• John 3:3 – Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
• Acts 14:22 – [Paul said] “We must through many tribulations [pressures] enter [to come inside so as to dwell or take up residence] the kingdom of God.”
So what is the difference between Jesus speaking about “seeing” the kingdom and Paul speaking about “entering” the kingdom? The difference is in HOW Paul says that we enter into the kingdom…through many pressures.
• Romans 14:17 – …for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking [natural, worldly things], but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
• 1 Peter 1:6-9 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, [being] much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see [Him], yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of [your] souls.
Is your life characterized by righteousness, peace and joy? Or are you experiencing pressures in your marriage, parenting, job, finances, health, etc? Pressures, you say? Then rejoice, for this is your heavenly homeschooling Father’s curriculum for you. He’s graduating you from baby-faith which merely enables you to see the kingdom (i.e. opens your eyes to spiritual things, which were foolishness to you beforehand), to mature faith which dwells-in and walks daily in righteousness, peace, and joy! He’s not aiming for straight A’s; He’s aiming for FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST: Faith that’s not just your Sunday-school, bible-story about Jesus on the cross. But faith that results in a revelation that fills your heart with fire and screams
You don’t think God designed the trial that you’re in? Tell it to Moses, Joseph, Job, Abraham, Esther, all the prophets, Paul…and Jesus. All of the great men and women of the bible got REAL faith by enduring crushing pressures and insurmountable obstacles, and were left with only one recourse; to throw themselves on the alter of God, cry out to Him day and night, and wait for His deliverance. And when God showed up, they got faith and He got glory.
And now you know why you’re in the pressure cooker: because you’ve been chosen and blessed to be God’s son. And grievous, pressure-filled trials are the only curriculum that turns-out non-theological, non-theoretical, non-intellectual, real, living, burning, OVERCOMING faith.