Have you seen this video? I know it’s made its way around Facebook and such, but it was only recently shared with me. Such a brilliant illustration of the kingdom of God!
Knowledge ≠ Understanding
At one time, I had the knowledge of God’s Kingdom, and I thought that that meant that I had the understanding of it, too. Boy, was I ever so wrong. I thought it would be easy to ride the Bicycle of His Kingdom, because I knew how to ride the bicycle of the natural kingdom, the kingdom of this world. But God’s Kingdom is backwards from the kingdom of this world. Actually, the more accurate statement is the kingdom of this world is utterly backwards from God’s Kingdom. His Kingdom came first, after all. It existed in Him before the foundations of the world.
Become Like Little Children
It took the dude eight months to learn to ride that backwards bike. Granted, I’m sure had he practiced for more than five minutes a day, he might have learned more quickly. However, his son picked it up in only two weeks!
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14)
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” (Luke 10:21)
Truth Is Truth
The dude talks about a bias. We have those big time. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He is the truth, and truth is truth no matter what we think about it. Allow Christ to be your bias with everything, let alone the kingdom of God. Then you’ll be able to see the nature of this Heavenly Kingdom. It’s His kingdom, His bike. He’s been riding this thing for eternity. He doesn’t promise to come help us ride the bike we’ve always been riding; He promises a new bike. He’ll help us ride His bike – not our own.
How to Ride Our Bike
So, the bike we’ve been riding our entire natural and religious lives is the kingdom of this world, the natural kingdom. We know how to ride this bike. This bike is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- We look out for number one – we defend ourselves.
- We do everything we can to keep us number one – we refuse or reject our cross.
- We do whatever number one pleases – we save or keep our soul or soul-life.
So, whenever we choose to hop on Jesus Christ’s bike, we do what we instinctively know – we defend ourselves, refuse our cross and save our soul. However, that’s not how His bike works; that’s not how His kingdom operates.
How to Ride His Bike
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:13-25)
Peter, who just previously declared that Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the living God, is now trying to get that same One to ride the bicycle of the natural kingdom. “No, Lord, look out for number one! There’s no need for you to suffer or die. God forbid it!” Immediately, Jesus rebuked Peter as rebuking Satan. He was saying, “That’s your kingdom. That’s how man, this world, operates. That is not my kingdom.” Then, he gives three keys to riding the bicycle of the kingdom of heaven.
- Deny yourself
- Take up your cross (bear your cross)
- Lose your soul (soul-life)
Three backwards keys to riding His bike from the three keys used to ride the natural bike. This is how He rode the bike. He denied Himself (His deity), He took up His cross, and He lost His soul-life for His Father’s will. Now, this is our pattern. NOT FOR ETERNAL SALVATION. That was His work to do. But to live in His kingdom, to ride His bike, this is our pattern, our way (I am the Way…). His kingdom is completely different from the natural kingdom. It is backwards, upside down, inside out. The kingdom of God is utterly other. We may think we know this, but I guarantee you, we don’t understand it.
Abiding In Him
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
How do we use these keys to ride the bicycle of the kingdom of God? Simple: we abide in Him. We live by His life. It ain’t always easy, but it is always that simple. As soon as we stop daily, continually, moment-by-momently abiding in Him, we’ll revert back to riding the old bike. It took that dude eight months to learn to ride the new bike, and it only took him twenty minutes to remember how to ride the old one. Going back to the natural kingdom is as easy as riding a bike. We have to stay in the Vine. How do we abide in Him? We deny ourselves, bear our cross, and lose our soul-life. How do we do those things? We abide in Him. It’s the circle of life. 😉
Abide in the Vine, saints.