Monday, June 25, 2007

Forcefully Laying Hold

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12)
The NIV has it this way: "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it."
  • It is like Jacob wrestling with the angel of the LORD: "I will not let You go until You bless me" (Genesis 32:26).
  • It is like the man who stumbled upon a rich treasure in a field, then he went and sold all that he had to buy that field, and so possess that treasure (Matthew 13:44).
  • It is a bulldog tenacity.
  • It is seeking first the kingdom of God and letting God take care of everything else.
  • It is asking until you receive, seeking until you find, and knocking until the door is opened unto you.
Years ago, Phil Driscoll had a song high on the Christian charts called “Comin’ On Strong.” I always think of that whenever I read Matthew 11:12. The kingdom of God is coming on strong, and those who are coming on strong in response to it are the ones who are laying hold of it.

Ever since the days of John the Baptist, the kingdom of God has been forcefully advancing, and tenacious men have indeed been laying hold of it. When we are fully focused on God's kingdom, we will see it manifest in a very powerful. But if we hold it lightly, we will hardly recognize it. How serious are you about it?



The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew

by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.