Excerpt from Optimisfits by Ben Courson
Here’s a bit of useful trivia: Do you know which verse resides in the exact middle of the Bible?
Here it is: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” (Psalm 118:9 KJV).
I think that helps explain the attitude of Optimisfits toward politics. We know that governments will always ultimately fail us. After all, they are composed of fallible human beings. And politicians are usually more about image than substance. That “image” is about as real as the one you craft for yourself on social media.
Can I get another like?
If you are waiting for the donkeys and elephants to solve all the world’s problems and usher in a new time of peace and prosperity, you are going to have a very long wait.
Some people are all about the right wing, and others are all about the left wing, but I think that God is all about the whole bird! What’s more, He is the bird. He has lifted us up on eagle’s wings according to Exodus 19:4.
God’s Kingdom is not from this world, but it is for this world, just as we are in the world, but not of the world. It is a Kingdom that comes down from heaven to make a difference on the earth below. His goal is not just to get us into heaven, but to get heaven into us.
The Bible uses political terms to describe God’s reign among us. When Jesus calls Himself the Son of God, He is using a term that was often ascribed to Caesar Augustus. This term, Divi Filius, was even inscribed on some Roman coins right next to his picture.
In fact, it was widely believed among Romans that Emperor Caesar ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the gods. So, you can see why it was so dangerous for Luke to write that Jesus had ascended to the right hand of God. Caesar Domitian had a choir who often followed him around chanting, “You are worthy our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power.” Which is exactly what John records is spoken around the throne of God in the book of Revelation. These New Testament writers were rebels. They were the resistance movement. It is no wonder that the Empire tried to kill them off.
So, when people said that Jesus was the Son of God, they were proclaiming that He was the King rather than Caesar. Dangerous, dangerous. Today, when we talk about the “gospel” we are actually hijacking a political propaganda term used by the Romans to proclaim the reign of the emperor. It proclaimed that they had brought about peace through their military triumphs. Their common phrase for this accomplishment was “Peace Through Victory.” The Roman peace (Pax Romana) was sustained through the shedding of the blood of every challenger.
Jesus proclaimed a different kind of Kingdom.
His message was the opposite of the Roman motto. His motto was “Victory Through Peace.”
He didn’t conquer the earth by bathing the world in the blood of His enemies; He overcame the world by bathing His enemies with His own blood.
We have a special place in that Kingdom.
We’re not seated in the cheap seats or the nosebleed section. We are seated in the heavenly places!
We are the Kings and Queens of Narnia. Paul calls us “God’s elect” and John refers to us as “kings.” We are also spoken of as “ambassadors,” the emissaries and representatives of the Great High King, the God of Hope. And one day, the Bible tells us, we will be given thrones. We are destined to rule and reign with Him. Now that is what I call upward mobility.
And this perspective changes the way we should think about the political struggles of our own day. It doesn’t mean that we ignore the important issues or refuse to get involved when we need to, but it provides a perspective that reminds us that politics is not the ultimate answer to every problem.
We understand that there is a higher authority than monarchy, oligarchy, autocracy, or even democracy. We are participating in a theocracy, where God rules.
Our job is to find whatever doesn’t represent heaven on earth, and, well, vanquish it!
So, if there are problems in life that you cannot solve, remember that it is kind of like your old math textbooks in school—the answers are in the back of the book. The book of Revelation reminds us that as the future unfolds, we can trust in the One who holds that future in His hands. God is on the throne, and He is the King of kings. In 17 of the 22 chapters of Revelation we get a glimpse of God on the throne; there are roughly 45 occasions where John gives us a glimpse of God perched in the place of ultimate power.
The elders around that throne fall to their knees and proclaim His judgments to be “righteous.” We join them. Like the surfing turtle in Finding Nemo, we ride the currents and hoot, “Righteous!”
And when we look back at our lives someday, we’ll see how God has been at work. We’ll say, “Righteous! It all makes sense now! Everything You did in my life was perfect. Righteous and true are Your judgments, O King!”
God isn’t messing around when it comes to His rule. As my friend Levi likes to say, “There’s no game when it comes to His throne.”
Order your copy of Optimisfits: Igniting a Fierce Rebellion Against Hopelessness
Ben Courson is the founder of Hope Generation, has a global TV and radio program, and is a gifted and nationally renowned speaker. Hope Generation TV show airs in 180 countries around the world. Ben’s humorous, uplifting, and high-energy style couples with a gift to communicate God’s heart in an impactful way. His ultimate mission is to generate hope in God to build a generation of hope in others. Learn more at BenCourson.com
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