In all my years of discipling and coaching women, at the end of the day, they all want the same thing: they just want to be happy. God wants that for you, too. That doesn’t mean that your circumstances won’t be hard or that you won’t ever struggle. It does mean that God knows the only way you will ever be happy is when you are pursuing a heart like His!
Having announced that the Kingdom of Heaven as “near”, the King was now going to begin to declare to His disciples, the principles of His Kingdom. Jesus was bringing a new rule, a spiritual rule, that transformed the heart, and taught His disciples how to live from the inside out, instead of the outside in.
We have heard it called The Sermon on the Mount. This is SO significant. “Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down“. Why a mountain? Because the Old Covenant, the Law, was given to Moses on a mountain. Why did He sit down? Because in Jewish culture, to sit down showed authority, and rule. The authority and rule that was once Moses’ was now the Messiah’s. You see, Jesus knew that in all of the synagogues there was the “seat of Moses” (Matthew 23:2), and He was in essence saying that a new seat had been taken, a seat given Him by the Father, where He would rule and reign. And it would not be a seat in the Temple building, but on the throne of the hearts of the saved. They would soon be the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and that would be the seat from which the Kingdom reigned.
So, Matthew 5-7 serve as Jesus’ teachings on the principles of living with the rule of the Kingdom of Heaven over our hearts. It is filled with what our hearts must become if we truly want to be happy, fulfilled, and free, offering it to others. At first glance, we could certainly be overwhelmed. Yet, while unattainable by self-effort, a heart like His is wrought in us by the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. “Blessed” means “happy and fortunate“. Make no mistake about it: God wants us the happiest people on the planet! And we will only be happy when our hearts align with His.
Kingdom Living says:
Our attitude toward ourselves: “I know myself, accept myself, and am nothing without Jesus Christ” a heart of humility
Our attitude toward our sins: “I mourn over my sin and despise it” a heart of brokenness
“I am teachable, not resisting God’s hand at work in my life” a heart of meekness
Our attitude toward our Lord: “I have an insatiable desire to live right before God and man” a heart to live like Jesus
“I have received mercy and must in turn, offer it” a heart to offer mercy
“I will seek pure motives and thoughts” a heart that is pure
“I have peace and will show others how to cooperate with one another and be at peace” a heart of peace-making
Our attitude toward the world: “I will endure humiliation, personal slander, and false accusations” a heart that endures
“You are the salt of the earth” your identity is one that preserves, heals, and makes things better
“You are the light of the world” your identity is one that illuminates, reveals, and gives direction as it shines
Then Jesus makes a few statements that we need to understand: “I did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them“. Jesus lived in perfect obedience to the Law, bore the curse of the Law on our behalf, and then brought in a New Covenant of His blood so establishing the “Law of Christ”, with its principles of right living, made possible only by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus completed all the demands of the Law, that sin must be punished. Now, we are free to live for the perfect law of love!
Then, Jesus makes a pretty bold statement: “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Wow. That can feel mighty daunting, huh? Like that seems overwhelmingly impossible. And in our flesh, it is! What Jesus is revealing to the Jewish people is that the Kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom that writes the law on the heart; that the heart is made completely new; that new Christlike character is developed within that results in Christlike conduct without, as the Spirit is given rule and reign over us.
Kingdom Living Invites The Spirit’s Help To Do What In The Flesh Cannot Be Done.
What situation are you facing today that you need God’s heart on? Maybe today, we need to simply pray and surrender our hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit, to mold our hearts to look like Jesus. Perhaps, we ask, “Lord, would You reveal to me the area of my heart from the above list that You want to work on today?”. That way, we can partner with what He is working on in our lives! And it is in that place that we will truly find happiness as He makes our hearts like His!