The Lord has been doing some pretty interesting and sweet things in my life recently. I'm not going to bore you with all of them but I do want to share some thoughts that I've had recently [or that the Lord has given me].
The word potential has been a key word lately. This word has both positive and negative connotations attached to it. The positive side is usually associated with younger children or teenagers. "Bobby Sue has so much potential...". On the flip side, the negative aspect of the word potential typically is used when talking about older folks. "Stan had all of that potential but blew it when he did...(fill in the blank)".
I will add a third category of potential...Kingdom potential. This goes much farther than your Kingdom destiny or calling. Here's how: In Genesis 1 and 2, God gave Adam the authority over everything on earth. Genesis 1:26: "...let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." God then put the man in charge of the Garden of Eden [2:15], which to me is a HUGE responsibility. Man was in charge of the grounds where God walked and talked! Anyway, in chapter 3 we read where Adam and Eve are deceived and the fall of man occurs. Adam had all of the potential yet he blew it! He had authority over everything and in one decision he brought a curse to mankind.
Now the rest of the Old Testament was God setting up the coming of His One and Only Son [the "Second Adam" - read 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 5] to come and fulfill all of the potential the first Adam had and lost. Jesus walked with the authority of heaven...perhaps the same authority Adam could have had. Read all through the Gospels and you read where Jesus healed every sickness and disease, cast out demons, set the captives free, made blind eyes see, made deaf ears hear, turned water into wine, walked on water and so on and so on.
Now we, as co-heirs with Christ [Romans 8:17] and who walk with the same power and authority Jesus did, are called to fulfill all of the potential the first Adam had [just like Jesus]. It is in my opinion that God is raising up a generation that are to be known as "fulfillers of the Kingdom potential." A generation that will encompass believers walking down the streets performing signs and wonders through the Holy Spirit. Some will be preaching the Gospel with the fire of heaven in their bones and unction in their words. To some, the gift of worship and prophetic singing is released. To others, prophetic utterances and words of knowledge. And some, because of their unquenchable love for Jesus, will become martyrs for their faith.
However, this is not just for some. Every Believer is called to fulfill this potential. But to do so, we need to live by the culture of the Kingdom, not by the culture of this world. No longer can we tolerate the things of this world [abortion, murder, slander, gossip, fornication, idolatry, etc]. We must live by the culture and value system of the Kingdom of God that is soon coming. This value system is found in chapters 5-7 in Matthew's Gospel. Billy Humphrey of IHOP-Atlanta says that these chapters not only describe what Jesus is like, but they also describe what Jesus likes! These chapters unveil God's heart.
There are 8 core values of the Kingdom which are described in the Beatitudes. We must be poor in spirit knowing that Jesus is all that we need and that He alone provides for us. We must be ones who mourn [or long and ache] for His return just as Jesus longs and aches to be reunited with His Bride. We must be a humble people. We must hunger and thirst for righteousness, holiness and the pleasures of God. We must be a forgiving people full of mercy. We must live lives of purity and not condone the acts of this world. We have to be a people that bring peace and live a life full of peace because this world is about to get a little hairy during the end of this age. And beloved, we must be prepared to be persecuted. A time is coming [and has already come] where many are ridiculed, beaten and put to death for their belief in Christ. In fact, more people have died because of their faith in the past 100 years than have died in the previous 1900 combined!
We must be cheerful givers and lovers of the secret place with God. We must be a people that bow our hearts and bend our knees to seek the face of God in prayer, fasting and supplication. In doing so, we will undoubtedly hear the voice of God and learn what is burning on His heart for today.
So I encourage each and everyone of you to study chapters 5-7 of Matthew. Take it slow. Digest it. I also recommend Billy Humphrey's book, "The Culture of the Kingdom." It is a valuable resource and study guide for the value system of the Kingdom of God.
Grace and peace.