During a recent prayer time, some of us were contemplating what these verses say about the disciples turning the world upside down. This is, of course, precisely what followers of the Lord Jesus Christ should be doing, but we were wondering how often we were actually doing it! I have also been thinking about how upside down the world is compared to the Kingdom of God, and why it therefore needs turning around.
When God created the world, it was all ‘very good’ (Genesis 1), but as soon as Adam and Eve sinned, everything changed. The whole world was corrupted and came ‘under the control of the evil one’ (1 John 5:19). We are told not to love the world or anything it in (1 John 2:15): ‘For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world’. That is why the world needs to be turned upside down – or, perhaps more accurately, turned back to the right way up – God’s way!
When we come to faith in Jesus Christ there has to be a complete turnaround in our thinking and behaviour. Instead of pleasing ourselves, we come under the authority of a new Lord in our lives. That is precisely what the authorities were complaining about in today’s verse. They said that the disciples were proclaiming another king – Jesus! Do we have a new king in our lives, and are we proclaiming Him?
Once we have had our lives turned around, God wants us to become agents of change in society. Britain has become increasingly secular in the past decade or so, and God's laws are gradually being eroded in our society. Britain appears to be no longer a ‘Christian’ country. We need to be praying, as Jesus taught His disciples, ‘Your Kingdom come’.
If His Kingdom is to come in our lives and those of the people around us, as well as in our society, there needs to be a turning upside down (or restoration to the right way up!) that needs to happen. We can all be a part of this, by living in the opposite spirit from that prevalent in our society. That means loving instead of hating, forgiving instead of resenting; having hope instead of despair; being generous and not coveting material possessions, and so on. Most of all it means coming joyfully under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, doing everything for Him and through Him instead of pleasing ourselves or others.
Let’s pray for ourselves and for all Christians, that we will be agents of change, turning the world upside down and proclaiming Jesus as King!
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for any passivity I have shown in the past and for any fear of speaking out about You. Please give me boldness in the future, and help me to be involved in turning the world upside down so that Your Kingdom may come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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