Upside Down Kingdom Lenses

Yesterday’s blog post talked a bit about how, for me, being wholehearted means choosing well. It means inviting God into the mundane moments of the everyday. I believe that I am wholehearted when I ask God to infiltrate each and every aspect of my life, so that all that I am, all that I have, and all that I do is surrendered to Him.

This morning, as I continued on in my reading of 2 Chronicles, I was encouraged by Hezekiah, a man who wholeheartedly sought God in everything he undertook. 2 Chronicles 29-32 gives glowing descriptions of Hesekiah’s actions, and nearly each and every one, show him as successful because of the way he followed God.

In everything that he undertook…he sought God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.

2 Chronicles 31:21

But when I saw this verse, the encouragement that I felt shifted a little and questions became to creep in. I try to seek God and work wholeheartedly, but not everything I do prospers. In fact, some things occasionally seem like royal failures.

Can you relate? Have you ever been wholeheartedly following God but the thing you were doing did NOT look successful at all?

I gave myself a minute to dwell on that thought and the ones that surfaced with it.

“If the things I do don’t prosper, does that mean they weren’t done wholeheartedly enough by me?” “If I’m wholehearted, will everything I do prosper?” “Why have some things seemed like failure?”

Friend, I just wanted to pause for a moment and speak some life into my own heart and yours when thoughts like these invade.

I do believe that when we are wholeheartedly following God and doing the work he has laid out for us, we prosper even if the thing that we are doing doesn’t look like a success.

Let me explain. Following God always produces good. The good that comes from it could be an internal growth and change within our own hearts, it could be that someone else benefits from our obedience, and it could very well be that we don’t get to see the good that comes from it.

God is King of an upside down kingdom where the last become first, the leaders are servants, and we save our life by losing it. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that “prosperity” may look a little different in His upside Kingdom as well. Instead of the outward success of the world, we may experience a quieter inwards success of the spirit.

That’s not to say our wholehearted work can’t or won’t be outwardly successful. God can totally do that if He chooses, and He often does. What I do want to remind us of is that just because something doesn’t look like a glowing success DOES NOT mean it is a failure. It means that we’re not viewing it in light of God’s divine perspective. We’re not seeing it through upside down kingdom lenses.

Last week, something that I had wholeheartedly followed God in and worked diligently on, took a turn that felt like a complete failure to me. My heart ached and I felt discouraged until a sweet friend reminded me that I wasn’t viewing this turn of events through my upside kingdom lenses. Now, what felt like a failure then, feels like growth, necessary change, and new opportunities. With my upside down kingdom lenses in, I see the way God has used and can continue to use this “failure” in an even bigger way.

Let’s be people who commit to seeing success through those upside down kingdom lenses and recognize that our wholehearted work for God will prosper, even if that prosperity looks different than we’d imagined. Let’s embrace the inward success that comes from following God as the best reward and know that things that might feel like outward failure are sometimes our biggest inward successes.

Let’s press on, sweet one. And may the same that was said of Hezekiah be true if us; in everything we undertake may we served God, work wholeheartedly, and prosper.

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