In what seems to be a broken society in many ways, scores of people are fearful of what they see as a dark time that we are living in. This is the time for the children of God (as the apostle Paul put it in Philippians 2:15) to shine as lights in the heart of a creation without hope, and not join them in their fear.
I John 1:5 tells us that God is light and that in Him there is no darkness. Yet it is His desire to penetrate the deepest darkest corridors of our lives. In doing so, our darkness is flooded with pure indescribable holy light.
So many are eager to change the world around us, but don’t understand that to do so we must first change the world within us. Outward zeal can easily wither away, but an inward transformation will produce much fruit.
Paul said in Romans 8:38-39 “I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God's whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Phillips translation). If no amount of outside influence or circumstance can separate us from the love of God, then no amount of outside influence or circumstance can penetrate the darkness of this creation like the light of the loving eye of God.
When John wrote of the “Word” becoming flesh and dwelling among us, he was talking of the “Word” (Christ in you, the anointing) being manifest through flesh, through His sons and daughters. This “Word” that John was talking about, was and is life, and this life is the light of men. The King James bible said that the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. The original word for comprehend in this text means to seize, apprehend, capture, or imprison. The darkness of this present day world system can never captivate the all penetrating light of God, but this light is to light every man that comes into this world. He (the light) came into darkness of this world system but the system had no spiritual intercourse with him. He (the light) came to his own (religious system) his own didn’t receive him. However, to as many as did receive him, he gave them the power, right, and authority to become the sons of God. These sons are not born of any natural blood line or will of the flesh, but of God (see John 1:4-14). Let me clarify that I am not doing away with Jesus, after all he is the author and finisher of our faith. However, I do know that if the same spirit that raised him from the dead lives in us, it will quicken our mortal bodies.
In going back to Romans chapter eight, we find that Paul had a lot to say about these sons of God and their effect on humanity. The whole chapter is good but I want to focus on verses eighteen through twenty-five.
18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Paul considered the sufferings of the present time not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed in us. He didn’t dwell on his present surroundings but rather the glory to come. In reading this, I think of the life of Joseph. God revealed to him his destiny through a dream. After sharing it with his brothers, they threw him into a pit then sold into slavery. He was falsely accused of raping Potiphar’s (his master’s) wife, thrown into prison, and then made governor over Egypt before his dream was fulfilled (read Genesis chapters 37-42). In twenty-four years, he never took his eyes off of the plan of God for his life.
Paul explains in verse nineteen of Romans eight that the revealed glory that he was talking about is also the earnest expectation of creation, the manifestation of the sons of God. In Genesis 41:1-49, we see that there was an earnest expectation trapped in the Pharaoh of Joseph’s time. So much so that he was plagued with dreams that could not be interpreted. Joseph had already gained the reputation as one who could interpret dreams while he was in prison, so Pharaoh summonsed him to his court. Joseph not only interpreted his dream, but gave him a solution to redeem the whole land of Egypt. Joseph didn’t just pray for him, it wasn’t the time to pray. It was the time to be the redemption that God had called him to be. Pharaoh prayed to his gods and found nothing, he turned to the psychic hot lines and interpreters of his system and found nothing. Let the Heathen pray in this time of darkness! Our lives are to be a continual prayer so we can rise up and shine as a redemptive light to this fallen adamic creation.
Pharaoh was not willingly made subject to vanity. He was born into it from the seed of the first Adam (The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). I Corinthians 15:45-50 talks of two Adams. Verse 45 says, “...The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” It goes on to tell us that this first man is of the earth, bound to the earthly solutions of the knowledge of good and evil, but the second man is the Lord from heaven. Those that are earthly are subject to earthly solutions, but those that are heavenly are subject to heavenly solutions (LIFE). As we have borne the image of the earthy, so now we should bear the image of the heavenly.
Just as Joseph offered Pharaoh deliverance from famine to abundance in his day, so are we as sons of God to bring deliverance to this groaning creation from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. I Corinthians 15:50 says, “...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” Verse 54 of the same chapter says this, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, ....then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
All of creation is groaning and travailing in pain for this day. The kingdom of God has groaned and travailed. Now is the time to be the redemption for this groaning creation. Joseph travailed for twenty-four years. But when the appointed time had come for him to shine, not only as the redemption for Israel, but as the redemption for Egypt first, he took his place and was made governor over all.
As we see in the life of Joseph, this gospel of the kingdom is not a gospel of convenience, but of surrender. Not of when I have the time, but in God’s time. Joseph must have done a lot of praying in his time of captivity, and probably a good amount of complaining in his time, but when the time had come for God to move through him, he knew the time and moved with all authority.