doesn’t it? We see what is right in front of us. We focus on what we can touch and understand in this minute of time. The commands that He left with them were not a manuscript, biography, or even a printed doctrine. He does them one better (literally) and leaves them a teacher, the Holy Spirit. The qualification? Wait for it….pray and wait. Do we realize that is true for us, here, now? Wait, then full access. All of their and our questions can be heard. The Kingdom now has a guide. This MACRO sight Spirit will direct them to all things Jesus has said about the Kingdom. Broad, complete view, first at creation, through the cross and into eternity.
The Holy Spirit is a Kingdom player.
Jesus, King of the Kingdom of Heaven will rule and reign and will sit on a throne, but it will be a Heavenly one. It is secure there where no one can manipulate or bargain with its justice or power. Then slowly but surely the plan gets explained and their micro vision is stretched into Kingdom vision – where all wait on God, all can be filled by the Holy Spirit, all can receive gifts, all can be sent. Will you restore the Kingdom (present tense) Jesus? He doesn’t chide them for asking a stupid/repeat question or send them to the remedial religious romper room. He doesn’t scold them for being exclusive or ethnocentric (cliquish). He, compassionate Savior, redirects them to look at the larger picture, the original covenant being restored and the eternal kingdom affecting earth and realized in Heaven.
Until our calendars are viewed as moments God directs, until our thinking is restoring covenant back to where God intended with Adam and Eve, until our hearts are open to the Macro teacher (Holy Spirit), until our goal is co-laboring with all in God’s kingdom we will be merely dinging, clanging symbols stuck in time, missing God’s heart and God’s mission, only looking at our own lives or kingdoms. We need the Holy Spirit to enlarge our hearts, enlarge our spiritual family, enlarge our goals, enlarge the Kingdom and our vision until a wave of God is felt throughout our land in macro proportion.
Because we often forget and do not see clearly, we need the Holy Spirit to teach, lead and guide us. The message of Acts 1 is to come near, let God restore His kingdom and wait on the teacher to be released in our lives long term. Not just to bring us to Heaven but to bring us back, restored to God’s original plan (creation, covenant love, fellowship) then together walking forward to the Heavenly Kingdom …. As planned. There is no new design to just move forward, forgetting the past. There is no new-fangled Messiah, reserved for the Jews (or Christians) or just us four and no more. There is a fulfillment of a Promise. Christ’s end game – all coming Home to God’s Kingdom, must become our endgame.
Strrrreeeeeeetttcccchhhh us Lord. Expand our Kingdom View.
Acts 1:3 says “to whom He showed Himself alive after His passion with many infallible proofs…” What was Christ’s passion? ME. That’s the micro version. The macro version is salvation provided for me and YOU (plural-y’all). The difference in those two versions is the Holy Spirit. We need that power to see clearly, inclusively and most of all to bring us back to Homeplate – where it all began. Our advantage is having part of the “home team” guide us there. When we see through a Kingdom (Heavenly) lens, we will start to walk and live with a Kingdom lens, praying for all things and all people to be restored (mended, whole, at peace). Blessed are they who come in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna!
Instead of “will you restore Israel Lord” (incorrect question) we can now say confidently with exclamation, “By the power of the Holy Spirit, through us Lord, restore Your ENTIRE Kingdom and carry out Your Kingdom directives in a Macro way (waiting, restoring, including, gifting, anointing, and reaching) instead of a microwave “fix my world” on my timetable, now.
Ding, ding, ding …. He’s ready. Are we?