As a professional counselor, I have consoled hundreds of Christians through some of the most horrific life circumstances. Along with experiencing my own trials in life, it has caused me to deeply ponder the words of Scripture that refer to how we must learn to live in the tension between two worlds; our lives here on the earth and the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus reassures us that although He came to set us free, to give us eternal life and a life more abundant, we would still have tribulation and suffering in our lifetime (John 10:10). I believe one of the greatest false teachings of this modern world is: people shouldn’t have to suffer.
As Americans especially, we take for granted and even demand a life of comfort and expect to live pain free. If we do experience life difficulties, most people tend to blame God, rather than seek His counsel or ask for understanding for the purpose of suffering, from a spiritual perspective.
If we are going to truly embrace living in a kingdom culture, then we must adjust our mindset in how to perceive our lives through a spiritual lens and not just cope with, but truly find joy in being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, meaning, being bold and witnessing on behalf of Jesus and knowing suffering may come in many ways.
This mindset is unlike what the majority of people in the world would embrace and, although many people try to cope with and survive their difficult life circumstances, I think few would of us would know how to actually experience joy and rejoice in those moments. It is doubtful we would see suffering for the name of Jesus as a honor, knowing your reward in heaven will be great. Part of the modern mentality that makes having a biblical mindset such an impossible task is the ever-increasing desire for instant gratification.
One of the greatest challenges of my career was helping people to retrain their minds to be focused on eternity rather than the moment or life circumstance right in front of them. Unless one takes the time to study the psychology of humankind, you would probably never realize the profound effect modern technology has on how we perceive, relate and live out our faith.
It has been said that most people today only have an attention span of eight seconds. That can be a problem when it comes to our prayer time and studying the Word. Thanks to online shopping and next-day delivery, most people can have what they need, when they need it, with very little waiting or self-control.
As I discuss in in my book It’s Time for a Revolution, as believers we are required to live, simultaneously in two worlds. Frankly, some days, that can feel a little schizophrenic. This world demands our attention with its social media, fake news, conspiracy theories and the endless list of daily tasks, while our bridegroom, Jesus, yearns for us to come and sit at His feet; for us to look inward for direction and counsel from the Holy Spirit and to seek the approval and affection from our Father in heaven. Waiting upon the Lord should be what we hold onto, that which anchors us in our times of trouble. The tension of living between those two worlds is palpable and even, at times, painful.
I wish I had the perfect answer for you; a big red easy button. But that is not how the kingdom of God works, it is not how the earthly realm works either despite their promises. The truth is, we live amid a battle for our souls, every day. The war is real, and it is violent.
In order that we might live a life of victory, stay focused on the task at hand, to spread the Good News and help others come to know the saving grace of Jesus, we must be steadfast in our minds. “We must set our minds on the things above, not on the things of this earth,” (Col. 3:2).
This is what I ask for in my prayer time with the Lord: I ask the Holy Spirit to keep my mind fixed on a kingdom perspective, to keep me in step with His Word, His heart and to give me a longing to be faithful in following His commands. I know from my own faith journey, along with counseling hundreds of Christians, that the only life worth living, one that brings mental and spiritual freedom, is to live with an eternity-based mindset.
It needs to be one that is focused on the prize ahead and not current circumstances. This is living in a kingdom culture, at peace with your life here on the earth, while yet, a citizen of heaven.
With over 20 years of professional counseling experience, Dr. Jessica Rothmeyer has a mission to establish Kingdom mindset standards in all nations by providing advisory services, seminars and training materials to healing practitioners, leaders and influencers globally. “Your Kingdom destiny awaits, and it all begins with a mindset.” www.kingdommindset.global.