Often the Kingdom of God is described in word pictures. We are to understand invisible realities that speak through visible matter. When you look at the physical conditions, you are given a spiritual message.
Jesus teaches us that it is our nature to evaluate by what we see in another person, but God looks at the heart of the individual. We might judge a book by its cover, but God reads the book.
So many are frustrated with feeling judged for what they have or do not have. For some, image management is a full time job. They spend all their waking hours trying to achieve success, acquire possessions and find meaning in the things they do. ‘Fake it until you make it’ is a valued motto.
Image management called and they said, ‘You’re Fired!’
God’s Kingdom is counter-intuitive to all that stuff. We are to find our significance and power by laying it all down. We die to self and live to God. In doing so, we are given an eternal inheritance that cannot be taken from us.
So what do we do now that we have been chosen to live in God’s Country?
The word picture here illustrates living a life where we expect God to need us at any moment. We might think that God doesn’t need us, but Jesus teaches otherwise. We are to live our lives on call. We need to stay in our work clothes and leave the lights on. This is a night shift picture.
Just because it’s dark out, do not think you can switch to pajamas and turn the light off. When you know that the Master could return and need your help, you remain watchful and ready. God wants an immediate response.
The whole picture illustrates what God needs from us. We must be always available. Does that mean that God doesn’t want us to sleep or take time off? On the contrary, He gives his beloved rest and leads us by quiet streams.
God is looking for a man or woman who will give their full attention to what is needed. When God finds that in us, look at how He responds.
In a most unorthodox fashion, the master becomes the servant. God dresses Himself in the employee’s uniform and waits on his servants. God washes the feet of those who are foot-washers. He feeds the ones who are supposed to prepare the meal. In Christ there is no longer a distinction between master and slave.
So, how does this astounding word picture work into your reality? How are you poised and ready to serve God? Are you waiting for God to give you a ‘to do’ list? Or have you taken your role seriously as a servant and constantly watch for ways to do God’s work? The parables about stewardship tell us that God expects us to take the initiative with what He gives us. We are not to hold back. We are to use our resource and find ways to multiply its effectiveness.