“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matt 13:44, NIV2)
All Kingdom parables have one thing in common: A sincere hunger for God our Dad. The treasure mentioned in Mat 13:44 does not refer to wealth, but to a more tangible treasure of experiencing our Dad fully within our lifetime. He has become truly our reality in life! Nothing can be more precious than knowing our Dad that way! After all, the biggest miracle about His Kingdom is when we realize that our Father truly loves us so much that we experience a life-changing love coming directly from Him!
Now the question we need to ask ourselves is this: Would we be willing to give up anything we have to experience God’s love in our lives? How much is God worth in our own eyes? Which treasure is more important to us? If everything we possess turns pale in comparison to our Heavenly Dad, we will realize that nothing compares to the real treasure we have discovered in our loving God. God has become our only real treasure, and He is truly way more promising!
Still the question remains: How much are we willing to let go for Him? Are we willing to let go of the things that keep us in bondage? For some this is money. For others it is work. The list could go on to include drugs, sports, hobbies, me and you and the dog named Boo, being in charge, having success, being admired, having numerous friends . . . Are we willing to let these go to experience His fullness in our lives? Imagine what would happen. Faith would become our faithful companion and love would multiply exponentially.
Some have done so, and their lives have never been the same. This is what happens when we experience God intimately:
“As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” (Acts 5:15-16, NIV2)
“Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, ‘This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.’ But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.” (Acts 28:3-6, NIV2)
But why are so many of us not experiencing such outpouring of God’s presence in our midst? Is it possible because we esteem some of our earthly treasures way more important than our Dad Himself? “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b, NIV2)
After all, “This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God.” (Jas 2:5c, MSG)
We have a choice to make. Where is our treasure?
George Whitefield was born in 1714 to a poor family. He was the last of seven children. His dad, an innkeeper, passed away when George was only two years old. At ten years of age he contracted measles, which left him cross-eyed. Eventually he had no choice but to drop out of school and help his mom with the inn.
The only way for him to obtain an education was to carry the books of wealthier students and polish their shoes. This is how he survived at Oxford University. While he was there, he met John and Charles Wesley. He eventually came to know God on a personal level. Years later he penned: “I know the place . . . Whenever I go to Oxford, I cannot help running to the spot where Jesus Christ revealed Himself to me and gave me the new birth.” He had fallen head over heels in love with his Heavenly Dad. Anything he had planned for his future came to a halt. He was willing to give up all his treasures to share the love he was experiencing though His Father. He became the most powerful preacher in the 18th century. He wrote, “My heart was melted down and I offered my whole spirit, soul, and body to the service of God’s sanctuary.”
Although many mocked him of being cross-eyes, this never stopped George Whitefield. Although slender in build, he fearlessly stormed the pulpit as if he were a giant. He could hold twenty thousand people at a time spellbound at Kennington Common and Moorfields. His voice resounded all over the United Kingdom and America. He preached more than 18,000 sermons in his lifetime, an average of 500 a year. He led so many to know the saving grace of His beloved Dad in heaven. God was truly his reality.
Where is our treasure? In which kingdom reside our hearts?
(To access the entire “Kingdom of Power” devotional series, please click here.)