I got this concept from the book Beautiful Battle: A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare by Mary DeMuth. She posed a question in her book to help women understand what they focus on. On page 44, she writes, “What is more important to you—maintaining or upgrading your lifestyle or making decisions based on God’s upside-down kingdom?”
This got me to thinking: Exactly what is an upside-down kingdom? I realized it is living counterculturaly like Mary says. It is doing the opposite of what his world is doing. It is putting our heart into people who the world has forgotten or things is not productive. Here are some Biblical examples.
- The last will be first, and the first will be last. Matthew 20:16
- Jesus made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant. Philippians 2:7
- Jesus was obedient to death. Philippians 2:8
- Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44
- If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him your other also. Matthew 5:39
- Let your giving be in secret. Matthew 6:4
- Blessed are the poor in spirit (humble-not demanding your rights) Matthew 5:3
- Blessed are those who mourn. Matthew 5:4
- Blessed are the meek. Matthew 5:5
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Matthew 5:6
- Blessed are the merciful. Matthew 5:7
- Blessed are the pure in heart. Matthew 5:8
- Blessed are the peacemakers. Matthew 5:9
- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10
- Blessed are you when people insult you because of Jesus. Matthew 5:11
- Anyone who loves his father of mother; his son or daughter more than Jesus is not worthy of Jesus. Matthew 10:37
- He who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than [ any man on earth]. The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing and forceful men lay hold of it. Matthew 11:11-12
- For Jesus’ yoke is easy and his burden is light. Matthew 11:30
It is not easy to live counterculturaly. I think counter-Satan or counter-evil may be another good way to explain this concept. Forgiving is hard especially when it is a deep wound that oozes continually and Band-Aids have been ripped off taking the hide with it to allow the effects of the environment to thump on the injury.
Next week, I will take these examples and describe the opposite. Til then, let me know other ways you can think of to live counter-society but for the Kingdom.