We are in a series called Building The Kingdom.
The first question that my pastor asked was “why do we struggle with prayer?” He said, “it’s because we’ve lost a sense of priestliness in the church.” I’m the next-gen pastor so, instantly, I start thinking about how would I translate this to my students. The word priest itself just brings up so many strange thoughts and things of men dressed in black clothing with a white collar around their necks and confessing in little boxes inside the Catholic church.
So let’s start with the basics, here’s what the scripture says:
you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a royal priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.1 Peter 2:5
but you are chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light; who wants were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.1 Peter 2: 9-10
How does this translate to our practical everyday lives. Well, if a priestly ministry is supposed to bring ‘the environment of God into the earth’ and we are to ‘become kingdom people’ who live by a ‘kingdom mandate’ and we are called ‘priests in this kingdom. Then we must regain our sense that God requires us to grow to minister to Him before we minister to men.” (series overview right there!)
When you minister to someone you attend to their heart. Attending to the heart of the Lord reminds me of David, who God said, was a man after His own heart. So what did David do? He sang songs to the Lord. He worshiped God and he read God’s Word. He spoke and prayed the Word back to the Lord. He listened to what the Lord had to say and he obeyed Him.
The other day while we were in a meeting my pastor said, “we ought to be people who lift the burdens of others” then he quoted a piece of scripture from Galatians 6:2 …bear one another’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of love. That little piece of scripture punched me in the heart and I knew instantly that I needed to pay attention. I wrote it down, thought on it, and the next day when I was in my own personal prayer time I asked the Lord about it. Being a priest is being holy and separated unto the Lord. Simply put, I am either His or I’m not! My pastor said in his message that ‘as we grow in the kingdom we learn the difference between what God values versus what the world values.’
Ok, so, super honest, I’m the kind of person that thinks if you dig your ditch then you should lay in it. Not super Christian, but that is my natural bent. I kind of lean towards ‘you reap what you sow’ mentality. I have to work at compassion because I am so task oriented.
While I’m over here seeing people with needs and that thought process starts going off in my head ‘you reap what you sow’ the Holy Spirit, for the last few days, has brought that verse that punched me in the heart back. Obviously, that verse is there because the Lord wants to work it into my life.
What did I do with it:
1. I started praying it back to Him.
In the morning during my devotionals I read scripture and pray to the Lord.
Father, your word says to bear the burdens of your people because when I do that I fulfill the law of love. I want your love to be in me, so God, would you give me opportunity to do that. Amen
2. Watch for the opportunities to practice it.
Opportunity #1 – The next morning a lady from my church messaged me asking if I knew where she could get medication because she doesn’t have insurance right now. I told her of a place I knew and she said she tried there but they’re not open until two days later.
Opportunity #2 – Two days later another lady messaged me and ask me if I could take her daughter to work out in Mount Vernon and that their car broke down and her breaks were out.
3. Follow through.
I paid for her medication.
I drove her to Mount Vernon.
Being part a royal priesthood is a spiritual thing. It is beautiful and awesome but simply put it means that I go after God’s heart and actively listen for what He highlights to me from His Word. Then, I pray that back to Him, I watch, and as He begins to give me opportunity to activate my faith in that word – I go do it and I end up ministering His love to people.
What does God value – People. What does the world value – Self.
Two weeks ago I got a message from a girl that I have loved from afar. She’s never asked me for anything. She is super hard to get close too. She asked me for help and I chose not to do it because I was trying to get my son out the door for church. Again honesty (and not my best moment.) I have regretted it ever since.
Everyday we chose what we will value.
Everyday we either take up the priesthood or we walk away.
Thanks for listening,