Have you ever read the book, Blessed Child, by Bill Bright & Ted Dekker? I read it several years ago and loved it, but had forgotten about it until recently. I decided to read it again over the weekend. What a wonderful book! Even though it is fiction--or maybe because it is--it is absolutely fascinating! In the midst of the suspense and mystery the message of the book portrays the kingdom of God in a way that makes you long for it and understand it better.
In the book the authors use a wonderful analogy to explain how giving negative things of the world place in our lives causes us to lose the power of the kingdom working in our lives. One of the characters, a priest, told his adoptive son to pour oil into a vase and hold it up to the fire. He asked him what he saw. The little boy replied that the vase was filled with gold. Then the priest brought in a container of black filthy water and asked his son to pour it into the vase. The little boy commented the vase was already full, so the priest told him to pour some of it back in the bottle and then fill the vase to the top with the black water. When he did the black water flowed throughout the oil--not mixing with it but tainting it. What a great picture of what happens in our lives when we allow things in our lives that don't exemplify or glorify God!
The book confirms something I heard Bill Johnson say this weekend. He was talking about reigning with God. He said, "My desire is to have no thoughts in my mind except those that are in God's." Can you imagine what a wonderful world we would live in if everyone had this desire? No jealousy, no competition, no condemnation or criticism, no hate or anger, no bitterness, no depression or despair, no evil thoughts! We would be living in the kingdom of God and our lives would be a mighty witness of His love and character yielding a demonstration of His power.
That is a lofty goal, but certainly one worth working towards, don't you agree?