“It’s the inside-outside, upside-down kingdom where you lose to gain and you die to live.” This is a lyric from Misty Edwards’ song, “Servant of All.” While we may give the thought of this a hearty “amen!”, do we understand how it actually works? For when we do, we will begin to understand how to walk in the power and wisdom of God’s endless life.
The problem is, everything about it is counter-intuitive to the world construct we live in. Paul said this about it in First Corinthians:
23 but we preach the crucified Messiah. The Jews stumble over him and the rest of the world sees him as foolishness. 24 But for those who have been chosen to follow him, both Jews and Greeks, he is God’s mighty power, God’s true wisdom, and our Messiah. 25 For the “foolish” things of God have proven to be wiser than human wisdom. And the “feeble” things of God have proven to be far more powerful than any human ability. (1 Cor.1:23-25 TPT)
The first thing we need to understand here is that this “world”—defined as the societal construct in alienation to God—sees all of this as foolishness. This is because we come into this societal construct eating from the wrong tree. When a scoffer makes fun of your faith, he or she is only proving this to be true.
Second, as I already mentioned, everything about walking in the God’s endless life and power is counter-intuitive in every way to walking in our natural life. In other words, we die to live, we lose to gain, we become weak in become strong, and we surrender to acheive victory.
We know this, we sing about it…but, again, do we understand it?
All of this requires a major paradigm shift. It’s not “natural” for us to eat from the Tree of Life instead of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is why we need our minds renewed and reshaped, to be fitted for the Kingdom realities that supercede this world’s realities.
2 Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. (Rom.12:2 TPT)
The obvious question that comes to my mind here is, “Which world have I been imitating?”
You see, even our idea of surrender tends to be of this world. We think of surrender as giving up something instead of gaining something better.
In other words, I give up reason and logic, I give up my money, I become a doormat for others…I lose. But that’s not the kingdom definition of surrender.
Surrender, in the Kingdom paradigm, means exchanging.
I exchange my reasoning and wisdom for God’s reasoning and wisdom; I lose my life to gain His life; I give up my economy to gain accesss to God’s economy; I surrender my power to walk in His power. I surrender my victories in order to walk in His victory.
I give up my freedom in exchange for His freedom.
I let go of all things in order to have all things in Him.
An important point here: we can walk in one of these paradigms or the other, but not both. We do need to choose which realm we want empowering us. Jesus made this point very clear.
24 For if you choose self-sacrifice, giving up your lives for my glory, you will discover true life. But if you choose to keep your lives for yourselves, you will lose what you try to keep. 25 Even if you gained all the wealth and power of this world, and all the things it could offer you, yet lost your soul in the process, what good is that? (Luke 9:24-25 TPT)
So, beloved, we’re not “checking our brain at the door” or becoming weaklings for Christ. We’re exchanging our limited cognitive abilities and strength for His. As Paul encourages us to understand, “For the “foolish” things of God have proven to be wiser than human wisdom. And the “feeble” things of God have proven to be far more powerful than any human ability.”
Here’s the Misty Edwards song I mentioned. I thought it appropriate for this post. Let it help re-shape your thinking for God’s inside-out, upside-down kingdom.