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Seeds of the Kingdom

Getting Out of Neutral

by Peter Brokaar

27 October 2020

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The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
Titus 3:8, ESV

Growing up in Holland, which means growing up riding bicycles, I learned about the law of momentum in a very practical way. I learnt that, if you don’t keep the momentum going, you will fall over. To prevent tipping sideways, one needs to keep moving forwards. This principle applies to our spiritual walk as well. If we stop moving forward, we will inevitably fall.

It can be tempting to try and live our life in spiritual neutral. It may appear easier than fully committing ourselves to God. Living in a spiritual neutral gear means we try to avoid doing anything overtly bad, without actively moving into doing good. This approach to life can never work.

As believers in Jesus, we have been moved by God from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. We cannot try and live in some shadowy zone between the two. In Asia, between North and South Korea, there exists a neutral zone, called ‘the Demilitarised Zone’. Those who have been there say it is one of the scariest places on earth. You’re neither in one place nor the other. It feels unsettling and unsafe.

When we repent of our sinful life, we must turn 180 degrees and start moving in the opposite direction. Turning only 90 degrees means we get a bit stuck. If we only repent of sin, without starting to live for God, we come to a standstill. It is like trying to find a life in a neutral zone between the Kingdom of God and the world. It does not make for a great life. In fact, it makes us miserable. We give up the pleasures of sin without entering into God’s benefits in return.

Getting unstuck, moving out of spiritual neutral, can start with a small step. You can ask the Lord, “Who can I be a blessing to today?” Or you can ask Him how you can bring something of His Kingdom into those areas entrusted to you. Once we start asking questions like these, He will start answering and showing us opportunities to be a blessing and to see His Kingdom break forth in our everyday life.

I just read a biography about John Newton, the famous slave-trader who became a pastor and author of many hymns, including ‘Amazing Grace’. His life testifies to God’s ability to turn someone from darkness to light. As a pastor, Newton had a brilliant approach to his daily life. He said that each time someone knocked on the door of his study, he considered this as opportunity to learn something new from God. He did not know what person or problem was behind that door, but he approached every situation in a pro-active way. May we all be more like John Newton, who did not leave the slave trade behind for a life of neutrality, but fully switched into a forward gear.

Prayer: Father, thank You for rescuing me from darkness and bringing me into Your Kingdom. Forgive me if I have been stuck in a neutral gear and enable me to start moving forward today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.


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