I was so challenged by a scripture which my Pastor shared. It is in Matthew 11:12 which says:
And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize-a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].
This gospel that we preach and live out is not for the faint hearted. This gospel is one of violence. What I mean is that men and women had to obtain the prize with a fight. They had fought for their lives to obtain the prize. Some gave their lives for the prize.
Hebrews 11:33-38 hits the nail on the head when it says:
Who by [the help of] faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions,
Extinguished the power of raging fire, escaped the devouring of the sword, out of frailty and weakness won strength and became stalwart, even mighty and resistless in battle, routing alien hosts.
[Some] women recieved again their dead by a resurrection. Others were tortured to death with clubs, refusing to accept release [offered on the terms of denying their faith], so that they might be resurrected to a better life.
Others had to suffer the trial of mocking and scourging and even chains and imprisionment.
They were stoned to death; they were lured with tempting offers [to renounce their faith]; they were sawn asunder; they were slaughtered by the sword; [while they were alive] they had to go about wrapped in the skins of sheep and goats, utterly destitute, oppressed, cruelly treated –
[Men] of whom the world was not worthy – roaming over desolate places and the mountains, and [living] in caves and caverns and holes of the earth.
This gospel is one that cannot be obtained by weakness. We need to be forceful. We need to be violent in a good way.
Listen again to what the last part of Matthew 11:12 says:
A share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense excertion].
Where is your zeal at in regard to the gospel? Are you giving it your all in your relationship with God? Could your passion for God be described as intense? This is for me as well. I am so challenged to not only give 100% but 200% to God. The men and women of the bible who turned the world upside down were fired up for God. Their passion for God was intense. They gave it their all and more!
Let us follow their example. To obtain the prize which is the kingdom we need to increase our passion and zeal. Let us ask God for help as we make a decision. He is willing to help.