The Animal Kingdom
While watching Animal Kingdom Leola was given a revelation from God. Among us in the church there are the strong and there are the weak. Thank the Lord we don’t eat each other although we do try to consume each other. What is it making one person strong and the other weak? She asks herself, “Am I strong or am I weak?” Then God asks here clearly, “Which do you choose?” Good questions. Of course she would choose strong but that is so much easier to say than to do. Strength doesn’t come from how well she can control others it comes from how well she can control herself. It comes from how well she does what the Lord has assigned for her. It comes from how much she knows Him. The strong, she thinks, survive what God has in store for them! There are two very prominent character traits of the strong, trust and courage. They are interchangeable daily. Strong people trust God to do what He says He will so they stand before the daunting task with courage. Every time they act with courage and survive they trust more. The strong have the courage to do what God tells them to do because they trust Him. Every time they trust Him they acquire more courage. How often does our Lord say, “Fear not and take courage!” Trust Him and stand before the task with courage to do what He wants us to do is the main theme. Can we learn this from the animal kingdom? No, we cannot, Leola tells herself! Their strong survive by instinct, size and fierceness! They fight for dominance and they win by fighting to injure, maim or kill. For the animal kingdom winning is living but for the Kingdom of God the strong are dying to live!
Only the dead will survive in the Kingdom of God. It is not about animal strength or instinct or even reasoning, it is about how well we kill ourselves and fill our lifeless bodies with God. In the Kingdom of God it is about giving others your food not eating it yourself. It is giving away our riches to provide for others. It’s about becoming foolish to gain wisdom. It’s about getting to the back of the line to be first in line. All of this goes against the grain of our world. It goes against the grain of our own soul. This is a fight we can only win when we concede. When we concede our strength becomes boundless.
The Kingdom of God
The people who are in the Kingdom of God kill themselves. They don’t wait to be killed by the dominant animal in the group or by predators. As they kill themselves God dominates them and that is when they become strong. They are not surviving by instinct and they don’t have to chase down their prey – God supplies it. This is the most peculiar concept in the world for Leola who is fiercely independent. God bids her to want the Kingdom of God by proving He can be trusted! Leola is killing what God tells her to kill because she trusts He will replace it with better. She improves what He tells her to improve because she trust He is going to use that someday. She only has the courage to do any of it because she trusts God to keep her safe. God knows Leola will survive in the Kingdom of God because He gives her His strength to survive.
It is not easy to trust God enough to kill yourself but to survive in the Kingdom of God we must learn to trust Him. The more we put our own life on the line the more courage we get because we tap into the strength given to us by God to do what He wants us to do. He created us knowing we would be filled with fear and doubt and He told us over and over He would be our strength. He has proven Himself to be faithful to us therefore we should prove ourselves to others to be strong enough to survive.
Meditation Verses for this week: Psalm 8 (HCSB Version). This versions speaks directly to this. Believe verse four when it says that we were created a little lower than God because the original Hebrew uses the word Elohim. Another verse to prove this out is 1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? We are made a little lower than God – does that make you feel strong enough to survive. I hope so?